Monday, November 3, 2008

Conservation Effects Assessment Project to advance conservation effectiveness

The Soil and Water Conservation Society has released a special issue of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation dedicated to the Conservation Effects Assessment Project, commonly known as CEAP.

CEAP is a unique effort led by the United States Department of Agriculture to quantify the benefits of conservation efforts. The special issue of the journal presents the best science to date on the effectiveness of conservation programs and practices in the United States.

This special publication is an important step in a major effort to provide policy makers an account of what taxpayer investments in conservation are producing and an opportunity to retool conservation programs for greater effectiveness.

Guest editor Doug Karlen notes, “The Agricultural Research Service watershed-scale research and computer simulation modeling presented in this special issue of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation provide the scientific base that will enable the Natural Resources Conservation Service to effectively use simulation models such as SWAT [Soil and Water Assessment Tool] and AnnAGNPS [Annualized Agricultural Non-Point Source model] to make reliable national assessments of conservation benefits.”

In addition, the journal documents the new STEWARDS data system (Sustaining the Earth’s Watersheds–Agricultural Research Data System) that allows users to search and view soil, water, climate, management, and economic data from Conservation Effects Assessment Project watersheds.

The special publication represents the cooperative efforts of numerous federal agencies, universities across the country, and the Soil and Water Conservation Society.

The special November/December 2008 journal issue is available through the Soil and Water Conservation Society by visiting