Backyard Conservation: Bringing Conservation from the Countryside to Your Backyard

There are nearly 2 billion acres of land in the conterminous United States. About 70 percent of that land is privately owned and its care is in the hands of those who live and work on it. Most of that land, 1.4 billion acres, is managed by farmers and ranchers. More than 92 million acres of land—an area the size of California—is privately developed and much of it is tended by homeowners. Farmers and ranchers use conservation plans to help them apply practices that meet their production objectives and protect soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources. You may want to develop a plan for your own backyard to help you apply conservation measures that fit your needs. Or maybe, for now, you’d like to try just a few of the activities in this book.

The Layman’s Guide to Private Access Road Construction in the Southern Appalachian Mountains

It is ironic that roads designed to help people enjoy the Appalachians often destroy the beautiful scenery and clear water that make the mountains so attractive. Poorly constructed access roads often cause severe erosion, and stream sedimentation. These effects can degrade water quality for decades. Erosion can be disastrous in fragile mountain environments, and the landowner must pay for frequent and costly repair of a poorly designed road.

Restoration of Wetlands Under the Wetlands Reserve Program

The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) is a national program authorized by the 1990 Farm Bill. WRP is a voluntary opportunity offering landowners a chance to receive payments for restoring and protecting wetlands on their property through the establishment of permanent, or (possibly) thirty-year, conservation easements. This Woodland Owner Note has been revised to help North Carolina landowners understand the provisions of the 1995 Wetlands Reserve Program.

Learn more about the Natural Resources Conservation Service at their web site: http://nrcs.usda.gov/