Conservation Planning

Conservation professionals at the West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District work with landowners to develop individualized plans for what practices and management behavior will best protect soil and water quality and plant and animal health. The conservation planning process looks at a number of tools landowners can use to meet their goals.

“The pasture management plan is working great! Not only is my smallest and most damaged field supporting all of my 26 horses here, but I recently had to put ten back in the sacrifice paddock (renamed the “spa” paddock) for a time because they were getting dangerously fat, so — what you guys do is making a huge difference for us!”

What is a Conservation Plan?

Simply put, a conservation plan is a land management tool you use to meet your land management goals while protecting the natural resources you have. It is a voluntary commitment by the landowner, who makes all the decisions, implements the plan and has complete control over its progress (within local permitting guidelines).

Who Would Use It?

Conservation planning is uniquely tailored to land management goals and natural resources on site. A conservation plan can be used for a large farm or managed forest land but the techniques can also be applied to smaller parcels of land. Anyone who manages more than an acre of land, should consider developing a conservation plan.

What is involved in a conservation plan?

A complete conservation plan follows nine steps:

  1. Identify resource problems-what needs improving?
  2. Identify your objectives-what do you want your land to look like?
  3. Inventory resources-what is on the land now?
  4. Analyze resource inventory-what’s lacking?
  5. Develop alternative solutions-how can it be fixed?
  6. Evaluate alternative solutions-what solution is practical and effective?
  7. Make your decisions-what will you do?
  8. Implement plan-do it.
  9. Evaluate plan success and adjust as necessary-Is it working?

Why Should I Develop a Conservation Plan?

Conservation plans can save you money over the long term as your land becomes more productive; it can also increase your property’s value. You’ll improve the health of your animals and help your crop, plants and trees by removing invasive weeds. A conservation plan may also help your operation meet regulatory requirements and pave the way for future restoration funding and protection. Finally, it’s educational, fun and rewarding to know that you are improving your land for future generations.

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