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SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE

The estimates include proposed changes in the language of this item as follows (new language underscored; deleted matter enclosed in brackets).

Conservation Opertions

For necessary expenses for carrying out the provisions of the Act of
April 27, 1935 (16 U.S.C. 590a-590f), including preparation of conser-
vation plans and establishment of measures to conserve soil and
water (including farm irrigation and land drainage and such special
measures for soil and water management as may be necessary to
prevent floods and the siltation of reservoirs and to control agricul-
tural related pollutants); operation of conservation plant material
centers; classification and mapping of soil; dissemination of informa-
tion; purchase and erection or alternation of permanent buildings; and
operation and maintenance of aircraft, ($293,001,000] $318,699,000:
[, of which not less than $3,396,000 is for snow survey and water
forecasting and not less than $2,933,000 is for operation of the plant
materials centers:] Provided, that the cost of any permanent building
purchased, erected, or as improved, exclusive of the cost of constructing
a water supply or sanitary system and connecting the same to any such
building and with the exception of buildings acquired in conjunction
with land being purchased for other purposes, shall not exceed ($5,000 ]
$8,000, except for one building to be constructed at a cost not to
exceed [$50,000) $80,000 and eight buildings to be constructed or improved
at a cost not to exceed [$30,000 $48,000 per building and except that
alterations or improvements to other existing permanent buildings costing
$5,000 or more may be made in any fiscal year in an amount not to exceed
[$1,000) $1,600 per building: Provided further, That no part of this
appropriation shall be available for the construction of any such
building on land not owned by the Government: Provided further, That
no part of this appropriation may be expended for soil and water conser-
vation operations under the Act of April 27, 1935 (16 U.S.C. 590a-590f)

cts: Provided further. That this appropriation shall
be available for field employment pursuant to the second sentence of
section 706(a) of the Organic Act of 1944 (7 U.S.C. 2225) and not to
exceed $25,0:10 shall be available for employment under 5 V.S.C. 3109:
Provided further, That qualified local engineers may be temporarily
employed at per diem rates to perform the technical planning work of
the Service.

The first change in language would eliminate language providing for earmarking of specific amounts for Snow Survey and Water Forecasting and for Operation of Plant Materials Centers. This language was added by the Congress to the 1981 Appropriation Act to ensure that it be consulted prior to the Department taking any action to reduce or phaseout these programs. The 1982 Budget Estimate proposes no phaseout of these programs and provides funding for continuation at the 1981 level. The continued inclusion of this earmarking in the language itself would restrict the management flexibility of the agency to respond to changing needs such as unforeseen emergencies or delays in contracting and other situations where it might be advisable to temporarily reprogram funds from these to other activities after consultation with the Congress.

The remaining changes in language would increase the limitations on funds that may be used to replace, purchase, or improve SCS buildings. The construction cost limitations on buildings should be increased in fiscal year 1982 to maintain the previous values of these authorizations which have not been increased since FY 1976. Escalation in construction costs over this period of time have made it increasingly difficult and sometimes impossible to make needed alterations and improvements or to replace outdated or unsafe structures. These construction costs will have increased by approximately 60% between 1976 and 1982.

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a/ Includes a total increase of $5,474,000 toward increased operating costs to
sustain performance levels for continuing programs Includes $1,137,000 for
the portion of pay increases effective in FY 1981 which were absorbed in FY 1981
but which are necessary to carry out the programs proposed for FY 1982.

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Project 1. Technical assistance:

(a) Planning........... (b) Application........

Total, technical asst.. 2. Inventory & monitoring, 3. Soil surveys........... 4. Snow survey and water

forecasting..... 5. Operation of plant

materials centers...... 6. Resource appraisal and

program development... 7. Rural clean water b/... Total available or est..... Proposed supplemental for

pay increase costs....... Total, appropriation......

4,051,000 66 3,581,000 67 +82,000(4) 3,663,000
3,039,000 102 3,145,000 100| +459,000(5Y 3,604,000 100

4,348,000 98 5,605,000 98 +192,000(6) 5,797,000
274,670,00010,116 314,188,000 10,554 +4,511,000 318,699,000110,446

-- -21,187,000
274,670,000 110,116 293,001,000 10,554

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b/ funds appropriated in FY 1978 only.

PROJECT STATEMENT

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1980

1981 (estimated) Increase 1982 (estimated) Staff

Staff
or

Staff Project

Amount Years Amount Years Decrease Amount Years Direct obligations: 1. Technical assist.:

(a) Planning...... $ 81,765,718 3,174 $ 95,121,354 3,293 - $ 1,354 $ 95, 120,000 3,246 (b) Application... 122,648,576 / 4,762 142,682.030 4,939 - 2,030 142,680,000 4.869 Total, technical

asst.............. 204,414,294 7,936 237,803,384 8,232 - 3,384 237,800,000 8,115 2. Inventory &

monitoring...... 13,220,894 462 17,094,930 569 +667,070 17,762,000 578 3. Soil surveys..

43,334,229 1,446 49,272,082 1,488 +800,918 50,073,000 1,488 4. Snow survey & water forecasting 3,920,213

4,029,471

-366,471 3,663.000 67 5. Operation of plant materials centers. 2,713,496

3,423,903 100 +180,097 3,604,000 100 6. Resource appraisal & prog. develop..... 4.254.845

5,618,025 98 +178,975 5,797.000 98 7. Rural clean water.

398,576
1,380,699

-1,380,699
Total direct
obligations ....

