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Conservation Clips is a weekly collection of articles distributed by NACD that provides our members and partners with the latest news in what's driving conservation. These articles are not indicative of NACD policy and are the opinions of their authors, unless otherwise noted. If you have a relevant submission or need assistance with accessing articles, please contact the NACD Communications Team.

NACD Blog: Maine SWCD is spearheading beech tree research project

Maine’s Central Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is working with Universities of Maine in Presque Isle and Fort Kent to combat neonectria and repopulate forest beech trees.

Agri-Pulse: Open Mic Interview – NACD President Tim Palmer
By Jeff Nalley

NACD President Tim Palmer welcomes new initiatives by farm groups and USDA to reduce farming’s environmental impact while increasing productivity. Conservation programs survived debate in the 2018 farm bill, but Palmer says program funds should be maintained and staff restored to local conservation offices.

The Indiana Gazette: Conservation district awarded urban ag grant

The Indiana County Conservation District has been awarded an urban agriculture conservation grant through a partnership with the National Association of Conservation Districts and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service to boost technical capacity nationwide.

Agricultural Policy Analysis Center: Rural/urban divide on environmental policies

As we were growing up, Soil Stewardship Sunday was a regular part of the church calendar, landing on the last Sunday of April as farmers were in the midst of Spring planting. The bulletin cover or the bulletin insert was provided by the National Association of Conservation Districts as was the material that the pastor often used as the basis of that Sunday’s sermon.

Agri-Pulse: Perdue unveils plan to halve U.S. ag’s environmental footprint by 2050
By Spencer Chase

(Subscriber Only) Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Thursday called for cutting agriculture's environmental footprint in half by 2050 and also said that carbon pricing could encourage farmers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Penn State News: Farmers in four PA counties encouraged to document conservation practices

Several agricultural and governmental organizations have partnered to develop a survey that asks producers to document conservation practices they have adopted to promote water quality and soil health in the bay watershed.

Civil Eats: A Comprehensive New Federal Roadmap for Climate Action on Farms
By Lisa Held

Representative Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) introduced legislation that would set a national goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions from the U.S. agriculture sector by 2040. The Agriculture Resilience Act also introduces sweeping changes to federal conservation and agriculture programs to reach that goal.

USA Today: About 40 million people get water from the Colorado River. Studies show it's drying up.
By Ian James

Scientists have documented how climate change is sapping the Colorado River, and new research shows the river is so sensitive to warming that it could lose about one-fourth of its flow by 2050 as temperatures continue to climb.

E&E News: BLM calls wild horses 'existential threat' to public lands
By Scott Streater

(Subscriber Only) The Bureau of Land Management is now formally referring to wild horses and burros as an "existential threat" to federal lands, mirroring acting BLM chief William Perry Pendley's controversial characterization of growing herd sizes.

The Blade: U.S. EPA exploring incentives for improving Great Lakes water quality
By Tom Henry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to see if market-based approaches — such as the sale of water-quality credits between utilities and farmers to encourage more investment — might prove to be a cost-effective way of combating chronic algae problems in western Lake Erie and other parts of the Great Lakes region.

The New York Times: U.S. Forest Chief: 'Tough Choices' to Fund Wildfire Prevention

The U.S. Forest Service has been working with states and other partners to treat more acres every year in hopes of reducing the threat of catastrophic wildfire, but Forest Chief Vicki Christiansen acknowledged that a budget proposal for the next fiscal year reflects “tough choices and trade-offs” that could mean no funding for some programs.

Albuquerque Journal: Soaking up soil health
By Theresa Davis

Rainfall is scarce throughout New Mexico, which is hard on soil and crops. Farmers can’t change the weather, but they can change how they manage soil to retain more water and grow flavorful, high-nutrient produce.

EurekAlert: Illinois study shows universally positive effect of cover crops on soil microbiome

Only a fraction of conventional row crop farmers grow cover crops after harvest, but a new global analysis from the University of Illinois shows the practice can boost soil microbial abundance by 27 percent.

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