NRCS Conservation Planning Course

March 13, 2015 - Due to changes and consolidations of Field Technical Services (FTS) staff areas of responsibilities, and in an effort to aid the field in meeting reporting requirements, the following guidance is being set forth:

Certified Conservation Planner Reporting Requirements

For information and guidance on taking and completing the Missouri Conservation Planning Course contact Dee Vanderburg, State Grazing Lands Specialist (
Course completion certifications are to be scanned and emailed to Dee with a cc to Ronna Chrisman (  Retain copies for employee and supervisor.  
MO-CONS-01 form (Initial Certified Conservation Planner):  Scan and email form to Dee and Ronna.  Retain copies for employee and supervisor.
MO-CONS-02 form (Recertification of Certified Conservation Planner):  Scan and email form to Dee and Ronna.  Retain copies for employee and supervisor.

Refer also to guidance issued by your respective NRCS area office on sending forms, etc. to the area office through the Area Resource Conservationist (ARC) or other designated person. 

Dee Vanderburg will maintain a record of those who achieve and maintain certification.  The Missouri Department of Natural Resources Soil and Water Conservation Program Director will be notified by the NRCS State Conservationist as Soil and Water Conservation District employees achieve initial certification. 

Guidance for meeting pest and nutrient management planner certification reporting requirements will be provided at a later date.

If you have any questions, please contact Dee Vanderburg or R. Dwaine Gelnar;

R. Dwaine Gelnar
State Resource Conservationist
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Columbia, MO

Conservation Planning Course

Training Module 1

A. Introduction Video
B. NRCS Policy

     Policy  Video
     Policy (slides)

C. State Cost Share Policy Video

     PII and FOIA  Video
     FOIA Handout


     FOTG  Video
     FOTG (slides)

F. Conservation Planning

     Conservation Planning  Video
     Conservation Planning Handout

Training Module 2

A. Basic Soils and Soil Interpretations

     Introduction and history  Video
     Making a soil survey  Video
     Web soil survey  Video
     Using soil survey information - eFOTG  Video
     Soils Handout

B. Ecological Site Descriptions

     Ecological Site Descriptions  Video
     Ecological Site Descriptions (slides)
     Ecological Fact Sheet 5-13
     Ecological Site Description Example

C. Environmental Considerations: NEPA, Section 404, CPA-52

     Environmental Considerations: NEPA, Section 404, CPA-52  Video
     Environmental Considerations: NEPA, Section 404, CPA-52 (slides)

D. Cultural Resources

     Cultural Resources  Video
     Cultural Resources (slides)  PDF

Training Module 3

A. Grazing Land Management, Practice, and Tools

     Grazing management 101  Video


     The art of communication  Video


B. Forestry Basics, Practices, and Tools

     Forest Management - Part 1  Video
     Forest Management - Part 2  Video
     Forest Management - Part 3  Video

Training Module 4

A. Cropland Basics, Practices, and Tools

     Agronomy  Video
     Agronomy (slides)
     Cropland basics - Part 1  Video
     Cropland basics - Part 2  Video
     Cropland basics (slides)
     Cropland Checklist of Resource Concerns
     Filter Strip Worksheet
     Filter Strip Job Sheet
     RUSLE2 (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation)
     Soil Conditioning Index (SCI)
     Soil Tillage Intensity Rating (STIR)

B. Soil health

     Basic soil health - Part 1  Video
     Basic soil health - Part 2  Video

C. Cover crops

     Cover crops - Part 1  Video
     Cover crops - Part 2  Video
     Cover crops (slides)
     Cover Crop Termination Guidelines
     Healthy, productive soils checklist for growers

Training Module 5

A.Nutrient and Pest management

     Nutrient and Pest management  Video
     Nutrient and Pest management (slides)

B. Nutrient and Pest Tools  Video
C. Engineering Basics and Practices

     Engineering - Part 1  Video
     Engineering - Part 2  Video
     Engineering - Part 3  Video

Training Module 6

A. Water Quality Principles and Monitoring

     Water Quality  Video

B. Wildlife Habitat, Practices, and Tools

     Policies and Programs  Video
     Policies and Programs (slides)
     Habitats and Processes  Video
     Habitats and Processes (slides)
     Upland Wildlife  Video
     Upland Wildlife (slides)
     Wetlands and Partners  Video
     Wetlands and Partners (slides)
     Quail WHAG  Video
     Quail WHAG (slides)

C. Plant Materials

     Plant Materials  Video
     Plant Materials (slides)

Training Module 7

A. Economics

     Economics of Conservation Planning  Video
     Economics of Conservation Plannning (slides)

B. Payment Schedules

     Payment Schedules  Video
     Payment Schedules (slides)

C. NRCS Financial Assistance Programs

     Conservation Stewardship Progam and Conservation Security Program  Video
     Conservation Stewardship Progam and Conservation Security Program  (handout)
     Brief Overview of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for Missouri  Video
     Brief Overview of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for Missouri  (handout)
     EQIP Overview  Video

D. FSA Programs

Module 7D – FSA Programs  (available later, will notify)

E. Easement Programs

     Stewardship Lands Easement Monitoring  Video
     Stewardship Lands Easement Monitoring  (handout)
     NRCS Easement Programs  Video

Training Module 8

A. Toolkit

     Toolkit  Video
     Toolkit (slides)

B. Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

     Geographic Information Systems (GIS)  Video
     Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (slides)

C. Tools (LiDAR)

     Lidar for Conservation Planning  Video

D. State Cost Share Program (Availability To Be Determined)
E. Review and Closing

     Review and Closing  Video
     Review and Closing (slides)
     General Manual - Title 180 ConservationPlanning and Application

          Part 409 - Conservation Planning Policy
          Part 409 - Conservation Planning Policy Amend-MO-10

Final NRCS Conservation Planner Course Training Instructions

Part 409 of the NRCS General Manual establishes NRCS policy for providing conservation planning assistance to clients and states in 409.3 that all NRCS conservation planners must be certified.  The policy covers NRCS and partner employees.  The policy states the State Conservationist will establish and implement a process to ensure training is provided to NRCS and partner employees delivering conservation planning services.

Course Participants:  You will need to carefully read and follow the guidance presented under MO409.9(c)

District Conservationists:  You also need to read and follow the instructions of Missouri’s amendment.  You are the key person in carrying out this policy.  You are the direct supervisor of the NRCS staff in your offices and will also serve as the designee for non-NRCS candidates (SWCD partners).  Please work closely with the candidates in your offices.  The quality of the conservation plans developed in your offices is your responsibility

GM 180 Part 409 - Conservation Planning Policy
GM 180 Part 409 Amend MO-10 - This sets forth Missouri’s process for the training and associated approval requirements to become a certified conservation planner.
MO-CONS-1 - The MO-CONS-1 is the form for the initial certification of a candidate.
MO-CONS-2 - The MO-CONS-2 is the form for the re-certification that will occur once every three years.

Note: Guidance is provided on the bottom of the second page of each form about what to do with the form when finished. The original MO-CONS-1 should be retained by the certification candidate; one copy should be forwarded to the NRCS state office – attention State Resource Conservationist,