Skip to main content

NRCS practices can support climate change adaptation

The USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub and the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS) have partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to develop a series of brochures that describe options landowners and land managers have to adapt to climate change. The brochures describe how NRCS programs and practices can help landowners achieve their goals while supporting climate adaptation.

NRCS programs and practices can support on-the-ground climate adaptation

The Northern Forests Climate Hub and NIACS has led the development of climate adaptation strategies and approaches for a variety of natural resource topics. These “menus” provide topical lists of adaptation actions that not only help you move from broad ideas to specific actions, but also express the adaptation intent of your actions. Menu items can be applied in various combinations to achieve desired outcomes. Land managers can use these climate adaptation resources to select actions based on their unique project location and goals. The menus of adaptation strategies and approaches are available online (Find the menus at the Climate Change Response Framework website, external link)

The following brochures create linkages between the NIACS climate-adaptation approaches and NRCS practices.

For example:

  • An agricultural producer may be interested in soil health practices to help improve water holding capacity and infiltration in the face of climate extremes such as drought and intense precipitation events. NRCS can help by providing technical and financial assistance for a variety of soil health practices including reduced tillage and cover crops.
  • A landowner may be interested in restoring sites with a diversity of species that are adapted to future conditions.  NRCS can provide the technical and financial assistance required to implement this adaptation action, through conservation practices such as Tree and Shrub Establishment or Riparian Forest Buffers. 
  • From a wildlife perspective, landowners may be interested in creating new sources of food, water, and cover in anticipation of future conditions, or enhancing primary food sources for climate sensitive species. NRCS can help landowners meet these goals through a variety of practices including Pollinator/Beneficial Insect Habitat plantings, Wildlife Habitat plantings, and Conservation Cover.

NRCS offers technical and financial assistance to landowners for the planning and implementation of a wide variety of conservation practices aimed to protect soil, water, air and other natural resources. For more information about NRCS and the technical and financial assistance they offer, visit: or visit your local service center.

Connecting NRCS practices to landowner values

NRCS can provide assistance with a wide variety of conservation projects; from forestry to agriculture to wetlands and wildlife.  Other brochure topics are in development and will be added to this page as they are completed.