News Release - Indiana
United States Department of Agriculture
6013 Lakeside Boulevard
New Conservation Tool Helps Identify Natural Resource Concerns in Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS, December 6, 2011 – A new conservation tool developed by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) may be the answer to getting more conservation dollars to Indiana landowners.
NRCS recently conducted a State Resource Assessment (SRA) to provide a science-based picture of natural resource concerns within Indiana. Conducting ongoing assessments of the quantity and condition of natural resources is one of the basic functions of NRCS. These tools and reports are designed to help local and state resource managers make good land management decisions.
The Indiana SRA focuses on nine natural resource concerns that exist across four land uses including crop, pasture, forest, and associated agricultural land. The resource concerns studied include soil erosion, soil quality degradation, excess/insufficient water, water quality degradation, air quality, degraded plant condition, inadequate habitat for fish and wildlife, livestock production limitation, and inefficient energy use.
Agencies using the information provided can prioritize specific areas within local watersheds that need assistance. By doing so, current and future workload, including the placement of staff, can be better aligned to address resource priorities and utilize funding sources more efficiently. In addition to more effectively addressing natural resource issues, this may lead to more conservation dollars distributed to our local landowners.
Shannon Zezula, State Resource Conservationist, believes this tool will be a great asset to conservation planning. “The results of these analyses will help NRCS and our partners identify the locations, types, and amounts of conservation efforts needed across Indiana. They will also help identify areas of the state that are in most need, so that resources can be targeted where they will provide the highest benefits,” explains Zezula.
Completed SRA reports with maps, data and the methods used to evaluate each natural resource concern by land use are available in the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide, Section II; State Resource Assessments and can be accessed online at: http://efotg.sc.egov.usda.gov/treemenuFS.aspx
Producers interested in learning more about this tool or conservation planning assistance should contact their NRCS district conservationist at a local USDA Service Center. Visit http://www.in.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/directory/field_offices.html to find the nearest USDA Service Center.
Shannon Zezula, NRCS State Resource Conservationist, 317-290-3200 x 388 (email@example.com)
Rebecca Fletcher, State Public Affairs Specialist, 317-290-3200 x 325 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.