Performance Based Conservation: The Journey to Green Payments
By Douglas Helms
The Conservation Security Program (CSP), established by Congress in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill), is the latest of numerous strategies enacted to enhance conservation on farmlands. The lively, ongoing conservation policy and legislation discussions over the last quarter century, informed by the Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act of 1977 (RCA) process and the thoughtful input from academia and a wealth of agricultural and environmental organizations, have provided the antecedents of the Conservation Security Program (CSP). This paper examines these discussions and the historical context of the ideas contained in the CSP.