NRCSLogo_Official2016The Jefferson Conservation District is a local organization backed with federal expertise.  It is affiliated with the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) Service Center in Longmont, CO, and the staff of the two offices communicate daily to fulfill the needs of the land and its stewards.

The mission of the NRCS is to “provide resources to farmers and landowners to aid them with conservation.”  The agency accomplishes these goals by coordinating the best scientific knowledge available into resources accessible at the local level.  In a personal form, technical assistance is available with a phone call to your local resource conservationist.  Additionally, the NRCS administers Farm Bill funding, mainly through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), to reward land owners for implementing conservation practices on their land.  If you think your land would benefit from forest, crop, or range management, feel free to give us a call.  Use the JCD main line or call Longmont directly 303-776-1242, Ext. 3, to get in contact during business hours.

More immediately, see what help is available at your fingertips with our online resources:

Jennifer Cook with our Brighton, CO, office publishes a regular newsletter of resources, announcements, and advice for the small acreage land owner (Landowner Newsletter Winter 2017).

Web Soil Survey combines the full force of United States soil information into one comprehensive interface.  The program can be a lot to take in at first, but the time spent learning to use it will pay dividends in almost any field.  Soil properties, uses, and dangers can be compiled into free public reports.  For more immediate information, try the new SoilWeb app for the iPhone or Android.  Using the phone’s GPS capabilities, it reveals the soil composition directly beneath your feet.  SoilWeb information can also be viewed through Google Earth and Google Maps.

Snow survey SNOTEL sites monitor snow depth and precipitation at numerous mountain sites throughout Colorado and the rest of the western US.  Each site can produce hourly reports and histories of the snow and water accumulation that form the headwaters of our streams and rivers.  This interactive Google map provides real-time data.

If you use GIS software, the NRCS provides data layers free of charge at the Geospatial Data Gateway.  Name a state and county, and download the data or have it send by CD/DVD to your address.

Other helpful sites:

Visit the Colorado State University Extension office website for all of your questions about gardening or agriculture.  CSU is the local authority on these topics.