Conservation Planning Boot Camp

Please note: Conservation Planning Boot Camp has been canceled for 2020.


“The experience and learning I receive going through the NRCS Conservation Boot Camp was beyond expectations. So much focus was put on in-field learning, hands-on evaluation of resource concerns and direct involvement with producer, it is hard to imagine how the planning process could be performed with any accuracy and professionalism without this training. I encourage any resource planner to take advantage of the opportunity to attend – what you learn and experience will be invaluable to your career and life as a conservation planner.”
Michael Hipp, Snohomish Conservation District, Wash.

NRCS Conservation Planning Boot Camp is a three-week, intensive training course for technical employees that covers current conservation planning policy, procedures and guidelines as outlined in the National Planning Procedures Handbook. 

Each year for the next five years, 75 conservation district employees will have the opportunity to participate in this Lincoln, Nebraska-based program. District participants are trained in and out of the classroom – right alongside NRCS field staff – in the skills necessary for developing and implementing comprehensive conservation plans. District participation in the course ensures conservation technical assistance is provided to local landowners and operators in a consistent manner nationwide.

Conservation District Map Placeholder
Conservation District Map
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CPBC Overlay

If you are an employee that is or will be involved in working with customers on conservation plans, conservation systems, conservation practices or the installation of conservation practices as one of the following, you are eligible to participate.

  • Any employee of a soil and water conservation district, soil conservation district, resource conservation district or natural resource district
  • Soil and water conservation state agency employees who work in district offices
  • District employee funded by the county
  • Tribal conservation district employee

If you think you may be eligible, but still have questions, please contact Kimberly Uldricks at kimberly-uldricks[at]

Mandatory Prerequisites (Accessed through AgLearn):

  • Level 2 E-Authorization
  • USDA Linc Pass from NRCS (click the link for more information)
  • Completed, or be in the process of completing, the following USDA AgLearn courses:
    • Introduction to NRCS
    • Introduction to the Field Office Technical Guide
    • Conservation Planning, Part 1
    • Air Quality, Climate Change, and Energy
    • Cultural Resources Training Series, Part 1
    • Using Basic Soil Survey Information in Conservation Planning
    • Environmental Evaluation Webinar Series No. 1: Primer on NRCS Environmental Compliance
    • Environmental Evaluation Webinar Series No. 2: Documenting the Environmental Evaluation

Recommended Prerequisites (complete ones that are needed):

  • Spend one day with a soil scientist
  • Web Soil Survey – How to Use It (Access this training at
  • Orientation for New Employees (ONE) training

If you have not completed all of the prerequisite courses at this time, you may still continue with the approval and selection process. After candidates are submitted to NACD, there is still a six-week window to complete the prerequisite courses before the start date of your assigned CPBC training session. However, all of above listed requirements – including all AgLearn courses – must be obtained/completed before the start date of your assigned training session.

To apply for CPBC Training:

  • Submit a letter of request indicating your interest in participating in CPBC Training to your state/territory association.
  • Please include a brief statement on why you are seeking this training, along with the dates of the sessions you are available to attend. (If you are able to attend more than one session, please indicate your preference.)

Please attach the following to your letter of request:

  • A letter of support from the local conservation district board in which you work
  • Appropriate documentation showing all the above requirements have been met

The selection of participants is left up to each state/territory association. For this reason, candidates may be asked to provide additional information.

Timeline for applications:

Once NACD receives the candidate’s information from their state/territory association, it fills the slots for CPBC sessions and submits the names of participants to NRCS at least six weeks prior to the start date of each session. NRCS contacts each district participant at least four weeks prior to the start date of the assigned session to provide detailed instructions on hotel accommodations in Lincoln, Neb., and other logistical concerns, including what to bring and wear to the training.

State/territory associations are the only entities authorized to submit CPBC Training candidates to NACD. Each association controls its own selection process and is asked to fill out this online application form.

Upon receipt of this information, NACD considers the employee(s) verified, eligible and approved to participate in CPBC training and will slot the employee(s) into the appropriate session(s).

Timeline for applications:

Once NACD receives a district employee’s information from his or her state/territory association, it fills the slots for CPBC sessions and submits the names of participants to NRCS at least six weeks prior to the start date of each session. NRCS contacts each district participant at least four weeks prior to the start date of the assigned session to provide information on hotel accommodations in Lincoln, Neb., and other logistical concerns, including what to bring and wear to the training.

NACD will reimburse expenses incurred during the assigned CPBC training session for travel, lodging and meals after the completion of the course and upon receipt of the CPBC reimbursement form. Please note: Per diem rates are included in the CPBC reimbursement form. Participants should submit their form by email to Kimberly Uldricks (cc’ing finance[at]nacdnet.orgwith the participant’s name in the subject line no more than 30 days after completing CPBC Training. Click here for a complete list of reimbursement instructions. 

  • Each district participant is responsible for making his or her own hotel reserCPBC reimbursement formvation. NACD will reimburse $91 plus tax per night for lodging during the training.
  • In lieu of submitting meal receipts, NACD will reimburse participants a flat per diem of $38.25/day for meals on the days participants travel to and from the training. During the training, the meals per diem is $51.00/day.
  • If traveling by personal vehicle, please include a Google Maps print-out showing the distance traveled to the training location. If traveling by air, please include a copy of the airline receipt. Participants will not be reimbursed for travel during their training sessions.
  • PLEASE NOTE: While in training, a maximum of $142 per day ($91 plus tax a night for lodging, $51 a day for meals) is allowed for reimbursement by NACD.

Participants’ conservation districts may choose to provide for portions of an employee’s reimbursable expenses.  Should expenses be reimbursable to both employee and his or her conservation district, two reimbursements forms must be submitted to NACD clearly stating the recipient of the reimbursement.

There are no scheduled classes or events for CPBC participants on the weekends during training sessions. There are, however, a host of activities for you and your fellow attendees to enjoy while in Lincoln, Nebraska. The training facility is located in the Lincoln metro area, in walking distance from restaurants and entertainment. While rental cars and Uber and Lift ride services are available, they are not a reimbursable expense.

Boot Camp Schedule for 2020



Last day for state/territory associations to submit participant information to NACD Location of Session Start Date of Session End Date of Session
February 7, 2020 Lincoln, NE March 24, 2020 April 9, 2020
February 28, 2020 Lincoln, NE Canceled
March 24, 2020 Lincoln, NE Canceled
April 17, 2020 Lincoln, NE Canceled
May 19, 2020 Lincoln, NE Canceled
June 12, 2020 Lincoln, NE Canceled
July 3, 2020 Lincoln, NE Canceled
July 31, 2020 Lincoln, NE Canceled

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