Natural Resources Conservation Service
The mission of the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is to provide
national leadership in the conservation of soil, water, and related natural
resources. The NRCS provides balanced technical assistance and cooperative
conservation programs to landowners and land managers throughout the United
States as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Major Roles and Responsibilities in Wetlands Management
The NRCS makes wetlands determinations and delineations in agricultural areas
under 404 of the Clean Water Act for the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers and for Farm Bill purposes (see below) but does not issue permits
pertaining to wetlands. However, the NRCS has long provided technical
assistance to those involved in land conservation and planning and wetlands
restoration and enhancement. The agency has also assisted in wetlands
restoration and enhancement through programs such as, the Water Bank Program,
the Wetland Reserve Program, the Agricultural Conservation Program, the
Conservation Reserve Program, the Resource Conservation and Development Program
(RC&D), and the Small Watersheds Program (PL-566). As part of the NRCS's
Wetlands Protection Policy, landowners have the option of mitigating wetland
impacts in order to continue receiving NRCS assistance. Also, in programs such
as RC&D and PL-566 mitigation has been an option.
In 1979 Executive Order 11990 established the NRCS's Wetlands Protection Policy
(WPP). WPP and the National Environmental Policy Act regulate all the NRCS's
activities. The Farm Bills of 1985 and 1990 established "Swampbuster." Under
this program a landowner or manager could lose USDA benefits or eligibility to
participate in USDA programs if they convert a wetland to agricultural
For more information on the USDA, NRCS contact:
Christine Pytel, Regional Conservationist, (202)726-3770, firstname.lastname@example.org
NRCS West Regional Office
430 G Street. Suite 4165
Davis, CA 95616
There is a NRCS field office in almost every county where general information
can be obtained. However, if there is no field office in your county there are
also area offices in Red Bluff, Salinas, and Fresno.
This file last modified on: Thursday, January 24, 2002.
Document URL: http://ceres.ca.gov/wetlands/agencies/dwr.html
Copyright © 1997 California Resources Agency. All rights reserved.