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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: Top Three Tips (That You Might Not Know) for Saving Water in Your Yard 
By Phil Dwyer

In celebration of World Water Day and spring greenup, we’re sharing tips and insights to help you understand ways to maximize lawn water use efficiency all season long.

NACD Blog: Webinar helps educate conservation professionals about silvopasture

More than 100 New York Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and soil and water conservation district (SWCD) staff tuned into a silvopasture webinar in February.

NACD Blog: Portal helping districts monitor resource concerns including wildfire

Through a cooperative agreement between the Arizona Association of Conservation Districts (AACD) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Timmons Group has partnered with AACD and NRCS to develop the ConserveAZ Portal, a system to assist Arizona’s conservation districts and NRCS to better identify resource conservation needs and concerns to develop conservation plans; monitor progress in priority areas and track problem areas; and measure how NRCS funding is used for on-the-ground conservation projects and to record qualitative results.

NACD Blog: SWCDs join forces to expand forestry educational programs

Lincoln, Gaston and Mecklenberg Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) joined forces to open a forest to the public in North Carolina for forestry and SWCD educational programs, an effort that resulted in state funding for the project.

NACD Blog: Technical Assistance Grants get Conservation on the Ground in North Carolina
By Katrina Vaitkus

North Carolina’s conservation districts have seen a boost in technical assistance thanks to NACD technical assistance (TA) grants awarded to the North Carolina Division of Soil and Water Conservation.

Skagit Valley Herald: Conservation district program helps Skagit farmers plant winter cover crops
By Jacqueline Allison

A Skagit Conservation District pilot program helped 10 Skagit County farmers plant 439 acres of cover crops this fall.

Montrose Press: Shavano and San Miguel Basin conservation districts propose merger
By Michael Cox

Shavano Conservation District Board Supervisor, Jack Brungardt, added: “Working together will preserve and enhance the mission of both Conservation Districts. There is strength in numbers and by consolidating Districts, we will be better able to serve the conservation needs and provide resources to landowners currently in the San Miguel Basin Conservation District.”

The Free Press: Cleveland area farmer participates in project to restore wetland
By Tim Krohn

A $387,000 Clean Water Fund grant from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources was secured, allowing the Le Sueur County SWCD and others to create a larger plan to reduce erosion, sediment and nutrients in the watershed.

AgNet West: USDA to Provide $75 Million for Alternative Practices for Conservation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be supporting unique projects that offer alternative practices for conservation. Up to $75 million will be made available for new projects through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program’s (RCPP) Alternative Funding Arrangements (AFA).

By Chuck Abbott

The government should use USDA conservation programs as the starting point for climate mitigation on the farm and “tread lightly” with unproven ideas like a carbon bank, said the senior Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday.

Phys.org: Researchers develop technology allowing researchers to image wetland soil activity in real time
By Samantha Watters

This technology opens up new research avenues in soil science, and gives a compelling peak at how biochemically active wetland soils really are.

KMA Land: Next-generation microbiome research promises advances
By Brian Wallheimer

“We wanted to gather what we know about the microbiome in an agricultural context and see if that knowledge can be translated into actionable information for farmers,” said Lizzie French.

ScienceDaily: Agricultural biodiversity: Different perceptions in science and practice

To minimize negative impacts of agriculture on biodiversity and related ecosystem services, 'biodiversity-friendly' management is needed.

Chemistry World: Getting to the root of soil nitrogen
By Ian Le Guillou

Just as improved energy efficiency led to reductions in fossil fuel use, helping crops to maximise use of nitrogen fertilisers should lessen the environmental impact. Fortunately, the tools already available in nature have given us a head start and now we know where to look.

WTAJ: Growing gypsy moth population could damage central PA forests
By Yanni Tragellis

Gypsy moth populations across central Pennsylvania have grown over the past few years, and after a dry 2020, concerns over the damage they could cause is growing.

Bloomberg: USDA official promotes federal purchases of carbon credits
By Mike Dorning

The U.S. government should be prepared to support prices farmers receive for carbon credits but avoid setting up a federally run carbon market that would compete with nascent private markets, a senior Agriculture Department official said Tuesday.

Hampshire Review: Forestry releases 10-year plan

The West Virginia Division of Forestry presents an overview of priority actions to conserve, protect, and enhance the state’s forest resources in the 2020 State Forest Action Plan.

Bloomberg: Drought is the U.S. west’s next big climate disaster
By Brian K. Sullivan, Michael Hirtzer, Kim Chapman and Marvin G. Perez

Much of the U.S. West is facing the driest spring in seven years, setting up a climate disaster that could strangle agriculture, fuel deadly wildfires and even hurt power production. 

E&E News: House panel explores changes in forest management
By Marc Heller

(Subscriber Only) Forest managers may need to rethink some of the lessons they learned in school about how to keep the woods healthy, due to the effects of climate change, a Forest Service researcher told lawmakers yesterday.

The Daily Scoop: A Better Mousetrap Is Needed For Carbon Programs, Consortium Says
By Rhonda Brooks

The group is building a national infrastructure program for and around carbon markets through its public-private partnership in the Ecosystems Services Market Consortium (ESMC).

Agri-Pulse: Vilsack: US carbon market needs a focus on farmers
By Bill Thomson

(Subscriber Only) A priority for the USDA in the coming years will be judging the feasibility of setting up, executing and paying for a federal carbon bank to help farmers reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reward them for their actions, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Monday.

CNN: 'Winter is vanishing' from the deep waters of Lake Michigan
By Jennifer Gray

"We found that this long-term data set not only confirms that Lake Michigan's deep waters are warming, but also shows that winter is vanishing from them," said Eric Anderson, the study's lead author.

Payson Roundup: State launches $24 million forest thinning effort
By Peter Aleshire

Staring down the barrel of a dangerous fire season, the Arizona Legislature approved a $24 million boost in state funding to protect forested communities through thinning projects.

Dover Post: Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service joins global pledge to grow one trillion trees

The Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service is the first state agency in the U.S. to make a pledge that supports the 1t.org global goal to conserve, restore and grow one trillion trees by 2030.

High Country News: Megadrought: New Mexico farms face uncertain future
By Cody Nelson

“If we don’t get some above average years, it’s going to get harder and harder to dig ourselves out,” Pegram said. “We’re kind of in a circular pattern here in that streamflow and snowpack has been lower than average for 20 years now.”

The Hill: Scientists claim feeding cows seaweed could slash their methane emissions by a staggering 82 percent
By Joseph Guzman

Feeding cattle just a tiny bit of seaweed each day could help the agriculture industry significantly cut back on greenhouse gas emissions. 

Phys.org: Soils or plants will absorb more CO2 as carbon levels rise—but not both

New research published March 24 in Nature, however, suggests that when elevated carbon dioxide levels drive increased plant growth, it takes a surprisingly steep toll on another big carbon sink: the soil.

Pennlive: Wetland solution for algae blooms and waterfowl decline in Great Lakes targeted in new study
By Marcus Schneck

A $2.1 million, Ducks Unlimited starting this spring will investigate how restored wetland habitats can reduce harmful algae blooms and improve the population of mallards, one of the region’s most important waterfowl.

Magnolia Reporter: Allies enlisting Arkansans as they go to war against feral hogs

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed many human activities, it hasn’t stopped feral hogs from reproducing and causing damage.

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