July 3, 1985
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
Transmitted herewith is the annual report required by Sec. 7(c) of the Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act of 1977 (P.L. 95 - 192).
The Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act of 1977 (RCA) requires the Secretary of Agriculture to appraise the condition of the soil, water, and related resources on the nonfederal lands of the Nation and to develop a national soil and water conservation program for assisting landowners and land users in their future conservation activities on these lands.
The first appraisal, completed in 1980, was based primarily on the Department of Agriculture's 1977 National Resources Inventory (NRI). The 1977 NRI was the most comprehensive and refined body of such data that had ever become available. It provided a solid foundation for the appraisal and program.
The first program report, A National Program for Soil and Water Conservation, was completed in 1982. It set national conservation objectives and priorities, focused corrective action on areas of the country with the most critical problems, and strengthened the existing partnership among local and State agencies, organizations, and the Federal government for dealing with resource problems.
Guided by this program, the Department of Agriculture has extended more technical and financial assistance than ever before in areas with the most serious problems of soil erosion and dwindling water supplies. It has also begun to evaluate some of its other programs from the standpoint of their impact on soil and water resources.
This accompanying report covers Fiscal Year 1984. It displays soil and water conservation program accomplishments through a number of tables and appendices. The accomplishments are consistent with those reported through the 1986 budget request and the explanatory notes that provide program descriptions and details to support the budget request.
Note: Identical letters were sent to Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives, and George Bush, President of the Senate. The report was entitled "Annual RCA Progress Report, National Program for Soil and Water Conservation, Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 1984'' (United States Department of Agriculture).