7 CFR § 1470.2 - Administration.
(b) No delegation in the administration of this part to lower organizational levels will preclude the Chief from making any determinations under this part, redelegating to other organizational levels, or from reversing or modifying any determination made under this part. The Chief may modify or waive a nonstatutory, discretionary provision of this part if the Chief determines the application of that provision to a particular limited situation is inappropriate and inconsistent with the purposes of the program.
(c) To achieve the conservation goals of CSP, NRCS will -
(1) Make the program available nationwide to eligible applicants on a continuous application basis with one or more ranking periods to determine enrollments. One of the ranking periods will occur in the first quarter of each fiscal year to the extent practicable.
(2) Establish a science-based stewardship threshold for each priority resource concern at the level of management required to conserve and improve the quality and condition of a natural resource. To the extent practicable, NRCS will use scientifically developed assessment tools and guides including, but not limited to, soil erosion prediction tools, wildlife habitat assessment tools, rangeland health assessments, and soil health assessments, to establish the stewardship threshold and measure the level of improvement once the participant applies additional conservation activities to meet or exceed a resource concern.
(1) Establishment of ranking pools appropriate for the conduct of CSP within the State to ensure program availability and better distribution of the funds. Ranking pools may be based on watersheds, geographic areas, or other appropriate regions within a State and may consider high-priority regional and State-level priority resource concern areas;
(e) NRCS may enter into agreements with Federal, State, and local agencies, conservation districts, Indian Tribes, private entities, and individuals to assist NRCS with program implementation including, but not limited to, planning activities, outreach, and providing other forms of technical assistance.