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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: Conservation Professional Profile: Ellen Cobb 
By Joe Otto

Ellen Cobb was NACD’s first executive leader. At its first meeting in 1946, NACD’s founding board of directors appointed Cobb as Executive Secretary.

NACD Blog: NACD’s Government Affairs Update on 2021 Congressional Climate Hearings
By Coleman Garrison

With a new administration in the White House and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the conversation on climate change has been moving quickly. President Biden promised to act on climate change and included the agriculture industry in his plans.

NACD Blog: Butte SWCD recognizes longtime employee Frances Perkes
By Stephanie Barnes

When thinking of a person who embodies NACD’s commitment to conservation, long-term Butte Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) employee Frances Perkes comes to mind.

NACD Blog: NACD’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Task Force on Open Meeting Laws

In July 2020, NACD’s Board of Directors produced a statement on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), which called for the formation of a DEI Task Force.

Walton Tribune: State, national honors for Foster-Brady Farm
By Stephen Milligan

Foster-Brady Farm has been operating in the eastern portion of the county for five generations and its commitment to sustainable farming earned it national recognition last year, as the farm was named both a Friend of Conservation by the National Association of Conservation Districts and the Conservationist of the Year by the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts.

The Southeast Sun: Feral hog control topic at CPYRWMA meet
By Michelle Mann

Under the program, there is a 70 percent hog trap rebate available and Henderson said that the ASWC has already begun funding for feral swine traps in those eligible areas. “If you are a landowner in those counties, you can go to your local soil and water conservation district to apply for that trap.”

CantonRepStark Soil & Water Conservation District honored

Stark Soil & Water Conservation District recently was named the 2021 District of the Year, according to a news release. The Ohio Federation of Soil & Water Conservation Districts annually recognizes a district that demonstrates excellence in leadership and programming.

The Batavian: Soil & Water Conservation District manager reports 'record year' with 13 grant-funded projects

The Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District enjoyed a record year in 2021 as it initiated and finished 13 grant-funded agricultural and other projects designed to ensure the continued flow of clean, safe water, the department’s manager said on Wednesday.

What's Up Newp: Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District: Small actions make big impact on preserving the environment
By Ryan M. Belmore

The Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District (ERICD) is a nonprofit, quasi-public organization that functions as a facilitator for meeting the needs of the local land user in the conservation of soil, water and other related natural resources.

MyTwinTiers: Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District awarded $380K

The 147 projects awarded to 26 Soil and Water Conservation Districts will support on-farm environmental planning and the implementation of best management practice systems to keep nutrients and other potential pollutants from entering waterways.

Lancaster Farming: Adams County Conservation District Honors Farmers for Conservation Efforts

The Adams County Conservation District presented the 2020 Outstanding Cooperator Award to Michael Stahl for his long-term commitment to conservation.

E&E News: Haaland takes the department's reins
By Michael Doyle

(Subscriber Only) Deb Haaland starts work today as the 54th secretary of the Department of the Interior, and as the first Native American to hold the Cabinet position.

NFWF: Southeast Michigan to Benefit from $1.6 Million in Conservation Grants That Will Improve Community and Habitat Resilience

Southeast Michigan Resilience Fund partners announced seven projects selected to receive $1.6 million in grant funding to benefit communities and wildlife habitats in southeast Michigan. The grants awarded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) will leverage $1.4 million in matching contributions to generate a total conservation impact of more than $3 million.

The Hill: New EPA head commits to federal-state collaboration on environmental issues
By Zack Budryk

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan emphasized his commitment to state-federal partnerships on environmental protection in one of his first public addresses in the role Tuesday.

Hanford Sentinel: CAL Fire announces availability of funds for fire prevention projects

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) announced the availability of up to $317 million for Forest Health, Fire Prevention, Forest Legacy and Forest Health Research grant projects.

USDA-NRCS: USDA Invests $28 Million in New Projects to Help Restore Lost Wetland Functions, Benefits on Agricultural Landscapes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $28 million in six new Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) projects and four ongoing ones, which enable conservation partners and producers to work together to return critical wetland functions to agricultural landscapes. Partners will contribute $2.82 million, bringing the total investments to $30.82 million.

