Massachusetts Conservation Stewardship Program

Massachusetts Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a voluntary conservation program that encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by:

  • Undertaking additional conservation activities; and
  • Improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities.

CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land in all 50 states and the Caribbean and Pacific Islands areas. The program provides equitable access to all producers, regardless of operation size, crops produced, or geographic location.

Program Description

Through CSP, NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance to eligible producers to conserve and enhance soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, prairie land, improved pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest lands, agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe, and other private agricultural land (including cropped woodland, marshes, and agricultural land used for the production of livestock) on which resource concerns related to agricultural production could be addressed. Participation in the program is voluntary.

CSP encourages land stewards to improve their conservation performance by installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities on agricultural land and nonindustrial private forest land. The NRCS will make CSP available nationwide on a continuous application basis.

The State Conservationist, in consultation with the State Technical Committee and local work groups, will focus program impacts on natural resources that are of specific concern for a state, or the specific geographic areas within a state. Applications will be evaluated relative to other applications addressing similar priority resource concerns to facilitate a competitive ranking process among applicants within a state who face similar resource challenges.

Massachusetts Priority Resource Concerns

Cropland Non-industrial private forest land Geographic region for priority resource concerns
  • Animal
  • Energy
  • Soil quality
  • Water quality
  • Water quantity
  • Air quality
  • Energy
  • Plants
  • Soil erosion
  • Water quality

All of Massachusetts

The entire operation must be enrolled and must include all eligible land that will be under the applicant's control for the term of the proposed contract that is operated substantially separate from other operations.

CSP offers participants two possible types of payments:

  1. Annual payment for installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities
  2. Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat Reader:

CSP Interim Final Rule (PDF, 134KB) - The public comment period is open until September 28, 2009.
CSP Fact Sheet (PDF, 44KB) - New!
Massachusetts Resource-Conserving Crops (PDF, 34KB)

2009 CSP Self-Screening Checklist and Activity Sheet

The self-screening checklist and activity sheet are available on the national NRCS website.

2009 Enhancement Activity Job Sheets

"Enhancement" means a type of conservation activity used to treat natural resources and improve conservation performance. Enhancements are installed at a level of management intensity that exceeds the sustainable level for a given resource concern, and those directly related to a practice standard are applied in a manner that exceeds the minimum treatment requirements of the standard. 

Air Quality
Soil Erosion
Soil Quality
Water Quality
Water Quantity
Special Projects

Program Contact - Massachusetts

Barbara Miller
State Resource Conservationist

Contact Massachusetts Conservation Stewardship Program



Service Area

National Program