linking farm plans to ecosystem markets coverLinking Farm Plans to Ecosystem Markets

A report prepared for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
May 2011

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS’s) Conservation Planning Process (commonly referred to as a Farm Planning) allows land managers to maintain a healthy working landscape and to evaluate their land’s potential to participate in one of NRCS’s many farm-based programs. This free service creates opportunities for land managers to, among other things, receive payments for preserving and enhancing the natural resources under their control. Willamette Partnership created its Ecosystem Credit Accounting System to achieve a similar and supporting environmental objective. This system, developed through the Willamette Partnership’s Counting on the Environment process, allows for restoration actions taken on the ground to be translated into multiple types of ecosystem service credits. These credits may then be purchased by those with environmental compliance obligations, or by those with a voluntary interest in environmental protection. Due to their procedural similarities, it appears possible that significant portions of the Ecosystem Credit Accounting System could be integrated into the Farm Planning process.

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