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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: Navigating Troubled Waters in South Dakota
By Sunni Heikes-Knapton

The story of a river is fascinating. It flows through time, space and cultures, while producing and supporting life.

NACD Blog: Ready, Set, Go!
By Katrina Vaitkus

In 2011, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) launched the Ready, Set, Go! (RSG) Program. The vision for the program is to provide tools, resources and a platform for fire and emergency response agencies to engage their community in both preparing before and during a wildland fire.

NACD Blog: Continuing conservation education despite COVID-19 restrictions
By Megan Goyette

The Sierra Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in Truth or Consequences, N.M., received a 2020 Friends of NACD District Grant to help fund the first-ever Conservation Days summer camp this past July.

NACD Blog: NCF #FutureFocused Q&A with Patti Lardie

Patti Lardie, a retired government sales manager for Case IH, is a National Conservation Foundation (NCF) Board Member from Poynette, Wisconsin.

NACD Blog: Oregon SWCD organizes biochar workshops

The Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is listening to Oregon landowners and catering to a growing interest in biochar.

NACD Blog: NRDs working with Nebraska Forest Service to renovate windbreaks

Natural Resources Districts (NRD) are teaming with the Nebraska Forest Service (NFS) and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to address declining forests and windbreaks across the state with a $4.3 million grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Agri-Pulse: Program flexibility, experimentation drive EQIP popularity
By Ben Nuelle

(Subscriber Only) The Environmental Quality Incentives Program has grown in popularity over the years, and with that popularity, demand far outstrips the number of contracts approved. Coleman Garrison, director of governmental affairs at the National Association of Conservation Districts, said since the program can be targeted to localized water resource concerns like water quality, improving wildlife or soil health, that makes it competitive.

Ohio Farm Bureau: Holmes County member wins pollinator award
By Kelli Milligan Stammen

The National Association of Conservation Districts and Pollinator Partnership presented Jim Croskey of Dalroy Farms in Holmes County with the 2020 Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award in October.

Pipestone County STAR: SWCD to begin new program to improve water quality in local creeks
By Kyle Kuphal

"The main thing that we’re going to accomplish is to get people to install water sources other than the stream and that’s going to be a big advantage because a lot of people rely on the stream to water the livestock,” said SWCD member Ian Cunningham.

Successful Farming: Clean water, healthy soil
By Megan Schilling 

“There is an old saying that Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) are the state’s best kept secret,” says Grant Hammer, executive director of the Association of Illinois SWCD. “They’re integral to the conversation for the frontline delivery system for soil health and conservation, but are sometimes overlooked.”

Cleveland.com: Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District debuts grant and scholarship program
By Chris M. Worrell

The Conservation Action Grant & Scholarship Fund focuses on conservation education and projects that will improve area soil and water resources. The program is open to educators, students wishing to attend conservation-oriented trainings, neighborhood organizations, friends groups, schools, residents and various others.

Newport Dispatch: Holland farmer working with Conservation District highlights local water quality improvements

The Orleans County Conservation District and partners say they have focused on improving water quality throughout the local watershed.

The News Tribune: Need to reduce your carbon? You can ‘buy’ these Pierce Co. trees without digging them up
By Craig Sailor

A program that’s adding trees to Pierce County’s publicly owned wild spaces will help businesses offset their carbon footprints. The Pierce Conservation District is the first in the nation to start such a program, said executive director Ryan Mello.

Rappahannock News: Protecting Paradise — Rivers, streams and soil: Signs of progress, but work remains
By Sara Schonhardt

Yet the fact that the report card essentially mirrors publicly available data is one reason Welch and others shouldn’t have been surprised, said Greg Wichelns, district manager at the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District (CSWCD), a semi-governmental agency that includes Rappahannock in its five-county service area and works to encourage conservation management best practices.

Central Maine: Watershed project moves ahead at Unity Pond
By Greg Levinsky

The Friends of Lake Winnecook, a group of 147 members, has partnered with other agencies, including the Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District, to secure a $45,058 grant through the federal Clean Water Act to study Unity Pond.

ScienceDaily: In fire-prone West, plants need their pollinators -- and vice versa

A new study grounded in the northern Rockies explores the role of fire in the finely tuned dance between plants and their pollinators.

E&E News: Plan released to reduce massive wildfires in West

(Subscriber Only) U.S. officials [last] Friday released an overarching plan for removing or changing vegetation over a huge swath of the U.S. West to stop devastating wildfires on land used for cattle ranching, recreation and habitat for imperiled sage grouse.

Agri-Pulse: When blazes sapped firefighters, farmers took over. Now they want state help to do more
By Brad Hooker

(Subscriber Only) As hundreds of wildfires threatened rural communities for months on end, firefighters grew exhausted, resources stretched thin and the rescue system became fractured. That’s when farmers stepped in as firefighters.

News Medical Life Sciences: NRCS supports University of Illinois to clean agricultural drainage water

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has awarded $1.12 million to support the University of Illinois-led research to clean agricultural drainage water through saturated buffers and denitrifying bioreactors.

The Southern Maryland Chronicle: Coastal Farmers Being Driven Off Their Land As Salt Poisons The Soil
By Bill Lambrecht and Gracie Todd

With seas rising, farmers along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts increasingly suffer from one of the initial impacts of climate change: saltwater intrusion. The plague of salt is arriving not just from storms and tide but also underground, where it can migrate undetected until crops shrivel. Often, the damage is compounded by farming methods ingrained over the years.

Morning Ag Clips: Worm-like, soil-swimming robots to explore crop underworld

Now, a Cornell University project will develop worm-like, soil-swimming robots to sense and record soil properties, water, the soil microbiome and how roots grow.

Earth.com: Bacteria can unlock phosphorus in the soil to help plants grow
By Chrissy Sexton

In a study from the University of Washington, scientists have successfully introduced microbes into soil to make phosphorus more available to the roots of agricultural crops. The researchers collected the microbes from wild trees growing along the Snoqualmie River.

Penn State News: Researchers aim to 'upcycle' nutrient waste on farms using duckweed
By Tim Schley

With a $1.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Penn State researchers will investigate how duckweed could be grown on Pennsylvania farms to limit nutrient pollution into the Chesapeake Bay.

CBS News: Severe wildfires burning 8 times more area in western U.S., study finds
By Jeff Berardelli

In fact, according to a new study, there's been an eight-fold increase since the mid-1980s in annual area burned by high-severity wildfires — defined as a fire that kills more than 95 percent of trees. The transformation in fire behavior has happened fast, with this exponential increase happening in just one generation over the course of 30 years.

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