Conservation Planning Competencies

Area 1: Conservation Planning

Description for Conservation Planning

Conservation Planning is the identification of lands with important natural resource values and the development of protection and management strategies for priority lands.

Competencies for Conservation Planning

  • Competency 1.1: Develop a historical understanding of private land conservation.
  • Competency 1.2: Utilizes appropriate methods for maintain awareness of conservation planning.
  • Competency 1.3: Explain the watershed concept.
  • Competency 1.4: Manage resource concerns and land uses.
  • Competency 1.5: Identify common conservation practices in Minnesota
  • Competency 1.6: Utilize Conservation Practice Standards.
  • Competency 1.7: Utilize Electronic Field Office Technical Guide (eFOTG).
  • Competency 1.8: Explore the connection between role of Federal/State/Local Partnership.

Course Titles, description, and learning objectives for Conservation Planning – ***subject to change

Course 1 Title: How did we get here? History of Minnesota’s Conservation Efforts

Course Description: How did we get here? To get an understanding of present-day conservation on private lands, we’ll take a look at the history of conservation efforts and how they evolved in Minnesota.

  • Objective 1.1.1a: Identify historical contributions leading towards the need for locally lead conservation practices.

Course 2 Title: Conservation Planning

Course Description: This course emphasizes the conservation planning process; developing quality, complete plans on the entire unit; consideration of ecological, economic, and social concerns; on-site assistance; the effects and impacts of planned actions on-site and off-site; and partnership involvement. It will introduce the general framework for conservation planning including general planning concepts, definition of a conservation plan, national and state planning directives, circulars, and responsibilities of a conservation planner.

  • Objective 1.2.a: Compare national and state policy as it relates to conservation planning and certification.
  • Objective 1.2.b: Locate references, technologies, and tools that provide additional information regarding the planning process and policies.
  • Objective 1.2.c: Describe the importance of the planning process and responsibilities of the conservation planner.
  • Objective 1.2.d: Identify the framework of the nine-step planning process.

Course 3 Title: Watershed Concept

Course Description: This course will provide a general overview of what defines a watershed, why it’s important, and how to determine what watersheds are in your service area.

  • Objective 1.3.a: Describe what a watershed is.
  • Objective 1.3.b: Distinguish the difference between major, minor and sub-watersheds.
  • Objective 1.3.c: Identify which major watersheds are parts of your service area.
  • Objective 1.3.d: List three reasons why it’s important to understand watersheds when planning and implementing conservation practices.

Course 4 Title: Minnesota Resource Concerns and Land Uses

Course Description: This course will provide an overview of resource concerns and land uses, including the impact on the environment and common actions used to address the concerns. The course will cover land use practices used for conservation planning with a focus on resource concerns and land uses common to Minnesota.

  • Objective 1.4.a: Maintain awareness of resource concerns and which ones are the most common in Minnesota.
  • Objective 1.4.b: State when resource concerns are identified in the planning process and techniques used to properly document a resource concern.
  • Objective 1.4.c: Interpret the new land use definitions that took effect (10/01/13) and how they are used in planning.
  • Objective 1.4.d: List two to three resource concerns in your area.
  • Objective 1.5. Evaluate land use selection in NRCS toolkit and application.

Course 5 Title: Minnesota Conservation Practices

Course Description: This course will cover the top five ecological science (ECS) and top 5 engineering (ENG) conservation practices, including the locally identified common conservation practices and practice components.

  • Objective 1.5.a: Identify two to three conservation practices in your area.
  • Objective 1.5.b: Express the purpose of practice of standards.
  • Objective 1.5.c: Recognize the components of the ten conservation practice standards.

Course 6 Title: Conservation Practice Standards

Course Description: This course will discuss the development of practice standards and the components of a conservation practice standard to include: Name, Definition, Purpose, Conditions, Criteria, Considerations, Minimum Requirements, Operation and Maintenance and References. These Conservation Practice Standards ensure quality, consistency, assure environmental compliance, and serve as repository for knowledge and experience that can be brought forward to new employees.

  • Objective 1.6.a: Explain the purpose of the practice standards.
  • Objective 1.6.b: Recognize the components of a conservation practice standard.
  • Objective 1.6.c: Locate practice standards.

Course 7 Title: Electronic Field Office Technical Guide (eFOTG): A Primary Technical Reference

Course Description: This course will provide the foundation to plan and apply conservation practices to on-the-ground situations utilizing the electronic field office technical guide. It will cover the history of the eFOTG, the organization, navigation, the relationship between the guide and the nine steps of planning and incorporating the technology into the field.

  • Objective 1.7.a: Review the organization of the FOTG and where to find information.
  • Objective 1.7.b: Clarify the purpose of each section of the practice standards.
  • Objective 1.7.c: Differentiate between criteria and considerations of practice standards.
  • Objective 1.7.d: Explain practice physical effects when addressing resource concerns.

Course 8 Title: Understanding Partnerships

Course Description: This course will provide an understanding of the connection between conservation-based groups at the federal, state, and local level, common Minnesota acronyms and discuss various roles of each group.

  • Objective 1.8.a: Cite at least one conservation partnership for each of the federal, state, local level in Minnesota.
  • Objective 1.8.b: Describe the key differences in the roles for each.