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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, NRCS announce $2 million for urban agriculture conservation via Garden Center

The National Association of Conservation Districts, in partnership with USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, has awarded $2 million in grants to 42 conservation districts in 25 states to boost technical assistance capacity for urban agriculture and conservation projects.

Judge: Wisconsin must levy environmental protections on farm via Associated Press

A Dane County judge has ruled the Department of Natural Resources can't retract a previous decision and must continue imposing environmental protections on a large dairy farm expansion.

Farm Conservation Improves Water Quality In Upper Mississippi via Wisconsin Public Radio

A new study shows agricultural conservation is making an impact on water quality in the upper Mississippi river basin. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Geological Survey came together to measure how farm conservation practices have affected nutrient levels in the upper Mississippi river. Using data from the early 2000s, researchers found that farmers were able to reduce nitrogen levels up to 34 percent and phosphorus levels up to 10 percent through practices like reduced till or nutrient management.

Farmers urge Iowa legisators to consider more incentives for conservation via The Gazette

Linn County farmer Jim Greif has taken cover crops to their logical conclusion. For the past five years, after harvesting corn and soybeans, Greif has planted cereal rye — a non-cash crop — to protect his soil from erosion, to improve its health and fertility and to prevent the loss of nutrients into surface water. This year Greif is engaged in an experiment to determine if he can achieve the same benefits while also harvesting two cash crops.

Payment denied for crop loss from sewer discharge via Argus Leader

The decision wasn’t a surprise for Todd Magnuson, even though he didn’t understand the reasoning. About 13 acres of Magnuson’s farm ground south of Sioux Falls was flooded with Big Sioux River floodwater in 2010, shortly after Mayor Mike Huether decided to discharge 187,000 gallons of untreated sewage into the river upstream. The crops could not be spared.

Iowa is losing millions of trees — and it's hurting water quality, experts say via The Des Moines Register

Iowa's thirst for new farmland helped drive the loss of 97,000 acres of woodlands in just five years, a new federal report shows. It's the first time in nearly 40 years that the state has seen a net loss of forested land, a disturbing development that experts fear is contributing to Iowa's problems with farm runoff and poor water quality.

GOP platform suggests splitting nutrition programs from farm bill via Agri-Pulse

The Republican platform levels a broad attack on the Obama administration's regulatory agenda but offers a more mixed message on trade and seems to suggest dividing nutrition programs from the farm bill. The platform, approved on the opening day of the convention, contains far more extensive language on agriculture than the draft Democratic version.

$2.8M expansion starts at seven-acre urban farm in Rainier Beach via Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce

The Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands is expanding so Seattle Tilth can grow more food and teach more people about urban agriculture and environmental stewardship. The $2.8 million project at the organic farm at 5513 S. Cloverdale St. is expected to be complete in April 2017.

New Schemes Pay You to Save Species—But Will They Work? via Smithsonian.com

The greater sage-grouse is a bird in trouble. Once flourishing across the sagebrush and scrublands of the western United States and Canada, its numbers have plummeted by 98 percent in the past century. Despite that, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declined to list Centrocercus urophasianus under the Endangered Species Act in 2015. Ongoing agricultural and energy development in the West means that the bird will have few options to recover its once-plentiful numbers.

Former Interior head enlisted for California giant tunnels via Salon.com

California Gov. Jerry Brown has enlisted a Washington senior statesman to help his massive, $15.7 billion water tunnel proposal clear regulatory and financial hurdles, officials said Thursday.

Minnesota Farm Recognized for Outstanding Environmental Stewardship via Minnesota Farm Guide

Stoney Creek Farm in Redwood Falls, Minn., has been selected as one of six regional honorees of the Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP). The award, announced during the 2016 Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting July 14, 2016, recognizes outstanding stewardship and conservation efforts. This year’s regional winners will compete for the national award, which will be announced during the Annual Cattle Industry Convention in February 2017.                        

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