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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: Alabama field day helps educate hundreds

Thanks to its relationship with Saloom Properties LLC, Conecuh County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is able to educate Alabama landowners about a variety of programs available for their forestland. Conecuh County SWCD coordinated with Saloom Tree Farms to hold a field day in September that drew more than 300 people on a rainy day.

NACD Blog: Minnesota SWCD battles oak wilt

Minnesota’s Morrison County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is awaiting legislative approval for a grant that would allow the district to treat oak wilt along the northwestern edge of the disease in Minnesota before it strikes state forestland.

NACD Blog: Natural Resources Districts Active in Flooding Relief
By Sunni Heikes-Knapton

Views like this are accurately conveying the disaster that is being faced by the 14 states expected to be impacted by recent flooding. In the midst of the tragedy, entities like Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts are stepping into supporting roles for the people and land impacted.

Agri-Pulse: USDA prepares for national on-farm soil health demo
By Ed Maixner

The 2018 farm bill tasks USDA with nurturing American agriculture’s conservation groundswell around soil health and associated building of soil organic carbon (SOC). One such assignment is the Soil Health Demonstration Trial (SHDT), in which USDA will pay farmers incentives to adopt and experiment with crop and soil management practices that build up SOC while also establishing participants’ soil carbon baseline and record their success in raising those levels.

Florida Daily: Brian Mast’s Local Water Protection Act Gains Momentum on Capitol Hill

The legislation reauthorizes the EPA’s Section 319 Grant Program, which, as Mast’s office noted, “addresses nonpoint source pollution through state-run nonpoint pollution management programs and related technical assistance.” The bill also more than doubles funds for Section 319, moving it from $70 million a year to $200 million for Fiscal Years 2020 through 2024.

Politico: Disaster aid bill hits snag after Trump tells GOP Puerto Rico gets too much storm assistance
By Marianne Levine and Burgess Everett

A massive disaster aid bill is in doubt in the Senate, caught between Senate Democrats pushing for more assistance for Puerto Rico and President Donald Trump’s criticism that the U.S. territory is already receiving too much hurricane aid.

U.S.AgNet: Scientists Study How Soil Microbiome Affects Prairie Health

Scientists believe there's a strong parallel with the community of soil microorganisms -- known as the soil microbiome -- and its influence on the health and resilience of grasslands.

ABC10: California's drought may be over, but its trees are still dying
By Jessica Pettengill

According to the ecologists who compiled this year's Forest Health survey, the end state-wide of California's drought is expected to be a breeding ground for the fungus responsible for Sudden Oak Death.

Fox 5: Monarch butterfly numbers rise dramatically, says Texas A&M researcher
By Elizabeth Evans

Monarch butterflies are flying high again after several years in decline. The number of monarch butterflies appears to be up dramatically, by almost as much as 144 percent.

NBC Bay Area: California Awards $63M in Grants to Promote Healthy Forests

The projects include thinning dense and pest-impacted forests; using prescribed fire to reduce hazardous fuel loads; and planting trees in forests diminished by fire, drought, insects and disease.

Scientific American: Can Soil Microbes Slow Climate Change?
By John J. Berger

Through photosynthesis, the cover crops pulled CO2 from the air, sank roots deep into the earth, and towered over the land. The results were unusual—and highly controversial. Johnson reported a net annual increase of almost 11 metric tons of soil carbon per hectare on his cropland.

KNEB: Study Aims to Keep Water Safe from Phosphorus, Sediment

Moorberg is in the second of a two-year project looking at how well buffer strips essentially soak up phosphorus and sediment before those pollutants can get into waterways. What he hopes to find out by the end of this year is whether the buffer strips are able to function as a natural ecosystem, even as the forested areas age. K-State’s work on this project is being done in coordination with local conservation districts.

Duluth News Tribune: St. Louis River cleanup reaches another goal
By John Myers

The second of nine legacy pollution problems that have the St. Louis River estuary listed as a federal "Area of Concern" on the Great Lakes has been officially checked off the list. That leaves seven impairments still on the federal list that keeps the estuary one of 43 formal polluted hotspots on the Great Lakes.

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