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Conservation Clip List is a weekly collection of articles distributed by NACD that provides our members and partners with the latest news in what's driving conservation. If you have a relevant submission, please contact your NACD Communications Team.

NACD Blog: NACD releases its “Nine Farm Bill Principles”

Every year, NACD releases what we think are appropriate funding levels for conservation programs housed under USDA, the Interior Department, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). After conducting a survey – which received over 500 responses – NACD’s farm bill task force distilled the needs of our member districts and state associations into nine principles.

NACD Blog: Texas association hosts ‘Soil Health Short Course’

Last week, more than 250 producers attended the Texas Soil Health Short Course – a two-day event hosted in partnership by the Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Texas NRCS, and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board. The short course featured presentations and demonstrations by scientists and NACD Soil Health Champions, and was capped off with a field tour.

NACD Blog: Did You Know? Recommendations for District Communications

Conservation districts need to develop and implement a communications plan that clearly articulates their identity and message consistently across all media while maximizing contacts for the district, its partners, the public, and government leaders.

Water rule rollback gives growers what they wanted from Trump via The Los Angeles Times

Trump ordered his new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, to scale back the agency’s interpretation of the Clean Water Act. The Trump executive order directs the agency to follow Scalia's narrower interpretation of the Clean Water Act, which explicitly exempts most agricultural activities.

Ryan Zinke Sworn In as Interior Secretary, Giving Him Oversight of US Public Lands via NBC Washington

Former Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke was sworn in Wednesday as secretary of the Interior Department, assuming oversight of 400 million acres of public land, mostly in the West. Zinke also pledged to tackle an estimated $12 billion backlog in maintenance and repair at national parks and stand firm against attempts to sell, give away, or transfer federal lands.

White House eyes plan to cut EPA staff by one-fifth, eliminating key programs via The Washington Post

The White House has proposed deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget that would reduce the agency’s staff by one-fifth in the first year and eliminate dozens of programs. As proposed, the EPA’s staff would be slashed from its current level of 15,000 to 12,000. Grants to states, as well as its air and water programs, would be cut by 30 percent.

Farmers: Protect conservation, crop insurance but tweak commodity programs via Agri-Pulse

The Senate Agriculture Committee launched its hearings on the new farm bill, hearing from farmers in Kansas who appealed for changes to some commodity programs, new support for cotton growers, and continued funding for conservation.

Feral pig data being collected via Pacific Daily News

Guam has a feral swine pilot program in place. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, experts are tracking how many feral swine there are on the island.

Advocates urge judge to keep injunction on Yellowstone dam via The Washington Post

Wildlife advocates are urging a federal judge to keep in place an injunction blocking a $57 million irrigation dam and fish passage proposed for the Yellowstone River. The Natural Resources Defense Council and Defenders of Wildlife say the dam near the Montana-North Dakota border could cause an endangered fish species to disappear from the upper Missouri River Basin.

Prioritize funding for clean water via LancasterOnline

(Opinion) The Farm Bill plays an incredible and necessary role in the fight for clean water by providing conservation assistance to our farmers. We want our farmers to have the money to do what is necessary to make our water safe. Through Farm Bill programs, landowners have implemented 95,000 conservation projects in Pennsylvania from 2011-15, but more needs to be done.

Humans tripled length of wildfire season in US by sparking more than 800k blazes via Mongabay

The researchers found that humans created an average of 40,000 additional wildfires during the spring, fall, and winter every year during the study period — more than 35 times the number of fires started by lightning in those seasons. In all, 84 percent of the 1.5 million total wildfires included in the study were caused by people, with lightning sparking the remainder of the blazes. Human-caused wildfires account for nearly half of the total acreage burned.

Midwest, Wyoming lawmakers target wolf protections again via The Washington Post

Pressure is building in Congress to take gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region and Wyoming off the endangered list, which would allow farmers to kill the animals if they threaten livestock. Meanwhile, both sides in the debate are waiting for a federal appeals court to decide whether to uphold lower court rulings that put wolves in four states back on the list or to let the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service return management of the species to the states.

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