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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of December 5, 2019

Title 7Subtitle BChapter VISubchapter CPart 621 → Subpart B


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 621—RIVER BASIN INVESTIGATIONS AND SURVEYS


Subpart B—USDA Cooperative Studies


Contents
§621.10   Description.
§621.11   Who may obtain assistance.
§621.12   How to request assistance.
§621.13   Conditions for approval.
§621.14   Recipient responsibility.

§621.10   Description.

Cooperative river basin studies provide USDA planning assistance to Federal, State, and local governments. The purpose of these studies is to assist in appraising water and related land resources; defining and determining the extent of the problems; and formulating alternative plans, including land treatment, nonstructural or structural measures, or combinations thereof, that would solve existing problems or meet existing and projected needs. These studies concentrate on specific objectives identified by the requesting agencies and citizen groups that are consistent with USDA authorities and responsibilities and current NRCS priorities. The objectives ordinarily include the formulation of a plan but may require only inventories of available resources and associated problems to be used by other agencies in plan formulation. USDA assistance is provided through field advisory committees composed of representatives of the Economic Research Service, Forest Service, and NRCS. The NRCS representative chairs the field advisory committee.

§621.11   Who may obtain assistance.

Assistance is available to conservation districts, communities. county governments, regional planning boards, other planning groups, and State and Federal agencies. Local groups express their desires for a cooperative study to the governor or appropriate State agency.

§621.12   How to request assistance.

For a cooperative study a governor, or a Federal, State, or local government agency must submit a written request and a Proposal to Study (PTS) through the NRCS State Conservationist to the Chief. Assistance in preparing the proposal may be obtained by contacting the State Conservationist. The State Conservationist sends the request and proposal with comments to the Chief for consideration. The proposal should:

(a) Describe the basin or study area, including a map of the study area;

(b) Explain the need for the study;

(c) Explain the need for USDA participation;

(d) State the responsibility and authority of the requesting agency in the study;

(e) Estimate the extent of participation of other Federal and State agencies;

(f) Discuss views and priorities of affected soil conservation districts regarding the proposed study;

(g) Briefly describe the intended management organization of the study;

(h) Specifically describe the expected results of the study;

(i) Identify primary users of the study results and the manner in which the results will be used;

(j) State the relationship of the study to ongoing and completed river basin studies;

(k) State that procedures for informing clearinghouses and for eliciting public participation will be followed;

(l) Estimate the duration and scope of the study; and

(m) Estimate the study costs by year and agency.

§621.13   Conditions for approval.

The Chief may authorize requested cooperative studies recommended by the State Conservationist. Priority for starting cooperative studies is based on the date of application, the readiness of the requesting agency to begin participation, the importance and significance of problems to be studied, the monetary or in-kind contributions toward the study, the sequence of ongoing and future studies, the type of study, the duration of study, the cost of study, the potential for implementation and other factors affecting the effectiveness and efficiency of the study. The number and location of cooperative studies started each year are governed by the availability of USDA funds and personnel.

§621.14   Recipient responsibility.

Leadership in arrangements for other needed Federal, State, and local agency participation is responsibility of the requesting agency. Consistent with national objectives and NRCS policy and procedures, the requesting agency has leadership responsibility for developing specific study objectives, providing the necessary study organization, and ensuring public participation in the planning process.

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