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- Conservation plants that reduce erosion and sediment from crop
land, such as cold hardy annual plants for the winter protection of
land used for the production of such late maturing crops as
potatoes in Aroostook County, Maine.

- Plants for improved cover and protection of streambanks, channels, and shorelines in sounds and tidal areas.

- Plants for stabilizing critical, high-yielding sediment sources
such as surface mined lands, highway slopes, and urban and
industrial areas.

Plants, particularly native grasses, legumes, forbs, shrubs,
and trees, for reclaiming areas disturbed by surface mining with special

emphasis in the Southern Appalachian and the arid and semiarid western regions.

Improved woody plants for use in windbreaks and shelterbelts
and herbaceous plants for use in barriers for reducing wind erosion and
for use around homes and farmsteads to reduce winter fuel consumption.

Accelerated studies of native plants for various conservation practices in the drought stricken areas in North and South Dakota and Eastern Montana.

Accelerated collections of native plant materials needed to
revegetate volcanic ash from the Mount Saint Helens eruptions with
emphasis on the low rainfall areas of Washington.

Plants for improving the quality and diversity of wildlife habitats.

Selected Examples of Recent Progress: An average of 15 new conservation plants have been cooperatively released to commercial seed growers and nurserymen during each of the last 3 years. These releases include:


Eleven native grasses including "Nezpar" Indian ricegrass, "Magnar" basin wildrye, "Hachita" blue grama, and "Shoshone" beardless wildrye for range improvement and the reclamation of surface mined lands in the arid and semiarid regions of the West.

Eight improved shrubs or trees including "Cardan" green ash for use in
windbreaks and shelterbelts in the Northern Great Plains and "King-Red"
Russian-olive, "Flame" Amur maple and "Imperial" Carolina poplar for use
for the same purposes in the Southern Great Plains, Southern Cornbelt
and Northern Cornbelt respectively.

"Appalow" sericea lespedeza for stabilizing and controlling sedimentation from critical areas in the Southern Appalachian region.

"Canbar" bluegrass and "Secar" bluebunch wheatgrass for range
improvement in the West and for stabilizing volcanic ash in the low
rainfall areas of Washington.

"Shoreline" common reed for use in Texas for stabilizing and protecting shorelines or reservoirs from wave-action erosion

Five native forbs including "Aztec" and "Prairie gold" Maximilian sunflower and "Sunglow" greyhead prairiecone flower for use in range and critical area stabilization seedings to improve the quality of the forage, improve the wildlife value and provide greater diversity for increased soil protection and to provide multiple-use of treated areas.

7. Three native shrubs, including "Casa" quail bush, for erosion control and for improving wildlife habitat and diversity.

8. "Cimarron" little bluestem and "Almo" switchgrass for controlling erosion and sediment through reseeding poor condition rangeland in the central and Southern Great Plains.


The Soil Conservation Service has leadership for the development and preparation of the Appraisal, Program, and Statement of Policy required by the Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act of 1977 (PL 95-192). Activities carried out under this Act will help USDA; soil and water conservation districts; and other Federal, State, and local agencies make the necessary shift towards the highest priority conservation tasks, resolve many natural resource policy issues, and identify the present and likely future demands on the soil, water, and related resources of the Nation.

With data obtained from the continuing appraisal of the Nation's soil, water, and related resources, a national soil and water conservation program is being developed in cooperation with and with participation by the public through conservation districts, State, and national organizations and agencies for submission to Congress in 1980. This program is to be used as a guide in carrying out the activities of the Soil Conservation Service to assist landowners and land users, at their request, in furthering soil and water conservation on the private and non-Federal lands of the Nation. The program shall set forth the direction for future soil and water conservation efforts of the Department of Agriculture based on the current soil, water, and related resource appraisal. The program will take into consideration both the long-and short-term needs of the Nation, the landowners, and the land users, and recognize the role and responsibilities of Federal, State, and local governments in such conservation efforts.

Current Activities: In FY 1980, a second period of public review and comment was carried out. Eighteen regional meetings were held to receive public comments about the draft Appraisal Parts I and II and the draft Program Report and Environmental Impact Statement. More than 64,000 written responses were received between January and March, 1980. These responses conveyed the views of members of the agricultural community, representatives of governmental entities, and members of environmental or other interest groups from every State in the Nation and the Caribbean area. Responses were analyzed and summarized in a detailed report used by the RCA Coordinating Committee in developing national conservation programs.

This is an automated snow measurement site near Mt. Hood, Oregon. Storage raingage in foreground with

shelter house for radio and other equipment in background. for keeping batteries charged and a temperature gage.

Tower supports radio antenna, solar panels


An SCS Hydrologist and Geologist collected snow and ash samples for laboratory analysis during their April 10 snow survey near erupting Mount Saint Helens in southwestern Washington.

SCS operates Plant Materials Centers, which in cooperation with other Federal and State Agencies, test, select and release for commercial increase grasses, legumes, shrubs and trees needed for reducing erosion and sedimentation and for environmental improvement.

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