Relationships & Partners

Core Conservation Partnerships

Board members need to understand the roles and function of the core conservation partners.

Core Conservation Partnerships

Board members need to understand the roles and function of the core conservation partners.

State Conservation Commission

State Conservation Commission

The Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission (SCC) is an 14-member commission that has a primary function of providing oversight and support to the state’s 66 county conservation districts for the implementation of conservation programs in an efficient and responsible manner.

Programs Administered by SCC

Programs Administered by SCC

Some of the programs that the SCC administers are:

  • PA Nutrient Management Program
  • Facility Odor Management Program
  • Dirt and Gravel Road Maintenance Program
  • Conservation District Fund Allocation Program funds (CDFAP) which includes programs such as: Administrative Assistance cost share, Technical Assistance (1st & 2nd Technician) Agricultural Conservation Technician cost share, Agricultural Conservation Easement Program support, Leadership Development and Ombudsman Program
  • Resource Enhancement and Protection Tax Credit Program (REAP)


PA Department of Environmental Protection

The Department of Environmental Protection ensures the wise use of Pennsylvania’s natural resources; protects and restores the natural environment; protects public health and safety; and enhances the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians. DEP is responsible for designating resources to assist in the development, implementation and enforcement of programs adopted by the State Conservation Commission and delegated or contracted to Conservation Districts.

DEP Programs

DEP Delegated or Contracted Programs

The following are DEP programs that are delegated or contracted to districts:

  • Chapter 102 (Erosion and Sediment Control, NPDES, & Stormwater Management)
  • Chapter 105 (Streams, wetland encroachments)
  • Chesapeake Bay Program
  • Watershed Specialist Grant (Growing Greener)
  • Abandoned Mine Reclamation
  • Biosolids
  • Conservation District Fund Allocation Program (CDFAP)
  • West Nile Virus Program

Other support provided by DEP to districts:

  • DEP Conservation District Field Representatives
  • Training 


Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture encourages, protects and promotes agriculture and related industries throughout the commonwealth while providing consumer protection through inspection services that impact the health and financial security of Pennsylvania's citizens. PDA provides resources and assists the State Conservation Commission in the administration of programs developed by the Commission that support agricultural production.

PDA Programs

PA Department of Agriculture Delegated or Contracted Programs

Programs administered by the PA Department of Agriculture that support program initiaves of the State Conservation Commission:

  • Nutrient Management Certification Program (Act 38 Nutrient Management Program)
  • Odor Management Certification Program (Act 38 Facility Odor Management Program)
  • Commercial Manure Hauler and Broker Certification Program (Act 49)
  • Agricultural Conservation Technical Assistance Program (CDFAP)
  • Agricultural Conservation Easement Administrative Support Program (CDFAP)
  • Trainings for staff and directors


USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly called the Soil Conservation Service) has a long and extensive tradition of working with conservation districts. It is responsible for the federal technical service available for establishing conservation practices and for making reviews and recommendations on conservation programs.

NRCS Programs

Programs & Assistance to Districts

Programs and assistance to districts include:

  • Resource Conservation and Development Areas (RC&Ds)
  • Farm Bill Programs
    Environment Quality Incentive Program (EQIP)
    Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
    Wetland Reserve Program (WRP)
    Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP)
  • Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWPP)
  • Conservation and Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning
  • Technical Service Provider (TSA)
  • Cooperative working agreements
  • Direct assistance to conservation district capacity
    Engineering job approval
    Design and certification of conservation practices
    Shared office resources

Penn State Cooperative Extension

Penn State Cooperative Extension

Through Penn State Extension, a county-based partnership, agents, faculty, and local volunteers work together to share unbiased, research-based information with local residents.

Extension Programs & Support

Extension Programs & Support to Districts

  • Cooperative workshops and trainings
  • Training to District Staff
  • Facilitation for strategic planning
  • Cooperative staff agreements
  • Video conferencing and webinars
  • Publications

County Government

County Government

Count government Provides the authorization for the creation of the conservation district and provides general support for its mission and function.

Support the county governing body is required to provide to the district:

  • Commissioner or County Council member appointed to the board
  • Appointment of the board members

Support the county governing body may provide to the district:

  • Financial support
  • Legal support
  • Facilities
  • Staff support & benefits
  • Departmental resources sharing


Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts

The Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization organized in 1950 to serve as a collective voice of Pennsylvania's conservation districts.

Programs and support provided to districts:

  • Collective voice to legislators and decision makers
  • Inter district communications network
  • Newsletters, listserves, website
  • Administer educational mini-grants
  • Administer grants
  • Facilitate training for districts
  • Coordinate regional and state meetings


National Association of Conservation District

The National Association of Conservation Districts is a private non-governmental organization representing nearly 3,000 local conservation districts and their state associations.

The National Association of Conservation Districts lobbies for federal conservation legislation and funding in Congress. It also provides brochures, reports, conservation films, communications technology and coordinates regional and national annual meetings.

Other Important Partners

Other Important Conservation Partners

  • Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
  • Bureau of Forestry
  • Bureau of State Parks
  • Bureau of Topographic Survey
  • Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
  • Pennsylvania Game Commission
  • Pennsylvania Department of Education
  • Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
  • Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development
  • Susquehanna River Basin Commission
  • Delaware River Basin Commission
  • Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors
  • Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation
  • Western Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation
  • Pennsylvania State Grange
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • Farm Bureau
  • Pennsylvania Environmental Council
  • Trout Unlimited
  • Pennsylvania Lake Management Society
  • Municipal Governments
  • Watershed Associations
  • USDA Farm Service Agency
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • US Environmental Protection Agency
  • US Forest Service
  • US Geographic Survey
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
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