Conservation Program Information

State Conservation Programs

For information or to apply for Cost Share assistance, contact the office by phone at 828-452-2741, ext. 3 or by email at

Ag-Cost Share

The North Carolina Agricultural Cost Share Program (ACSP) offers technical and financial support to farmers through a voluntary, incentive-based approach to enhance water quality via best management practices (BMPs) on agricultural lands directly involved in production. Eligibility extends to landowners and renters of agricultural operations in existence for over three years. The ACSP operates through collaboration with local soil and water conservation districts, helping participants develop conservation plans, identify suitable BMPs, and secure cost-sharing contracts. Applicants can be reimbursed up to 75% of predetermined average BMP installation costs, with the applicant responsible for the remaining 25%. Specific limitations may apply based on BMPs, operation type, and local policies, and cost share incentive payments encourage the use of certain agronomic BMPs.

Ag- Water Resources Program

The Agricultural Water Resources Assistance Program (AgWRAP) offers assistance to landowners and renters of existing agricultural operations operating for over one year, provided their income is less than $250,000 or mainly supported by agricultural activities. AgWRAP's objectives include enhancing water use efficiency, availability, and storage, implementing best management practices (BMPs) for water resource conservation and protection, and increasing water use efficiency and availability for agricultural purposes. Through the program, participants can contribute to the long-term sustainability of agriculture in North Carolina by improving water management. AgWRAP funding is allocated to districts and a Regional Application Process, enabling the implementation of BMPs with reimbursement of up to 75 percent of predetermined or actual costs, with the applicant covering the remaining 25 percent.

Community Conservation Program

The Community Conservation Assistance Program (CCAP) is an incentive-based initiative aimed at enhancing water quality by implementing best management practices (BMPs) on urban, suburban, and rural lands not directly involved in agricultural production. Eligible participants, including businesses, schools, parks, and publicly owned lands, can benefit from CCAP, which is crucial as North Carolina experiences ongoing urbanization and changing land use patterns impacting water quality. The program serves to educate landowners on water quality, stormwater management, and retrofit practices to address stormwater runoff issues. To engage with CCAP, interested landowners can seek financial and technical support through their local soil and water conservation district, with applications assessed based on local water quality priorities. Eligible applicants can receive financial assistance covering up to 75 percent of the established average BMP installation cost.

Federal Conservation Programs

Interested farmers should email John Ottinger, the District Conservationist, or call 828-452-2741, ext. 3.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

EQIP provides landowners with financial and technical assistance with installing conservation practices that address natural resource concerns. With the landowner, NRCS will develop a conservation plan that meets the goals of the project. Through this program, over 200 conservation practices are offered for farmland, forests and ranches. 

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

This program helps landowners by providing financial assistance to purchase conservation easements, which keep working farms in agriculture. The Wetland Reserve Easement component of this program helps restore and protect wetlands.

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

CSP helps farmers maintain and improve conservation programs, as well as add new ones. This program pays participants for conservation performance through a five year contract. Grasslands are also eligible for this program.


The District has a no-till seed drill and a weed wiper available for lease. Please check to see if they are available by calling 828-452-2741, ext. 3.

Technical Assistance

  • Access Road Layout
  • Animal Waste Systems
  • Critical Area Stabilization
  • Diversions
  • Drainage System Design
  • Erosion Control
  • Forms for Wildlife Planting and Tree Seedlings
  • Grassed Waterways and Field Borders
  • Heavy Use Areas
  • No-Till and Minimum-Till
  • Outdoor Classrooms for Schools
  • Pasture and Hayland Management
  • Pond Construction
  • Sediment Control Basin
  • Soil Testing
  • Streambank Stabilization
  • Watershed Planning