7 CFR § 1410.8 - Conservation priority areas.

§ 1410.8 Conservation priority areas.

(a) Subject to CCC approval, a State agency may submit proposals for conservation priority areas within guidelines established by CCC. Such submission must clearly define conservation and environmental objectives, and provide analysis of how CRP can cost-effectively address such objectives. Generally, the total acreage of all conservation priority areas, in aggregate, will not total more than 25 percent of the cropland in a State unless there are identified and documented exceptional environmental needs.

(b) A region may be eligible for designation as a priority area only if the region has actual significant adverse water quality, wildlife habitat, or other natural resource impacts related to activities of agricultural production, or if the designation helps agricultural producers to comply with Federal and State environmental laws.

(c) Conservation priority area designations will expire after 5 years unless re-designated, except they may be withdrawn before 5 years by CCC.

(d) In those areas designated as conservation priority areas under this section, cropland is considered eligible for enrollment according to § 1410.6(c)(8) based on identified environmental concerns. These concerns may include water quality, such as assisting agricultural producers to comply with nonpoint source pollution requirements or wildlife habitat (especially for threatened and endangered species or those species that may become threatened and endangered).