In this subchapter:
The term “area plan” means a resource conservation and use plan developed through a locally led planning process by a council for a designated area of 1 or more States, or of land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe, that includes 1 or more of the following elements:
(A) A land conservation element, the purpose of which is to control erosion and sedimentation.
A water management element that provides 1 or more clear environmental or conservation benefits, the purpose of which is to provide for—
(i) the conservation, use, and quality of water, including irrigation and rural water supplies;
(ii) the mitigation of floods and high water tables;
(iii) the repair and improvement of reservoirs;
(iv) the improvement of agricultural water management; and
(v) the improvement of water quality.
A community development element, the purpose of which is to improve—
(i) the development of resources-based industries;
(ii) the protection of rural industries from natural resource hazards;
(iii) the development of adequate rural water and waste disposal systems;
(iv) the improvement of recreation facilities;
(v) the improvement in the quality of rural housing;
(vi) the provision of adequate health and education facilities;
(vii) the satisfaction of essential transportation and communication needs; and
(viii) the promotion of food security, economic development, and education.
A land management element, the purpose of which is—
(i) energy conservation, including the production of energy crops;
(ii) the protection of agricultural land, as appropriate, from conversion to other uses;
(iii) farmland protection; and
(iv) the protection of fish and wildlife habitats.
The term “Board” means the Resource Conservation and Development Policy Advisory Board established under section 3456(a) of this title.
The term “council” means a nonprofit entity (including an affiliate of the entity) operating in a State that is—
(A) established by volunteers or representatives of States, local units of government, Indian tribes, or local nonprofit organizations to carry out an area plan in a designated area; and
(B) designated by the chief executive officer or legislature of the State to receive technical assistance and financial assistance under this subchapter.
The term “designated area” means a geographic area designated by the Secretary to receive technical assistance and financial assistance under this subchapter.
The term “financial assistance” means a grant or loan provided by the Secretary (or the Secretary and other Federal agencies) to, or a cooperative agreement entered into by the Secretary (or the Secretary and other Federal agencies) with, a council, or association of councils, to carry out an area plan in a designated area, including assistance provided for planning, analysis, feasibility studies, training, education, and other activities necessary to carry out the area plan.
The term “Indian tribe” has the meaning given the term in section 5304 of title 25.
Local unit of government
The term “local unit of government” means—
(A) any county, city, town, township, parish, village, or other general-purpose subdivision of a State; and
(B) any local or regional special district or other limited political subdivision of a State, including any soil conservation district, school district, park authority, and water or sanitary district.
Locally led planning process
The term “planning process” means actions taken by a locally led council to develop and carry out an effective area plan in a designated area, including development of the area plan, goals, purposes, policies, implementation activities, evaluations and reviews, and the opportunity for public participation in the actions.
The term “nonprofit organization” means any organization that is—
(A) described in section 501(c) of title 26; and
(B) exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of title 26.
The term “project” means a project that is carried out by a council to achieve any of the elements of an area plan.
The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Agriculture.
The term “State” means—
(A) any State;
(B) the District of Columbia; or
(C) any territory or possession of the United States.
The term “technical assistance” means any service provided by the Secretary or agent of the Secretary, including—
(A) inventorying, evaluating, planning, designing, supervising, laying out, and inspecting projects;
(B) providing maps, reports, and other documents associated with the services provided;
(C) providing assistance for the implementation of area plans and projects; and
(D) providing services that involve the resources of Department of Agriculture programs in a local community, as defined in the locally led planning process.
(Pub. L. 97–98, title XV, § 1528, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, § 2504, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 269; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, § 2805(a), (b), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1088; Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title II, § 2805(a), (b), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1816.)