Environmental Management

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 209–223 | Cite as

Soil conservation policy in the United States

  • Frederick Steiner


Soil conservation has been a matter of federal natural resource policy for over a half century in the United States. A variety of federal programs have been undertaken to encourage soil conservation. There are goals which are essential to these programs, and there are related ancillary programs with different goals which often have had an impact on the extent to which the central soil conservation objectives have been effectively implemented. This article analyzes four aspects of federal soil conservation goals and programs: the evolution of the constellation of soil conservation goals, the problems with goal implementation, implementation effectiveness, and the appropriateness of the implementation and administration of federal goals.

Key words

Soil conservation Land-use planning Agricultural policy 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature cited

  1. American Farmland Trust. 1984. Soil conservation in America. Washington, DC, 133 pp.Google Scholar
  2. Arts, J. L., and W. L. Church. 1982. Soil erosion: the next crisis?Wisconsin Law Review 1982:535–626.Google Scholar
  3. Batie, S. S. 1985. Soil conservation in the 1980s: a historical perspective.Agricultural History 59:107–123.Google Scholar
  4. Braden, J. B., and D. L. Uchtmann. 1982–1983. Soil conservation programs amidst faltering environment commitments and the “New Federalism.”Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review 10:639–696.Google Scholar
  5. Carlin, T., and B. Green. 1986. Farm crisis and rural communities.Small Town and Rural Planning 6(1):1–2.Google Scholar
  6. Clark, E. H., II, J. A. Haverkamp, and W. Chapman. 1985. Eroding soils. The Conservation Foundation, Washington, DC, 252 pp.Google Scholar
  7. Clean Water Act. 1982.US Code 33:1251–1376.Google Scholar
  8. De Grove, J. M. 1984. Land, growth, and politics. APA Planners Press, Chicago, Illinois, 454 pp.Google Scholar
  9. Ebenreck, S. 1985. Reagan proposes drastic conservation cuts.Small Town and Rural Planning 5(2):1.Google Scholar
  10. Gray, R. J. 1986. Proving out: on implementing the conservation title of the 1985 Farm Bill.Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 41:31–32.Google Scholar
  11. Harnisch, T. W. 1984. Local government and land resource programs: authorities, challenges, and capabilities. Speech presented at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, 6 August, 8 pp.Google Scholar
  12. Harris, Louis, and Associates. 1980. Outline for press briefing on a survey of the public's attitudes toward soil, water, and renewable resources conservation policy. Washington, DC, 28 pp.Google Scholar
  13. Hiemstra, H., and N. Bushwick. 1985. Congressional ag committees approve unprecedented conservation language.Farmland Notes 4(8):2.Google Scholar
  14. Hinman, H., and C. Engle. 1986. Conservation reserve program, the conservation component of the Food Security Act of 1985. Cooperative Extension, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, 15 pp.Google Scholar
  15. Kramer, R. A., and S. S. Batie. 1985. Cross compliance concepts in agricultural programs: the New Deal to the present.Agricultural History 59:307–319.Google Scholar
  16. Lee, L. K. 1984. Land use and soil loss: a 1982 update.Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 39:226–228.Google Scholar
  17. Lovejoy, S. B., and T. L. Napier. 1985. Conserving soil, insights from socioeconomic research: a synopsis. Soil Conservation Society of America, Ankeny, Iowa, 16 pp.Google Scholar
  18. Lowry, K. 1985. Assessing the implementation of federal coastal policy.Journal of the American Planning Association 51:288–298.Google Scholar
  19. Mazmanian, D. A., and P. A. Sabatier. 1981. Effective policy implementation. Lexington Books, Lexington, Massachusetts, 240 pp.Google Scholar
  20. Morgan, R. J. 1965. Governing soil conservation: thirty years of new decentralization. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, 399 pp.Google Scholar
  21. Mulford v.Smith, 307 US 38, 1939.Google Scholar
  22. Rasmussen, W. D., and G. L. Baker. 1972. The Department of Agriculture. Praeger, New York, 257 pp.Google Scholar
  23. Reichelderfer, K. H. 1985. Do USDA farm program participants contribute to soil erosion? US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 74 pp.Google Scholar
  24. Schneider, K. 1986. As more family farms fail, hired managers take charge.New York Times, 17 March, A1 and B5.Google Scholar
  25. Soil Conservation Act. 1982.US Code 16:590(a).Google Scholar
  26. United States v.Butler, 297 US 1, 68, 1936.Google Scholar
  27. US Department of Agriculture. 1935. Act of Congress assures permanence to soil conservation program.Soil Conservation 1(1):3.Google Scholar
  28. US Department of Agriculture. 1980. Report of the public's comments on the RCA draft documents, January–March 1980. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC (various page numbers).Google Scholar
  29. US Department of Agriculture. 1982. A national program for soil and water conservation. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 163 pp.Google Scholar
  30. US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census. 1985. Farm population of the United States, 1984. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 31 pp.Google Scholar
  31. US General Accounting Office. 1977. To protect tomorrow's food supply, soil conservation needspriority attention. Comptroller General of the United States, Washington, DC, 59 pp.Google Scholar
  32. Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act. 1982.US Code 16:1001–1009.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick Steiner
    • 1
  1. 1.Programs of Regional Planning and Landscape ArchitectureWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

Personalised recommendations