272, 256,547 10,116 318,622,494 10,554 + 76,506 318,699,000 10,446 Unobligated balance brought forward. .... (-3,744,369)

(-4,434,494) --|(+4,434,494) Unobligated balance

carried forward..... (+4,434,494) Unobligated balance lapsing............

(+1,723,328) Adjusted

appropriation....... 274,670,000)(10,116) (314,188,000)(10,554)(+4,511,000)(318,699,000) (10,446)
Reimbursable obligations:
1. Technical assistance:

(a) Planning......
(b) Application...
Total, technical
asst..
19,424,729

22,985,000 633 +1,010,000 23,995,000 664 2. Inventory & monitoring......

79,764
200,000

200,000 3. Soil surveys ..... 8,514,737

8,700,000

8,700,000

297 4. Snow survey and water forecasting

180, 452
180.000

180,000
5. Operation of plant
materials centers. 297,042

350.000

350.000 6. Resource appraisal &

prog. develop..... Total, reimbursable oblig...............

28,497,616 895 32,415,000 944 +1,010,000 33,425,000 975 Obligational authority...... 300,754,163 11,00 351,037,494 11,498 -497,494 352, 124,000 11,421

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Project
T. Technical assistance:

(a) Planning..........
(b) Application.....

Total, tech. asst.... 2. Inventory & monit.... 3. Soil surveys......... 4. Snow survey and water

forecasting.......... 5. Operation of plant

materials centers.... 6. Resource appraisal &

program development.. 7. Rural clean water.... Total outlays...........

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The appropriation "Conservation Operations," funds seven Soil Conservation Service activities authorized by the Act of April 27, 1935, (16 U.S.C. 590a-590f); the Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act of 1977, (16 U.S.C. 2001-2009); Section 35 of the Rural Clean Water Act of 1977, (33 U.S.C. 1251, 1281). These activities are designed to reduce erosion, solve soil and water management problems, bring about physical adjustments in land use, improve agriculture, and reduce damage caused by floods and sedimentation. Activities include:

1.

Technical assistance - The Soil Conservation Service provides technical
assistance to 2,925 conservation districts. These districts, formed under
State enabling legislation and locally controlled, have within their boundaries
about 99 percent of the farms and ranches in the Nation. Through these
conservation districts, the Soil Conservation Service provides technical help
to more than 2,100,000 district cooperators, who are primarily farmers and
ranchers, having land use and conservation problems.

More than 800,000 district cooperators receive help on an annual basis.
About 26,000 State and local units of government were assisted with problems
of land use, conservation, or building and water resource developments during
FY 1980.

Conservation plans developed by land users consist of their decisions to
achieve conservation objectives, and contain soil and capability maps and
other basic resource data interpreted for alternative uses and treatment.

Installation services are provided to cooperating land users to help them
apply planned conservation systems. These services include site investigation,
designs and specifications, construction plans, and layout of practices.

Technical services are provided to individuals and groups participating in
the Agricultural Conservation Program for site selection, layout, or
establishment of specified conservation practices.

the Agricultural conservati con su

2.

ing - The inventory and monitoring program provides for collecting and interpreting natural and related resource data, other than soil survey data, for national assessments, and providing the results to users for resource programing and planning decisions. In addition, special resource inventories are made of wind erosion conditions in the Great Plains, and for identification of prime and unique farmlands.

Soil surveys - Special investigations and interpretations are made to determine
the kinds of soil, potential alternative uses, and their needs for full use
and conservation. Each soil survey includes field mapping and necessary

correlation, interpretation, investigations, and laboratory work. These surveys are conducted cooperatively with other Federal agencies, land grant colleges, other State agencies, and local organizations. The published soil survey for a county or designated area includes maps with explanatory

nany Federal, State, county, and local community programs Special reports are prepared and released as needed for local uses.

4.

Snow survey and water forecasting - Snow survey and water forecasting provides a valuable service to irrigators and others who rely upon snow data and water

in planning annual operations. More than 10.000.000 acres of irrigated land in the Western States and Alaska are served by water supply forecasts. Although water supply forecasts are geared primarily to the needs of rural farm and ranch operators, they are also helpful to a wide variety of water management groups that have responsibility for flood control, recreation, fish and wildlife, power generation, municipal and industrial water supply, and water quality management.

Operation of plant materials centers - Plant materials centers are operated for testing, selection, and providing for the commercial production of plants for erosion control, special conservation purposes, and adaptation to unusual soil and site conditions. The work at the 20 centers includes cooperation with State and Federal agencies, commercial businesses, and seed and nursery associations to encourage production, release, and use of new or uncommon plant materials needed in soil and water conservation programs. Over 140 new conservation plant varieties from this program are in large scale use in combating the many problems encountered in a total program of soil, water, and related resource conservation. An average of seven new conservation plants have been released each year for conservation purposes.

Resource appraisal and program development - Activities carried out under this program include a nationwide soil, water, and related resource appraisal and development of future long-range conservation programs which will help USDA, soil and water conservation districts and other Federal, State, and local agencies make the necessary shift towards the highest priority policy issues and identify the present and likely future demands on the soil, water, and related resources of the Nation.

Rural clean water - Rural clean water activities consist of program formulation and implementation, technical training and workshops in FY 1980 funded from unobligated balances from the FY 1978 supplemental appropriation.

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(1)

An increase of $2,011,000 in technical assistance consisting of:

(a) An increase of $1,046,000 for pay costs.
(b) An increase of $3,765,000 for increased operating costs. The increased

funds are needed in order to maintain the same level of program effort as in FY 1981. They would be used to cover cost increases for non-salary

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