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Conservation takes community effort
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The Tennessee Soil Conservation Districts and the Natural Resources Conservation Service have worked as cooperative partners in support of agricultural conservation for over 60 years. 
However, it has always been the locally led efforts of community leaders and stakeholders that help identify concerns, implement solutions, and evaluate results that have solved the many local natural resource needs throughout Tennessee.
Locally led conservation begins with the community itself working through the local Soil Conservation District. It is based on the principle that community stakeholders are best suited to deal with local resource problems. It challenges urban and rural neighbors to work together and take responsibility for addressing local resource needs.It is important to keep in mind locally led conservation must be driven by natural resource conservation needs rather than by legislated programs. The primary focus of locally led conservation should be to identify natural resource concerns, along with related economic and social concerns.
Local Working Groups are composed of agricultural producers, owners/ operators of nonindustrial private forest land, professionals representing agricultural and natural resources interests, and individuals representing a variety of disciplines in the soil, water, wetland, plant, forestry, and wildlife sciences who are familiar with agricultural and natural resource issues in the local community.
Local Working Groups provide recommendations to the district conservationist on local natural resource priorities and criteria for conservation activities and programs.
Local Working Groups membership aims to be diverse and focus on agricultural interests and natural resource issues existing in the local community.
To ensure recommendations of the LWG take into account the needs of diverse groups served by USDA, membership shall include, to the extent practicable, individuals with demonstrated ability to represent the conservation concerns of particular historically underserved groups and individuals including, but not limited to, minorities; women; persons with disabilities; and socially and economically disadvantaged groups.
LWG meetings are open to the public. Individuals attending the Local Working Group meetings will be given the opportunity to address the Local Working Group.
The next Local Working Group meeting will be Dec. 17 at 10:30 a.m. at the USDA Ag Center located at 811 Faulkner Springs Road, McMinnville. Discussion will focus on identifying local natural resource concerns that can be treated using programs and activities. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program for fiscal year 2015 needs local involvement and input through the locally led process to strengthen our commitment to cooperative conservation and partnerships.
If you have questions, contact the Warren County Soil Conservation District at 473-6539.