Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2014
Publication Date: 7/27/2014
Citation: Baffaut, C., Sadler, E.J. 2014. Developing and testing tools to improve targeting of conservation programs and practices [abstract]. Soil and Water Conservation Society. Presentation 4.
Technical Abstract: One finding of the CEAP watershed studies was that implementation of BMPs has not been targeted to the most vulnerable and cost effective areas: overall, only half of BMPs were implemented in these critical areas; others were implemented on more resilient land. Nonetheless, these watershed studies have shown that greater water quality improvements could be obtained if BMPs were implemented in the most vulnerable areas. Initially, scientists successfully used computer simulation models to identify these areas. However, the data and expertise needed for using these models are unrealistic and beyond reach for most producers, program managers, or land owners charged with land management decisions. Conservationists and land or farm managers need easy to implement, spatially explicit tools to prioritize BMP placement and improve their effectiveness and cost efficiency. Several tools have been recently developed and tested in USDA-CEAP watersheds and others. This presentation will focus on the development and validation of selected targeting tools that range in complexity and development methodology depending on their purpose (exact placement of a practice or prioritization within a watershed or a region) and pollutant considered (herbicide or nutrients).