NB_450_21_2 - NB 450-21-2 TCH – Solicitation for Resource Concern Assessment Development Team Membership
NB 450-21-2 TCH – Solicitation for Resource Concern Assessment Development Team Membership
National Bulletin: 450-21-2 Date: February 19, 2021
Subject: TCH – Solicitation for Resource Concern Assessment Development Team Membership

Action Requested By:   February 26, 2021
Purpose.   To request employee participation in National Resource Concern (RC) Assessment Development Teams.   
Expiration Date.   September 30, 2021
Background.   NRCS needs a group of resource conservation professionals from various levels and different backgrounds to conduct a national review of the Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART) RC assessment methods and conservation practice points assigned for narratives by land use. This effort has been performed annually, since 2017, to complete updates and ensure their timely integration of information into business tools.

This work will occur as part of a coordinated effort between the Science & Technology, Programs, and Soil Science and Resource Assessment Deputy areas to continuously improve technical products that support conservation planning and delivery of Farm Bill Programs. Use of a formal organizational structure, including interdisciplinary teams, is necessary. This effort will improve the overall technical quality, consistency, and usefulness of work products. The early start will provide greater predictability and allow more thorough deliberations, decisions, reviews, and responses to occur; and it will allow completion in time for a federal fiscal year (FY) 2022 rollout.
Explanation.   NRCS will implement a structure that maintains coordination and engagement across several deputy areas. Overall project decision making will be the responsibility of a pair of co-chairs to be selected by the Deputy Chief of Science & Technology, the Deputy Chief of Programs, and the Deputy Chief of Soil Science and Resource Assessment. The co-chairs will provide direction to a Cross (Deputy) Area Coordinator. The Cross Area Coordinator will facilitate coordination among Science & Technology staff, Programs staff, Soil Science and Resource Assessment staff, and RC assessment development teams during the review of RCs, assessment methodologies within CART, conservation practice narratives, and practice points by land use. Interdisciplinary teams will be staffed by a facilitator, the National Discipline Lead(s) assigned responsibility for RC, and representatives from states and National Technology Support Centers.

Ideal candidates for interdisciplinary teams will have broad knowledge and experience in understanding the NRCS conservation planning framework, RCs use and recognition, the CART RC assessment questions, and conservation practice effectiveness in treating RCs on different land uses. Team members will be expected to participate throughout the remainder of FY21 and will be invited to participate again in FY22 to maintain continuity across years. Team members are expected to be able to devote up to 16 hours per month. However, there may be brief times of peak workload that necessitate slightly more time from members. Candidates must secure approval from their immediate supervisor as well as their respective State conservationist or Director. All work will be completed from the employees’ worksite or telework site. States will be responsible for the salary of their team participants. Accepted team members will receive an appointment memo to document their involvement and supply instructions. Team member nominations should be emailed to Casey Sheley, acting Cross-Area Coordinator, at casey.sheley@usda.gov by February 26, 2021.
Contact.   For information about participating in the RC Assessment Development Teams, please contact Casey Sheley, National Technology Specialist, West National Technology Support Center, at casey.sheley@usda.gov or (503) 273-2432.


Deputy Chief for Programs

Deputy Chief for Science & Technology

Deputy Chief for Soil Science and Resource Assessment

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