Much of this law (16 U.S.C. 590a-590q-3)stems from the early Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, which has been significantly modified since its original enactment. The law establishes fairly sweeping authority in the U.S. Department of Agriculture to coordinate and direct all activities relating to soil erosion, including conducting surveys, investigations and research relating to the character of soil erosion, and the preventive measures necessary to stem such erosion. The law allows the government to acquire lands, or rights or interests in lands whenever necessary to fulfill the purposes of the law. Financial assistance to landowners in the form of payments or grants may be conditioned on requiring landowners (whether private or governmental) to enact and enforce safeguards for the prevention of soil erosion, and/or to enter agreements or covenants for the permanent use of such land.
(Always refer to the most current version of the law, either by checking the compiled laws, or referring to the U.S.Code Service site above.)