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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.
2018 Farm bill - Sustainability via Agri-Pulse
(Opinion) There's no sustainability title in the 2014 Farm Bill, and there probably shouldn't be one in the 2018 bill either. But as the next farm bill develops, we need to keep sustainability in the forefront of our thinking as we envision agriculture in the 21st Century. We need to find ways to manage data and information to respond to today's consumer and customer needs without overburdening individual farmers and ranchers with overlapping recordkeeping or jeopardizing data confidentiality.
This year, after a 40-day string in June and July when no rain fell as the sun blazed down into this little valley and the other valleys of north-central Pennsylvania and up into New England, the earth is dry. Ponds have turned to mud and in the fields, a brown dust is rising, even as farmers plant their fall crops – crops they depend on to feed their cows and livestock and, in turn, all of us.
Iowa is home to some of the richest farmland in the country, but Des Moines Water Works says that has come with an environmental price. The city water authority has filed a lawsuit against three rural counties claiming that nitrate from fertilizer is contaminating their urban water supply.
Taking Down Dams and Letting the Fish Flow via The New York Times
Nationwide, dam removals are gaining traction. Four dams are slated for removal from the Klamath River alone in California and Oregon by 2020. Just a few of these removals have occurred on such large rivers, which play an outsize role in coastal ecosystems. But the lessons are the same everywhere: Unplug the rivers, and the fish will return.
The drought truly began in May in Alabama, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The latest update from the drought monitor last week declared that 98.48 percent of the state was suffering from some type of drought. This is a problem that can't be washed away with a heavy downpour or two. The National Weather Service forecast office in Huntsville last week said that outlooks indicate the drought will only get worse by the end of the year.
Species may be listed as threatened based on climate change projections, court says via The Los Angeles Times
“If this opinion stands, the National Marine Fisheries Service would list a species that is abundant and in good health based on the claim that climate change will impact habitat over the next 100 years and may cause harm,” said Brad Meyen, senior assistant attorney general for Alaska.
Bundy Brothers Acquitted in Takeover of Oregon Wildlife Refuge via The New York Times
In a monthlong trial, the defendants never denied that they had occupied and held the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters for nearly six weeks, demanding that the federal government surrender the 188,000-acre property to local control. But their lawyers argued that prosecutors did not prove that the group had engaged in an illegal conspiracy that kept federal workers – employees of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management – from doing their jobs.
Gov. Rick Scott and the state Cabinet agreed Tuesday to spend more than $22 million to preserve three pieces of land covering 14,000 acres, with much of the money coming from the Florida Forever conservation program.
When animals share, conservation is affordable via Cornell Chronicle
Researchers at Cornell, Georgia Tech and the U.S. Forest Service have found that when a corridor includes areas that are hospitable to two species, the cost is far less than it would be to create separate corridors for each one. This also means more animals can be helped within the same limited budget. Given the suitability of every available parcel of land, along with the purchase price, a computer can evaluate, in a “smart way,” many possible combinations of connected parcels to find a route that best satisfies all the animals’ needs at the lowest total cost.
A new study from the University of Delaware has found that when given the choice, people prefer to invest their money in conservation, such as protecting key areas of a watershed — also referred to as green infrastructure — rather than in traditional water treatment plants — also referred to as gray infrastructure.
Opinion: The Next President Should be a Force for Conservation via Outdoor Life
(Opinion) The challenges of today have not diminished. If anything, arguments can be made that they have increased. Water is still a significant issue for both people and wildlife. Access to public lands is an increasing challenge, and balancing the needs of a diverse public in the regulatory arena is more and more difficult. There is little doubt that the next president of the United States will face challenges on natural resource use and conservation that many believe have not been seen since the 1930s, and that she or he will either have a significant place in history for finding solutions to the challenges, or be remembered for allowing them to become malignant.
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