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NRCS Strengthens Technical Input for Conservation Programs

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has published an interim final rule in the Federal Register to make regulations consistent with the changes made by the 2018 Farm Bill. These changes include expanding the membership of State Technical Committees, enabling representatives from the State Cooperative Extension Service and land grant universities to serve on the state committee that assists NRCS in guiding locally led conservation. Additional changes include authorizing that certification of technical service providers be through a qualified non-federal entity and requiring that $3 million of the funds to implement the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program be used to encourage public access for hunting and other recreational activities on wetlands enrolled in the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. NRCS is accepting comments on this interim final rule through July 5, 2019.