The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a Department of Agriculture agency, has provided conservation planning assistance since 1933. The agency's technical specialists assist land managers in areas such as reclamation, soils, biology, engineering, range management, agronomy, water quality and plant materials. NRCS assistance to the Army includes ecosystem planning, soil surveys, erosion inventories, watershed surveys, land restoration (using plant materials) and sediment reduction on range, training and maneuver areas. NRCS specialists also design, implement and oversee construction of erosion-control systems ranging from small stream crossings to installation-wide land rehabilitation and maintenance plans. Installations may work directly with NRCS field offices or arrange for on-site placement of an NRCS specialist.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), is a bureau within the Department of the Interior that conserves, protects and enhances fish and wildlife and their habitats. It provides technical assistance to the military under authority of the Sikes Act. Its major efforts of technical assistance relate to developing and implementing Integrated Natural Resources Management Plans, and relate to migratory birds, endangered species, certain marine mammals, freshwater and anadromous fish, national wildlife refuges, wetlands inventories, habitat conservation, environmental contaminants and training opportunities for natural resource managers.
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS), a Department of Agriculture agency, is responsible for conserving national forests and grasslands, and assists in the stewardship of forests that other federal, state and private landowners manage. USFS provides quality natural and cultural resource management expertise and assistance to the Army through an interagency agreement. Forest Service support includes integrated natural resources management plans, planning level surveys, cultural resources surveys, National Environmental Policy Act compliance, prescribed fire and fire suppression, forest inventory and timber sale preparation, access road and firebreak design, stream and riparian area restoration, fish and wildlife habitat management, cantonment forestry, integrated pest management and outdoor recreation. Several national forests provide mission-essential land to the Army through special-use permits.