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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.

Editor's Note: NACD will not issue an edition of Conservation Clips next Friday, Dec. 25, as well as Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. Happy holidays and New Year!

NACD Blog: #FutureFocused Q&A with John Redding

John Redding, NACD Past President and National Conservation Foundation (NCF) Treasurer, began his career as an agriculture teacher. In 1978, after nine years, he became a part of his local conservation district’s board.

NACD Blog: RCDs play key role in forest health incentive program

In California’s North Bay, resource conservation districts (RCDs) have partnered with Rebuild North Bay Foundation and the Clear Lake Environmental Research Center to form the North Bay Forest Improvement Program (NBFIP) to help non-industrial forest landowners with less than 500 acres implement fuels treatments and forest restoration projects on their properties.

Midland Daily News: Effort to create Midland Conservation Education Center moves forward
By Ashley Schafer

This finished education center will directly support the Midland Conservation District in its mission to “provide responsible resource conservation practices leadership to the community for present and future generations.”

AJC: Conservation groups looking for “trashy” locations in need of cleanup
By Karen Huppertz 

The Gwinnett Soil and Water Conservation District is teaming up with Gwinnett Recycles to host a litter cleanup and plastic brand audit in every Gwinnett city by Earth Day 2021.

Great Lakes Echo: New nutrient trapping program takes off
By Lea Mitchell

A newly funded project in Ohio’s Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District aims to reduce water nutrients and sediments that flow into Lake Erie, causing excessive growth of algae.

Tahoe Daily Tribune: Taking action for Lake Tahoe (Opinion)
By Darcie Goodman Collins

(Opinion) The Tahoe Resource Conservation District, California Tahoe Conservancy, and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency are advancing important ecosystem restoration work to revitalize the Basin’s wetlands, marshes, and meadows. These stories are a bright spot in an otherwise odd and sometimes overwhelming year.

E&E News: Biden taps N.M. Rep. Deb Haaland for Interior secretary
By Michael Doyle

(Subscriber Only) President-elect Joe Biden will nominate New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland (D) to serve as Interior secretary, three sources tell E&E News.

E&E News: Biden picks Michael Regan to lead EPA
By Kevin Bogardus

(Subscriber Only) President-elect Joe Biden has selected Michael Regan, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, as his nominee for EPA administrator, four sources tell E&E News.

The Daily News: Columbia River conference highlights importance of Indigenous perspective in conservation
By Marissa Heffernan

A community’s health is tied to the health of its land and rivers, scientists, environmentalists and Indigenous people agreed last week at a two-day Columbia River conference.

Phys.org: America's crop cousins are numerous, imperiled, and more needed than ever

A new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences for the first time outlines how poorly protected these plants are: More than half of the 600 plants assessed in the study may be endangered in their natural habitats, while only 7 percent are well represented in conservation repositories such as public gene banks and botanical gardens.

Aberdeen News: Co-op sparks interest in fire to improve North Dakota grasslands for cattle, wildlife

Fire, along with grazing disturbance, helped maintain the diversity of plant species on the prairie. It suppressed cool season grasses, trees and brush and increased stands of native grasses and forbs.

Civil Eats: Can Organic Farming Solve the Climate Crisis?
By Lisa Held

With regenerative agriculture gaining traction, the organic industry is positioning itself as leading the way on carbon sequestration. The research is promising—but inconclusive.

The Eagle: Clean water, effective manure
By Kay Ledbetter

Dairy manure is a natural crop fertilizer, and Texas A&M AgriLife scientists believe they have discovered a way to make sure that the valuable resource stays on crops, where it is applied as a fertilizer, and out of waterways, where it is a potential pollutant.

Noozhawk: Symbiotic Link Between California Oaks and Mutualist Fungi Seems to Offer Buffer for Climate Change
By Sonia Fernandez

“I think this gives us a little bit of hope that the players in this ecosystem that are crucial for the survival of the habitat for many species — like the oaks — might be able to keep doing what they’re doing,” she said.

AgWeb: Conservation Practices Reduce ‘Rings Of Death’

“By providing a good vegetative cover above the ground, perennial grasses will reduce evaporation, whereas, growing roots will help lower groundwater depths and minimize capillary rise,” Kalwar points out.

Agri-Pulse: Climate change calls for better breeding, conservation and water resilience, says soil scientist
By Brad Hooker

(Subscriber Only) A UC Davis soil scientist says three themes should drive research and policy in sustaining California agriculture under climate change. “We need plant breeding for traits such as heat tolerance, for pollination, for fruit quality, so that crops can produce effectively in their environment,” she said. “This isn't just an issue of production, it's also an issue of efficient use of resources.”

Associated Press: Broad Coalition Of Agriculture, Business, Environmental, Forestry Leaders Call On Gov. Newsom, Legislature For “Urgent Action” On Wildfires

A new coalition of forestry, agricultural, business and environmental groups today called on Governor Gavin Newsom and the Legislature to provide stable and sustainable financial resources of more than $1.5 billion in the Governor’s upcoming budget designed to thwart wildfires that will provide multiple benefits to wildlife, water quality and security, as well as climate mitigation and resilience.

Arizona Republic: How researchers hope to preserve and restore 'biocrust,' the desert's protective skin
By Amanda Morris

Biocrust could prevent dust storms and erosion, even slow wildfires, but it's vulnerable to human activity and, increasingly, climate change.

Successful Farming: Biden Vows To Pay Farmers To Plant Cover Crops And Put Land In Conservation
By Chuck Abbott

The government will help farmers mitigate climate change by paying them to “put their land in conservation” and plant cover crops, said President-elect Biden, providing some details on his campaign call to offset greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

CPR News: New Conservation Bill From Sen. Bennet Would Fund Wildfire Mitigation And River Clean-Ups, Create 2 Million Jobs
By Caitlyn Kim

The Outdoor Restoration Force Act would set up a $60 billion fund to support a range of projects from wildfire mitigation to river clean-ups.

ABC 7: So Great, So Fragile: Great Lakes, Lake Michigan health depend on keeping invasive species out
By Cheryl Scott and Marissa Isang

Asian carp are one species of invasive fish. They grow fast, jump high and have invaded many parts of the Mississippi River Watershed, wiping out native species. Scientists have creeping fears of Asian carp moving into the Great Lakes. They are concerned about the damage they could do to the natural biodiversity of the lakes, and the region's $7 billion fishing industry.

Wisconsin State Farmer: Ag, environmental groups announce to partnership to address water quality
By Grace Connatser

The Dairy Business Association, Nature Conservancy, Clean Wisconsin and Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association have announced a new partnership to ensure water quality and farm viability through sustainability practices.

Phys.org: Restoring wetlands near farms would dramatically reduce water pollution
By Brian Flood

Researchers from the University of Illinois Chicago and the University of Waterloo sought to evaluate these details at the U.S. scale and publish their findings in a new paper featured in the journal Nature. Their study examines the positive effects of wetlands on water quality and the potential for using wetland restoration as a key strategy for improving water quality, particularly in the Mississippi River Basin and Gulf of Mexico regions.

Civil Eats: Is Farming with Reclaimed Water the Solution to a Drier Future?
By Cirrus Wood

In drought-prone California, several farms are demonstrating the benefits of growing food with relatively abundant post-treatment water supplies.

Phys.org: Study uses remote sensing to monitor groundwater along river corridors in the Southwest
By Harrison Tasoff

A recent study led by UC Santa Barbara's Marc Mayes investigates how patterns in tree water loss to the atmosphere, tracked with satellite imagery, relates to groundwater supplies.

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