Conservation technical assistance is the help professionals provide to land users to address opportunities, concerns, and problems related to natural resources. NRCS is the principal agency for providing technical assistance to landowners and organizations. For RFB specifically, most Bay states also have state forestry staff or Technical Service Provider partners who can provide additional help.
Technical assistance can help increase enrollment of riparian forest buffers by:
- Educating the landowner about the many benefits provided by the RFB—especially improvements to water quality and habitat for fish and wildlife;
- Asking landowners directly who do not currently have a buffer, if they would be willing to get one;
- Helping the landowner to enroll their land in riparian forest buffers, preferably through one of the CREP programs (e.g., CP22, CP29) that pays annual rental payments;
- Finding partnership assistance for the landowners who might need help with maintenance.
Insufficient Technical Assistance was identified as one reason for the slow restoration of RFB. But as seen on the Homepage map, some counties are very good at delivering RFB. In fact, 75% of the riparian forest buffers in the watershed occur in just 25% of the counties. We can learn from those counties to improve delivery of RFB.