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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: Friends of NACD District Grant Program helps Butte SWCD keep waste out of landfills 
By Stephanie Barnes

In 2020, the Butte Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), located in Arco, Idaho, was awarded a Friends of NACD grant to install a locally accessible recycling bin for agricultural chemical containers. 

NACD Blog: Improving Livestock Watering Systems in Oconee, South Carolina
By Katrina Stacey

Thanks to a 2018 NACD Technical Assistance Grant, the Oconee Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has been able to address a backlog of Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) requests and contracts in South Carolina.

PennLive: New manager of York County Conservation District sees ‘a lot of challenges’ ahead
By Paul Vigna

The York County Conservation District Board of Directors has hired Jeffrey Hill to be the district’s manager. He hopes that one day every resident in York County will know what a conservation district is and how it can be a resource for everyone from people in the city to the farmers near the Mason-Dixon Line. He views the conservation district’s role as one that serves an entire community.

JG-TC: Coles County Soil and Water Conservation District receives grant for Embarras River Watershed Management Plan
By Clint Walker

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director John Kim announced Coles County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will receive over $106,000 in grant funding to update portions of the 2011 Embarras River Watershed Management Plan.

The Daily News: Wyoming County Soil and Water Conservation District releases 2020 report

The Wyoming County Soil & Water Conservation District has released its 2020 statistics in its annual report.

West Central Tribune: Kandiyohi County Soil and Water Conservation District continues to conserve and protect environment despite pandemic
By Shelby Lindrud

The Kandiyohi County Soil and Water Conservation District continued to conserve and protect the environment in 2020, despite the challenges of the coronavirus brought to its programming.

Emmett Messenger Index: Permanent addition to future community celebrations
By Del Gray

The Gem Soil and Water Conservation District is focused on a program for the conservation, use and development of soil, water, and other natural resources.

WTOV9: Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District may be able to help with septic systems
By Paul Giannamore

The district has been awarded $150,000 in a home sewage treatment program grant this year. It's been applying for the grants since 2013 and has replaced about 70 home septic systems to the benefit of the environment.

MyNorthwest: ‘The difference is staggering’: King County district forges ahead on smartphone voting
By Nick Bowman

In 2020, the King Conservation District (KCD) pioneered an electronic, smartphone-enabled voting system for its Board Supervisor election. It’s giving that system another shot this year, while King County Elections mulls over possibilities for further expansion.

Phys.org: Adaptation, not irrigation, recommended for Midwest corn farmers
By Emilie Lorditch

Farmers in the Midwest may be able to bypass the warming climate not by getting more water for their crops, but instead by adapting to climate change through soil management says a new study from Michigan State University.

Civil Eats: Small Farmers Are Struggling After the Texas Big Freeze
By Andy Hirschfeld

Crop failures, seed shortages, and livestock deaths will have ongoing impacts on all types of farmers—but smaller, diversified farmers are bearing the brunt of a lack of state support.

PennState: Farmland acreage falls in Pa. while population rises in prime agricultural areas
By Chuck Gill

The number of acres of farmland in Pennsylvania fell by 6 percent between 2012 and 2017, at a time when the state's prime farming regions are experiencing population growth that may create long-term challenges for producers.

Westernbass: Invasive Species Prevention with Wildlife Forever

A new invasive species coalition, is celebrating significant milestones in preventing expansion of invasive species after the first anniversary of an important agreement.

The Guardian: Is this the end of forests as we've known them?
By Alastair Gee

Trees lost to drought and wildfires are not returning. Climate change is taking a toll on the world’s forests - and radically changing the environment before our eyes.

Smithsonian Magazine: Climate Change Lays Waste to Butterflies Across American West
By Alex Fox

Study documents declines across hundreds of species over recent decades, and finds years featuring warmer, drier autumns are particularly deadly.


Improving soil health can help farmers build drought resilience, increase nutrient availability, suppress diseases, reduce erosion and nutrient losses, and increase economic benefits according to recent Soil Health Institute research.

The Fence Post: USDA invests $285M to improve national forest and grassland infrastructure

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today, March 8, announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture will invest $285 million to help the Forest Service address critical deferred maintenance and improve transportation and recreation infrastructure on national forests and grasslands.

The Daily Scoop: New Study Details Financial Risks And Rewards With Conservation Farming Practices
By Rhonda Brooks

Fields using conservation tillage practices achieved higher net returns per acre than conventionally tilled fields for both corn and soybeans

National Geographic: Invasive grass is overwhelming U.S. deserts—providing fuel for wildfires
By Shaena Montanari

In Arizona, the problem is so severe that the grass is officially labeled a noxious weed, but the grass has spread to numerous states from Hawaii to Florida. It shades the ground as it multiplies, which prevents the growth of other species of seedlings.

ScienceDaily: Limiting invasive species may be a better goal than eliminating them

Managing invasive species -- not eliminating them altogether -- is a better use of time and conservation resources in many cases, according to a biologist.

Farm Bureau: What’s in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for Agriculture?

In early March the Senate passed, on a party-line vote, the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package (The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021).

Environmental Defense Fund: Study shows healthy soils protect corn yields and lower crop insurance payouts
By Emily Oldfield

Managing risks presented by extreme weather conditions such as heat and drought is a top priority of farmers and policymakers, as researchers predict that higher temperatures and reduced precipitation could reduce yields by up to 30 percent over the next 50 years.

Press Herald: Our View: A strong Maine farming industry starts with healthy soil

(Opinion) When it comes to farming, it all starts with the soil. That was the message last week at a hearing that would create the Maine Healthy Soils Program within the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry: The future of Maine farming is full of potential. Agriculture has so much to give to this state, and this region. But farmers need support — starting at very beginning.

KOLD13: Governor Ducey signs legislation to promote forest health and prevent wildfires

Arizona will have more boots on the ground to prevent wildfires under a bill signed [on Tuesday] by Governor Doug Ducey.

Directions Mag: Chesapeake Bay Restoration, Conservation to Benefit from New Approach to Data Mapping

Defenders of Wildlife and Chesapeake Conservancy have made a dataset available for the first time that will benefit the restoration and conservation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and will have implications far beyond.

Truthout: Wildfires Will Keep Getting Worse — Even in “Best Case” Climate Scenarios
By Mike Ludwig

Even under a “best case” scenario where greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly reduced in the coming decades and global warming is limited to 2 degrees Celsius, climate change will still drastically increase the size and likelihood of destructive wildfires globally, according to a new international study published in Environmental Research Letters.

Agri-Pulse: Senate confirms Regan as EPA administrator
By Steve Davies

(Subscriber Only) The Senate confirmed Michael Regan on a bipartisan 66-34 vote Wednesday as the 15th administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Phys.org: Manure improves soil and microbe community

"We know that planting perennial grasslands for cattle production can help protect and restore soil in semi-arid lands that are likely to erode and degrade from intense farming," Slaughter says. "But producers need additional ways to increase soil carbon and nutrient stores."

New Scientist: Carbon-negative crops may mean water shortages for 4.5 billion people
By Adam Vaughan

Billions more people could have difficulty accessing water if the world opts for a massive expansion in growing energy crops to fight climate change, research has found.

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