Agri-Pulse: Biden picks Janie Hipp for USDA general counsel
By Philip Brasher

(Subscriber Only) President Joe Biden will nominate Janie Simms Hipp, an agricultural law veteran and member of the Chickasaw Nation, to become the Agriculture Department’s general counsel, USDA’s chief legal officer.

Growing America: Auburn University Presents New Methods of Drought Forecasting

Kumar said advanced long lead time in predicting soil moisture will greatly improve drought early-warning efforts for agriculture and natural ecosystems. The research is based on the latest advances in earth system modeling, as well as an improved understanding among researchers of land surface processes that influence soil moisture behavior on long timescales.

Lancaster Farming: Farms Get Grants for Climate Resilience Projects
By Paul Post

New York’s Climate Resilient Farming Program is providing $4 million this year to help 80 farms reduce their environmental footprints and prepare for extreme weather events resulting from climate change.

E&E News: Wild population of Mexican wolves keeps growing

(Subscriber Only) The results of the latest annual survey show there are at least 186 Mexican gray wolves in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona. That marks the fifth straight year that the endangered species has increased its numbers, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Carlsbad Current Argus: Conservationists renew push to save New Mexico lesser prairie chicken. Feds to decide by May
By Adrian Hedden

Federal protections for the lesser prairie chicken could be enacted this spring as a federal judge in 2019 called on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to decide by the end of May.

NBC News: USDA conservation program seen as way to help battle climate change
By Alexandra Marquez

Incentives are seen as critical to increasing participation in a program that could help the Biden administration reach climate goals.

KNUE: The Merits of Prescribed Burning–East Texas is a “Fire-Dependent Ecosystem”
By Tara Holley

The Texas A&M Forest Service says "prescribed burning has become one of the most efficient and effective tools for land management in the state of Texas." And apparently, many experts both in the forest service and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department say the benefits of prescribed burning can't be overstated.

Wisconsin State Farmer: New conservation program hopes to serve growing number of WI women managing land
By Hope Kirwan

A new initiative hopes to connect the growing number of women farmers and landowners in Wisconsin with federal conservation programs.

Tech Crunch: Regenerative agriculture is the next great ally in fight against climate change
By Nancy Pfund

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine estimates that soil sequestration has the potential to eliminate over 250 million metric tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to five percent of U.S. emissions.

The Post-Journal: 30 Percent Land Conservation Goal Planned By NYS
By John Whittaker

Legislation has been proposed to set a state goal to conserve at least 30 percent of the land in New York state by 2030.

Agri-Pulse: Opinion: The diminished purchasing power of farm bill conservation programs holds America back
By Whit Fosburgh

(Subscriber Only) (Opinion) The farm bill’s potential to restore wetlands, native grasslands, sagebrush, and waterways vulnerable to farm runoff makes this law not only the largest pot of federal conservation funding available today, but also one of the most impactful for those of us who enjoy the outdoors.

Agri-Pulse: NRCS looks to fund new ‘climate smart’ projects under RCPP
By Sara Wyant

(Subscriber Only) USDA is seeking proposals to fund up to $75 million in new projects under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program’s (RCPP) Alternative Funding Arrangements (AFA), prioritizing projects related to climate-smart agriculture and forestry.

Scientific American: How Dirt Could Help Save the Planet
By Jo Handelsman

Both erosion and climate change can be mitigated by incorporating more carbon into soil. Photosynthetic carbon fixation removes carbon dioxide from the air, anchoring it in plant material that can be sequestered in soil.

E&E News: Study finds dramatic loss of sage grouse habitat
By Scott Streater

(Subscriber Only) Millions of acres of priority habitat for the greater sage grouse have been destroyed in the last two decades due to human activity and natural threats, according to a new federal study that paints a grim portrait of the imperiled bird's future.

EurekAlert!: Boosting insect diversity may provide more consistent crop pollination services

Fields and farms with more variety of insect pollinator species provide more stable pollination services to nearby crops year on year, according to the first study of its kind.

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