US: Federal Government Agencies Involved in Land Management and Natural Resources Conservation

Department of Agriculture

The following agencies are found within the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) provides leadership in ensuring the health and care of animals and plants. The agency improves agricultural productivity and competitiveness and contributes to the national economy and the public health. APHIS also includes USDA Wildlife Services.


Farm Service Agency

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) implements agricultural policy, administers credit and loan programs, and manages conservation, commodity, disaster and farm marketing programs through a national network of offices. FSA oversees the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), the Farmable Wetlands Program, and jointly oversees the Grasslands Reserve Program (GRP) with NRCS.

Forest Service

The Forest Service (FS) administers programs for applying sound conservation and utilization practices to natural resources of the national forests and grasslands, for promoting these practices on all forest lands through cooperation with states and private landowners, and for carrying out extensive forest and range research.


National Institute of Food and Agriculture

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), formally the Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service (CSREES), works in partnership with land-grant universities and other public and private organizations to provide the focus to advance a global system of extramural research, extension, and higher education in the food and agricultural sciences.

Natural Resource Conservation Service

The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment. NRCS oversees the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), the Conservation Security Program (CSP), and the Healthy Forest Reserve Program.

Department of the Interior

The following agencies are found within the Deparment of the Interior (DOI).

Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages 264 million surface acres of public lands located primarily in the 12 western states, including Alaska. The agency manages an additional 300 million acres of below ground mineral estate located throughout the country. Originally, these lands were valued principally for the commodities extracted from them. Today, the public also prizes them for their recreational opportunities and the natural, historical, and cultural resources they contain.

National Park Service

The National Park Service (NPS) preserves the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The National Park System of the United States comprises 388 areas covering more than 84 million acres in 49 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is the only agency of the U.S. Government whose primary responsibility is fish, wildlife, and plant conservation. The Service helps protect a healthy environment for people, fish, and wildlife, and helps Americans conserve and enjoy the outdoors and our living treasures. The Service's major responsibilities are for migratory birds, endangered species, certain marine mammals, and freshwater and anadromous fish.

U.S. Geological Survey

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) serves as an independent fact-finding agency that collects, monitors, analyzes, and provides scientific understanding about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems. The value of the USGS rests on its ability to conduct studies on a national scale and to sustain long-term monitoring and assessment of natural resources. Because it has no regulatory or management mandate, the USGS provides impartial science that serves the needs of our changing world.