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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 NACD Communications Manager Sara Kangas.

NACD Blog: Did You Know? Diversity & Customer Service

Board diversity supports a wide range of thoughts, ideas and talents from many different races, nationalities, genders and religions, reflected in locally-led decisions. A diverse board better enables districts to increase customer service and conserve natural resources.

Agri-Pulse: Farm bill negotiators eye lame duck for deal
By Philip Brasher

The four lead farm bill negotiators failed to reach a deal in time to avert Sunday’s expiration of the 2014 law, but they emerged Wednesday from their first face-to-face meeting in nearly two weeks to say they are committed to finalizing an agreement that Congress can consider following the mid-term elections. The expiration of the 2014 farm bill will leave some mostly small programs without funding and others without implementing authority. USDA is taking steps to wind down some programs temporarily.

The Hill: House passes $854B spending bill to avert shutdown
By Niv Elis

The House on Wednesday passed an $854 billion spending bill to avert an October shutdown, funding large swaths of the government while pushing the funding deadline for others until Dec. 7. It also included a continuing resolution (CR) extending current funding levels for any unfunded agencies through the first two months of the fiscal year.

Oklahoma Farm Report: Upstream Flood Control Dams Kept Damage by Last Week's Historic Flooding from Its Full Potential

With numerous areas in South Central Oklahoma receiving from 10 to 17 inches of rainfall on September 21st, USDA-NRCS estimates the small watershed flood control dams saved the state $19.6 million in damages. The hardest hit counties were Pontotoc County and Coal County where several flood control dams experienced a greater than 1,000 year flooding event.

Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Why it’s important to connect Soil Health and Human Health Science
By Steven Shafer

(Opinion) Soil quality has long been defined by measurable physical and chemical attributes. Recent advances in technologies and methods for soil biology have allowed the field of soil health to become increasingly meaningful. In fact, we know that food security, achieved when people have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food, is inextricably linked to the health of soil.

Lancaster Farming: Seeing Signs of Conservation
By Leon Thompson

Dozens of farmers in northwestern Vermont have started posting roadside signs to inform the public of their on-farm efforts to improve water quality. The Franklin County Natural Resources Conservation District has spearheaded the project, and somewhere between 30 and 50 signs are already featured on farms in that area.

KUNC: Water Thieves Of The West Take Notice: This Sheriff’s Deputy Is Watching
By Luke Runyon

The common refrain is that conflict over water is a civil matter, that no criminal statutes have been broken. But depending on the case, that’s incorrect. Local law enforcement can issue citations for water violations and police how people use and abuse the state’s scarce natural resource.

Capital Press: New bill in Senate aims to thin forests, stem wildfires
By Andrew Selsky

After a summer wildfire season that blanketed much of the West in smoke, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley introduced a bill Wednesday that would reduce the severity of wildfire by thinning forests that are crowded with too many trees and have become fuel for megafires.

Los Angeles Times: Los Angeles reduces Eastern Sierra water deliveries because of climate change. At risk, ranchers say, is a way of life
By Louis Sahagun

LADWP this year shifted its irrigation policy, saying ranchers who lease grazing areas on its 6,400 acres near Crowley Lake should no longer bank on the promise of ample water when they renew. But the move could turn grasslands brown, rattling ecosystems, the local economy and a way of life, ranchers warn.

Agri-Pulse: Efforts to reduce 'dead zone' should focus on Lower Mississippi, ERS says
By Steve Davies

The most cost-effective strategy to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus flowing into the Gulf of Mexico would focus on improving practices in the Lower Mississippi sub-basin, a new Economic Research Service report says.

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