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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING SOIL AND NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS FOR SUSTAINED PRODUCTIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY Title: Communicating Conservation Effects Assessment Project Results

Authors
item Delgado, Jorge
item Anderson-Wik, Mark - EDITOR OF THE JSWCS

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 11, 2008
Publication Date: December 1, 2008
Citation: Delgado, J.A., Anderson-Wik, M. 2008. Communicating Conservation Effects Assessment Project Results. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 63:176A-177.

Interpretive Summary: Since the beginning of the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP), the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) has provided a forum for scientists, practitioners, and policy makers to interact and share information about advances in conservation practices and effects assessment related to CEAP. The first CEAP symposia took place as part of the fourth annual joint symposium organized by SWCS and the Soil Science Society of America at the SWCS Annual Conference in Spokane, Washington, July 2003, and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado, November 2003. The Journal of Soil and Water Conservation followed up with a feature paper about CEAP that was presented at the 2003 joint symposium (Mausbach and Dedrick 2004). In 2004, the two societies again held CEAP symposia as part of the fifth annual joint symposium—at the SWCS Annual Conference in St. Paul Minnesota, July 2004, and the SSSA Annual Conference in Seattle, November 2004. These education and training opportunities were made possible through the cooperation between the two societies in the form of the SWCS-SSSA Joint Liaison Committee. In 2007, the SWCS Annual Conference in Tampa, Florida, featured two days of CEAP-related sessions. With each special CEAP symposium, the mounting results and watershed by watershed assessments become more meaningful. With this special issue, the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation is serving again as a forum to share the most advanced research in conservation effects assessment. Many scientists are engaged in CEAP-related research across the United States. We were pleased to find so many of them interested in documenting the important information they have learned to date in their CEAP watershed studies, and we appreciated the willingness of these busy scientists to add drafting CEAP papers to their list of priorities. The Soil and Water Conservation Society will continue to provide venues for sharing CEAP-related information and for facilitating the innovating strategies necessary to move CEAP research findings into wiser conservation programs and practices.

Technical Abstract: The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) is a unique effort to quantify the environmental benefits of conservation practices at watershed scales and nationally. Such a large-scale project cannot be accomplished without the cooperation and communication of a wide range of experts and stakeholders. With this special issue, the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation is serving again as a forum to share the most advanced research in conservation effects assessment. Many scientists are engaged in CEAP-related research across the United States. We were pleased to find so many of them interested in documenting the important information they have learned to date in their CEAP watershed studies, and we appreciated the willingness of these busy scientists to add drafting CEAP papers to their list of priorities. The new information presented here, along with future CEAP results, will provide the conservation community a scientific basis for how to maximize the use of the land while minimizing any environmental impacts (Mausbach and Dedrick 2004). This is a unique effort that can serve as an example to other countries seeking a similar accounting of environmental benefits resulting from conservation efforts.With continued population growth and growing demands for natural resources to provide a sustainable environmental services, food, fiber, and fuel, we need new holistic approaches to effectively manage conservation efforts and their resulting impacts across the landscape. Innovative ways to implement CEAP findings will be necessary. As an example, eco-trading could be used to establish viable new markets for improving soil, water, and air quality (Gross et al. 2008; Delgado et al. 2008). New precision conservation techniques could be applied in watersheds strategically to target environmental impacts with the most sensitivity or greatest benefit (Berry et al. 2003; Berry et al. 2005). The Soil and Water Conservation Society will continue to provide venues for sharing CEAP-related information and for facilitating the innovating strategies necessary to move CEAP research findings into wiser conservation programs and practices.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014