Federal Policy

NACD advocates for nearly 3,000 conservation districts and state/territory associations across the United States, ensuring federal policy and funding levels reflect the mission and goals of our district members. NACD is the voice of conservation.

NACD is the collective voice of conservation districts and their state/territory associations. NACD’s board of directors sets conservation policy priorities that guide the organization as it reviews natural resources legislation and works to secure federal funding for voluntary conservation programs.


NACD publishes issue papers on current legislative priorities, reflecting board-adopted positions on key conservation policies for this and previous fiscal years.

Some of the federal support for conservation programs is allotted as discretionary funding during the annual appropriations process. Every year, NACD releases what we think are appropriate funding levels for conservation programs housed under USDA, the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). View NACD’s appropriations requests and priorities in our Newsroom.


The farm bill funds a number of voluntary conservation programs and is typically reauthorized by Congress every five years. Conservation programs authorized by the farm bill help producers enhance soil and water quality, improve wildlife habitat, ensure compliance with federal and state environmental rules, and protect the productivity of agricultural, forest and ranch lands.

The farm bill is the federal government’s primary tool for setting agriculture and food policy in the United States. The 2014 Farm Bill built on the 2008 Farm Bill’s funding commitment to conservation programs, although it consolidated 23 of these programs into 13 and made some cuts to the Conservation Title. NACD was involved in the development of the 2014 edition for over five years from start to finish. NACD will continue to be engaged in the implementation of future farm bills. Visit NACD’s farm bill web page for updates on NACD’s policies and positions regarding the legislation as it occurs.


NACD helps to guide the decision-making process as conservation programs are designed, implemented, and evaluated by testifying before Congress, meeting with and penning letters to lawmakers, and submitting comments on regulations to a series of federal land management and regulatory agencies. To read the latest on NACD’s work on Capitol Hill, check our Newsroom for press releases, testimony, comments and letters and our Flickr page for photos from our most recent events.

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