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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: Great American Outdoors Act Signed into Law
By Mary Scott

On Tuesday, Aug. 4, President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) into law. GAOA received bipartisan support and passed the Senate on June 17 with a 73-25 vote, followed by the House approving it 310-107 on July 22. Momentum for the bill comes on the heels of President Trump’s request for Congress to take up the issue after expressing his support in early March.

The Sandpaper: Ocean County Soil Conservation District Awarded Grant for Aquaculture Project
By Juliet Kaszas-Hoch

For the third year, the nonprofit National Association of Conservation Districts technical assistance grant program, created with funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is aiding farmers, ranchers and local communities throughout the country. As part of this program, the Ocean County Soil Conservation District has been awarded funding to support its Sustainable Practices for Aquaculture Resources Conservation project.

Columbia Business Report: Federal grant to help teach residents about birds and bees

“BEE-friend Local Pollinators,” a garden demonstration area at Pinewood Lake Park, will receive a $29,287 Urban Agriculture Conservation grant to help fund an online video series beginning this week. The area, closed to the public because of COVID-19 health concerns, is being used by the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District to provide technical assistance with pollinator conservation to educators, small farmers, and home and community gardeners.

The Hill: Trump signs major conservation bill into law
By Rachel Frazin

The LWCF provides money to protect endangered species habitats, develop parks and outdoor recreation sites and protect sensitive forests. It was permanently authorized last year, but its funding was never guaranteed. The bill would also provide up to $1.9 billion annually for five years for national park maintenance.

Agri-Pulse: Lohr to depart NRCS post
By Spencer Chase

(Subscriber Only) Matt Lohr, who has served as the only appointed chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service during the Trump administration, is leaving USDA, he announced Friday in a social media post.

Feedstuffs: Farmer-led stewardship working in Chesapeake Bay

Over the past two years, farms comprising more than 10,000 acres in the Chesapeake Bay have worked with Truterra LLC -- the sustainability business at Land O'Lakes Inc., one of America's largest farmer-owned cooperatives -- Campbell Soup Co. and The Mill, a Land O'Lakes agricultural retailer, in ongoing efforts to track the progress of conservation practices in the region. Year-over-year data showed that participating acres were greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions neutral, and some acres were net-emissions negative, primarily driven by adoption of conservation tillage and cover crops.

E&E News: Lawmakers unveil long-awaited wildfire legislation
By Marc Heller

(Subscriber Only) House and Senate lawmakers proposed legislation [Wednesday] to reduce wildfire threats in Western forests through speedier thinning projects and greater protection for homes and utility lines.

Progressive Farmer: Big Data to Calculate Carbon
By Chris Clayton

Major ag companies have made a big splash over the past month, rolling out new digital tools and tech alliances they say will help farmers improve their farm's efficiency and lower their environmental footprint.

Phys.org: Gulf of Mexico's 'dead zone' much smaller this year
By Janet McConnaughey

Tropical weather stirred up the Gulf of Mexico, reducing this year's dead zone off Louisiana's coast to the third-smallest ever measured, the scientist who has measured it since 1985 said Tuesday.

Southeast AgNet: Maximizing Benefits of Cover Crops for Soil Health

Investing in soil health is an adaptive strategy to improve the sustainability and productivity of soils. Cover cropping is a management practice in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) toolbox used to contribute to soil health on working lands.

Agri-Pulse: Wildlife agencies float definition of 'habitat' in ESA
By Steve Davies

(Subscriber Only) The Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service are proposing to define “habitat” in the Endangered Species Act for the first time, in response to a 2018 Supreme Court decision.

Growing America: Integrating Cattle Grazing in Row Crop Systems to Increase Yields, Reduce Inputs, and Improve Soil Health

Many crop producers in the Panhandle utilize conservation tillage when planting into winter fallow weeds or cover crops. UF/IFAS research data over the years show that cover crops can help prevent erosion and conserve moisture, but may not always increase yields.

WebWire: 2.1 Million Acres of Grassland Habitat Lost in North American Great Plains in One Year

Approximately 2.1 million acres of intact grassland habitat in the U.S. and Canadian Great Plains were plowed under for row-crop production in 2018, according to World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) 2020 Plowprint Report.

AgriLife: Old-growth grasslands should be valued, not destroyed

Environmental policymakers value ancient forests, but ancient, or old-growth, grasslands have not received the same recognition. That’s a mistake, according to a new Texas A&M AgriLife study.

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