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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:  Forestry Notes Q&A: Paul DeLong

Paul DeLong is senior vice president for the American Tree Farm System & Conservation at the American Forest Foundation (AFF). Recently, he spent time with NACD Forestry Notes to discuss his work and experience with forest conservation.

Beef Magazine: FEEDD Act to alleviate livestock feed shortages

The FEEDD Act is supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Milk Producers Federation [and the] National Association of Conservation Districts.

The Globe: Pipestone farmer to serve on national board

Cunningham elected second vice president of the National Association of Conservation Districts.

Western Governors' Association: LISTEN: Learn the importance of invasive species data to conservation districts in Out West podcast
By Bill Whitacre

Listen as Bill Whitacre, Senior Policy Advisor at WGA, speaks with Keith Owen, the South Central Region representative for the National Association of Conservation Districts. They will discuss how invasive species impact the work of conservation districts, and why it is important to share invasive species data.

The Blade: Envirothon competition to be held online

The 2021 Ohio Federation of Soil Water Conservation Districts' Area 1 Envirothon competition will be offered online because of the pandemic

Park Rapids Enterprise: Hubbard County Soil & Water Conservation District overseeing three watershed plans
By Shannon M. Geisen

In recent years, the Hubbard County Board and Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) have collaborated with neighboring counties who share those watersheds to develop 10-year, comprehensive watershed management plans (WMP), formerly known as One Watershed One Plans.

Bennington Banner: Batten Kill outreach effort underway with Vermont Watershed Grant

Last year, Trout Unlimited (TU) and Bennington County Conservation District (BCCD) received a Vermont Watershed Grant from Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and Vermont Fish & Wildlife and support from the Batten Kill Watershed Alliance to conduct outreach to landowners about the importance of Forests to Fish (specifically trout).

My Radio Link: Illinois EPA Awards $106,613 to Coles County Soil and Water Conservation District for Update of the 2011 Embarras River Watershed Management Plan

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.

POLITICO: Vilsack confirmed as Agriculture secretary
By Helena Bottemiller Evich

The Senate on Tuesday easily confirmed Tom Vilsack, President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Agriculture Department, by a 92-7 vote.

NPR: New Evidence Shows Fertile Soil Gone From Midwestern Farms
By Dan Charles

The most fertile topsoil is entirely gone from a third of all the land devoted to growing crops across the upper Midwest, the scientists say. Some of their colleagues, however, remain skeptical about the methods that produced this result.

AGDAILY: Cover crop trends & practices in the United States

In fiscal year 2018, USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) obligated $155 million in planned payments toward cover crops on about 2 million acres. This is about 20 times the level of financial support for cover crops through EQIP in 2005, driven primarily by an increase in acres enrolled in a cover crop practice.

Midwest Messenger: Cover crops have key role in resilient soils
By Amy Hadachek

Resilience is the ability to recover from stress, and in the case of crops, healthy soil helps guard against water stress.

Great Lakes Now: Big Benefits from Experimental Watersheds
By Terri Cook

More than a half century’s worth of high-resolution observations from within this network have led to unprecedented understanding of watershed processes.

National Geographic: Same force behind Texas deep freeze could drive prolonged heat waves
By Madeleine Stone

But the same climate connection scientists are debating—Arctic warming causing the jet stream to meander further south—might also cause the southern United States to experience more persistent heat waves in the future. 

The Wichita Eagle: Inventors imagine a farming future without floods and hail storms wrecking crops
By Sarah Spicer

In a small town in Kansas, two inventors are experimenting with a new way of growing food, which they believe could change farming in Kansas and the Midwest.

E&E News: Agricultural emissions rose, but farm group sees progress
By Marc Heller

(Subscriber Only) Land use trends in the report suggest farmers are moving in a positive direction, the American Farm Bureau Federation said. U.S. cropland production increased by 50 percent since 1990, and the net amount of carbon emissions and carbon sinks tied to land use has stayed about even, the group said.

9News: CU scientists study poor soil health on farming lands

CU scientists said poor soil health is not just leading to huge dust storms – it's also costing farmers billions of dollars.

The Wall Street Journal: California’s Plan to Save Its 1,000-Year-Old Redwoods From Wildfires
By Jim Carlton

Ancient giant redwoods are among the charred survivors in Big Basin Redwoods State Park after a wildfire last year. Now rangers and conservationists are developing plans to better protect them out of fear that the world’s tallest trees may not survive future blazes that are almost certain to come.

RFD-TV: There is a new study on how no-till and cover crops impact producers' bottom line

There is a new study on conservation efforts in the Midwest. The financial analysis covers seven Midwestern farms. The Soil Health Partnership and the Environmental Defense Fund studied the farm balance sheets for more than 21,000 acres of corn and soybeans in the Midwest to see how no-till and cover crops impact the bottom line. 

WUFT: UF Scientists Set To Study Spread Of Florida’s Invasive Species
By Walter Harwood

A team of scientists from the University of Florida hopes to address the invasive species problem by predicting how invasive species will move and migrate over the next 50 years as climate change, urbanization and other factors reshape the landscape.

NOLA.com: How much carbon can Louisiana's wetlands hold? New study aims to find out
By Halle Parker

A new study seeks to quantify just how much carbon is already sequestered by the state's coastal habitats and to develop a methodology for calculating the carbon benefits and costs of coastal restoration projects.

Phys.org: Climate impacts drive east-west divide in forest seed production

Younger, smaller trees that comprise much of North America's eastern forests have increased their seed production under climate change, but older, larger trees that dominate forests in much of the West have been less responsive, a new Duke University-led study finds.

AgWeb: A Commitment to Soil Health Builds Resilience for Mid-Atlantic Farmers

The benefits of healthy soils keep growing with time. While it takes more than a season to see results, a commitment to basic soil health practices returns visible benefits sooner than many people would think. In fact, a recent survey by CTIC  found that 58% saw soil health benefits in under two years.

Honolulu Civil Beat: Hawaii Farmers Need Better Data To Make Decisions
By Yoohyun Jung

Federal and state budget cuts, combined with challenges in gathering data, have led to a shrinkage of up-to-date, accessible and comprehensive agricultural data in Hawaii in recent years.

Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Mr. Secretary, start with America’s rural family forest owners to help tackle climate change
By Tom Martin

(Subscriber Only) (Opinion) Family forest owners represent 1 in 4 rural Americans. Already, their forests provide vital benefits in addition to carbon sequestration and storage, including clean water infrastructure, habitat for our wildlife and the wood supply that goes towards our homes and everyday products.

Idaho Statesman: Burning Idaho to save it: Why one solution to our raging wildfires can’t gain traction
By Dale Kasler and Nicole Blanchard

A growing number of fire scientists and land managers argue that “prescribed fire” — carefully planned, deliberate burns — can reduce the volume of combustible vegetation from wooded areas.

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