By J. M. Kimble, C. W. Rice, D. Reed
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Additional resources for Soil Carbon Management: Economic, Environmental and Societal Benefits
Annual data from USDA’s Natural Resource Inventory (NRI) will be used for this national assessment, known as the Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP), targeted at quantifying the natural resource benefits from conservation practices on private lands. Recognition of the water quality and other ecological benefits of agricultural practices and programs is a signal that the Congress and USDA recognize the need to better evaluate agricultural impacts beyond the farm gate. Ongoing collection of these data at regular intervals can help to improve policy responses over time.
The program should be created with the goal of working in concert with existing state programs that remove lands from development, to optimize conservation opportunities and efforts. fm Page 37 Tuesday, April 10, 2007 2:59 PM Economic and Societal Benefits of Soil Carbon Management • • 37 savanna, and forested lands. Specifically, WRP should target restoration of these transitional ecological systems that supported the functions and health of the historical wetlands. To accomplish this, USDA should establish a database of these lands within the National Resources Inventory (NRI), prioritizing areas for restoration under the WRP.
Current proposals to use the tool as part of the Conservation Security Program (CSP) should be supported, and with time, expanded to include additional USDA conservation programs. • Besides procuring feedback from producers and land managers, as it is currently doing, USDA should consult with the private sector entities that are already operating in emerging C markets, both to prepare the system for future markets and to ensure maximum compatibility of the system and transferability of certified credits within future C markets.