Conservation Planner Program
Starting in December 2023, PACD has six conservation planners on staff, who work toward conservation planning certification to assist in conservation efforts across the Commonwealth. PACD Conservation Planners improve water quality by helping landowners complete and update:
- Conservation Plans
- Volunteer Act 38 Nutrient Management Plans (excluding Concentrated Animal Operations and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations)
- Manure Management Plans
- Agricultural Erosion & Sediment Control Plans
To provide these services as cost-effectively as possible, PACD Conservation Planners work out of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) field offices in:
- Bucks County
- Dauphin County
- Erie County
- Franklin County
- Indiana County
- Susquehanna County
In addition, PACD Conservation Planners assist with:
- Finding available funds for landowners to complete conservation projects when a conservation or other agricultural plan is required.
- Advocating utilizing federal and state cost-share together to maximize financial contributions to the participant.
- Working with landowners to develop alternatives and identify strategies for implementing on-farm solutions. These solutions may include preparing agricultural plans and addressing regulatory requirements.
- Helping county farmland preservation boards with completing plans that are necessary for applicants to receive funding under the state and Federal easement purchase program. Also, to complete updates to plans for farms that are already preserved.
The knowledgeable certified planners and technicians work locally to develop relationships to successfully administer this program. By helping to ensure landowners have the appropriate plans in place, this program makes more funds available to landowners for conservation projects. For example, the USDA NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) requires a conservation plan to be eligible for funds. Similarly, the SCC Agriculture Conservation Assistance Program (ACAP) will fund projects that implement Best Management Practices from a conservation plan, Agricultural Erosion & Sediment Control Plan, Nutrient Management Plan, or Manure Management Plan.
This project funds certified planners and nutrient management specialists to provide planning assistance. Project funds will not directly fund construction projects.
Questions? Contact the PACD Conservation Planning Staff:
BUCKS OFFICE STAFF – CERTIFIED CONSERVATION PLANNER PROGRAM
DAUPHIN OFFICE STAFF – CERTIFIED CONSERVATION PLANNER PROGRAM
ERIE OFFICE STAFF – CERTIFIED CONSERVATION PLANNER PROGRAM
FRANKLIN OFFICE STAFF – CERTIFIED CONSERVATION PLANNER PROGRAM
INDIANA OFFICE STAFF – CERTIFIED CONSERVATION PLANNER PROGRAM
SUSQUEHANNA OFFICE STAFF – CERTIFIED CONSERVATION PLANNER PROGRAM
Financial and other support for the Certified Conservation Planner Program is provided by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission.