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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: Technical Assistance for Watershed Improvement in Nebraska
By Katrina Vaitkus

Since 1972, the Middle Niobrara Natural Resources District (MNNRD) has been devoted to helping solve natural resource issues in their area. Many of those issues revolve around erosion and water quality in the Long Pine Creek Watershed. This watershed, which is found in north central Nebraska, encompasses approximately 332,000 acres, many of which are designated for agriculture.

AgNet West: Technical Assistance Grant Adds Boots On The Ground as Fire Season Begins

A Technical Assistance Grant from the National Association of Conservation Districts is bringing nine new positions to resource conservation districts (RCDs) in California. 

VTDigger: Berkshire farmer works with Conservation District, State to restore stream

Today, the [Franklin County] Conservation District, watershed groups, and [Vermont] are working with local landowners to restore some of these altered waterways back to a more natural state to improve water quality and create habitat.

The Revelator: Hunting for Game Wardens: A Shortage of Conservation Officers Threatens Wildlife
By Jodi Helmer

States are facing significant shortages of conservation officers, who help protect natural resources and wildlife. The COVID-19 global health pandemic has triggered major budget cuts, further threatening funding for environmental conservation and could result in additional cuts to conservation districts that are already cash-strapped and understaffed.

High Plains Journal: Cropping system inventory shows increase in no-till acres

In the wettest year on record for South Dakota, half the cropland in the state that was planted used a cropping system without tillage. That system, no-till farming, has been the predominant cropping system on South Dakota cropland in recent years, but this is the first year the practice was used to plant 50 percent of the state’s crops.

Winterset Madisonian: Soil & Water Conservation: Celebrating Prairie Today and in the Future
By Anna Golightly

(Opinion) Every farmer should be able to appreciate the prairie, for the simple reason that the prairie helped build the rich topsoil that is the foundation of our agricultural productivity. 

No-Till Farmer: The Impact of Cover Crops on Soil Organic Matter, Nutrient Cycling

Steven Hall, an assistant professor with the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology at Iowa State University, runs a biogeochemistry lab where students look at the different factors that can affect soil health.

SCIENMAG: Smart Farms Of The Future: Making Bioenergy Crops More Environmentally Friendly

The three projects, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), leverage Berkeley Lab’s strengths in artificial intelligence, sensors, and ecological biology. They aim to quantify and reduce the carbon intensity of agriculture, including the farming of biofuel feedstocks such as corn, soy, and sorghum, while also increasing yield.

Resilience: From Beetles to Butterflies, Scientists and Landowners are Working Together to Bring Endangered Insects Back from the Brink
By Leah Shaffer

The American burying beetle is a vital part of soil ecosystems, breaking down dead things and allowing the nutrients they hold to move back into the living world. It was once found in at least 35 states, but in 1989 it was declared endangered due to land use change and other factors.

The Weather Channel: Where the Worst Wildfire Activity Is Expected This Summer
By Brian Donegan

Hot, dry weather and increasing drought conditions across the western United States this summer may result in above-average wildfire potential into September, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) outlook released Monday.

Southern Maryland Chronicle: Coronavirus victims include restoration, monitoring of Bay
By Timothy B. Wheeler, Jeremy Cox and Karl Blankenship

Efforts to rebuild shad populations in the Chesapeake Bay watershed took a beating. Water quality went unchecked for the longest time in more than three decades. State and local governments face huge budget gaps that could impact Bay restoration for years to come.

Phys.org: Study shows dry air drives overlooked changes in how plants drink and breathe

How much a plant drinks and the rate at which it releases water, or transpires, depends partly on moisture levels in the air and soil. Global warming will shift this process more than previously predicted, according to new research from Stanford University.

MSU Today: MSU Researchers to Develop Management Tool for Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Two Michigan State University researchers will develop a multi-objective optimization tool to help agencies make better informed management decisions for the Chesapeake Bay watershed with a $1 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

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