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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: NCF #FutureFocused Q&A with Emily Moberg, PhD

Emily Moberg, PhD, is an Envirothon alumna and currently works at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in D.C. Moberg recently spoke with NACD about NCF and Envirothon, their goals and their legacy.

By Brian Allmer

[On Thursday,] National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) President Tim Palmer and President-elect Michael Crowder offered their congratulations to Secretary Tom Vilsack after President-elect Joe Biden announced that he will nominate Vilsack to serve as Secretary of Agriculture in the Biden Administration.

AgNet West: Reintroducing U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

On Thursday morning President-elect Joe Biden made his official selection to become the next U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Tom Vilsack will now once again be at the helm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The selection of Vilsack is receiving a broad array of support from various industry groups [including] the National Association of Conservation Districts [who] have all issued messages of support for the new Agriculture Secretary.

By Brian Allmer

[On Tuesday,] Michael Wilson of Allandale, Ill., was named this year’s recipient of the Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) Conservationist of the Year Award.

NASDA: NASDA promotes natural resource stewardship with USDA-NRCS and others through renewed MOU

The MOU fulfills the goal of helping agricultural producers maintain the viability of their operations and sustain and conserve natural resources for future generations.

Ohio's Country Journal: Shelby County SWCD partners with USDA to improve water quality

“Farmers recognize the importance of water quality,” said State Conservationist for Ohio Terry Cosby. “These voluntary initiatives provide them with the tools to implement and accelerate on-farm conservation practices to improve the watershed. Local partnerships, like the one that Ohio NRCS has fostered with the area SWCDs, are invaluable in getting farmers the resources they need to deliver the greatest benefits for clean water.”

SWS: Erosion & Sediment Control Best Practices Aid In Fire Recovery Efforts

After the Carr Fire in California in 2018, which burned 229,651 acres in Shasta and Trinity counties and destroyed 1,604 structures, the Western Shasta Resource Conservation District got to work on treating the high-severity burned areas.

Great Bend Tribune: A new field emerging in ag

The Great Bend Co-op and the Barton County Conservation District have agreed to take part in the second phase of a promising pilot program aimed at helping farmers increase knowledge and access to important conservation programs.

Grand Forks Herald: Lake of the Woods Soil and Water Conservation District ditch project targets sediment-filled Bostic Bay

Lake of the Woods Soil and Water Conservation District’s $350,000 channel stabilization project on 2.75 miles of Judicial Ditch 28, which finished late this summer, was designed to curb bank erosion, improve water quality and protect fish passage to shallow, grassy spawning sites.

Marin Independent Journal: West Marin creek restoration gets grant boost
By Will Houston

The five-acre, $800,000 project is being led by the Marin County Resource Conservation District and Point Blue Conservation Science. The participants will replant the creek banks; build fences to keep cattle from munching the young plants; and restore habitat used by endangered species such as California red-legged frog and freshwater shrimp.

Aspen Journalism: Program expanding to map Colorado mountain snowpack
By Heather Sackett

Front Range water providers are hoping to expand a program that uses a new technology they say will revolutionize water management in Colorado. But for now, the expensive program isn’t worth it for smaller Western Slope water providers. The Northern Colorado Water Conservation District is seeking state grant money to expand the Colorado Airborne Snow Observatory program.

Herald Ledger: Lyon County Conservation District awarded nearly $25,000 for County Agricultural Investment Program

The Lyon County Conservation District recently was approved for an additional $24,811 to administer County Agricultural Investment Program funds.

The Fence Post: AFT releases guide to support farm conservation practice projects

[The guide features] tools and methods for use by managers of projects funded by the USDA, EPA, states, and the private sector who are supporting conservation practice adoption on millions of acres.

E&E News: Water quality, flooding mean low grade for major watershed

(Subscriber Only) A group developed to help improve management of the Mississippi River Watershed has issued it a disappointing report card and says urgent action and billions of dollars are required to address flooding and water quality concerns in the nation's largest rivers.

Associated Press: $2.1 Million in Conservation Grants Awarded from NFWF’s Southeast Aquatics Fund

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $2.1 million in grants to restore and enhance aquatic habitats for vulnerable native freshwater aquatic species in watersheds within Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.

American Rivers: Healthy Floodplains Reduce Nutrient Pollution
By Olivia Dorothy

To respond to this growing environmental crisis, Mississippi River Basin states have developed nutrient reduction strategies to target investments in voluntary on-farm conservation and land management practices that will reduce nutrient pollution.

The Hill: America's dwindling grasslands require action
By Collin O'Mara, Howard K. Vincent, Rebecca A. Humphries, Jeff Crane and Whit Fosburgh

(Opinion) The bipartisanship of conservation must be summoned once again to restore America’s most endangered ecosystems — our prairies and grasslands. The challenges facing the Great Plains are steep and demand collaborative solutions.

Hartford Courant: Connecticut’s forest coverage remains ‘remarkable’, but insects, weather and development are continued threats
By Jesse Leavenworth

Connecticut’s forests, from urban patches to wide expanses, are essential to the state’s health and character, but insects, drought and development remain persistent threats, according to a new report.

Farm and Dairy: Soil health coalition formed in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Soil Health Coalition, founded by 15 partner organizations, will focus on farmer support, educational events and research projects. The group wants to increase the adoption of soil health practices to meet water quality and farm production goals.

AgWeek: A closer look at EQIP — one of NRCS’s most popular conservation programs
By Sara Wyant

From coast to coast, farmers and ranchers have found the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service to be a great place to find cost-share funds to implement practices that can protect the soil and improve water quality. And one of the most popular programs has been the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). But as the program has grown in popularity over the years, demand is far outstripping the number of contracts approved.

AgWeb: Truterra Will Pilot Carbon Project With Nori
By Margy Eckelkamp

Truterra, the sustainability business unit of Land O’ Lakes, has launched a pilot program through the 2022 growing season with Nori, a startup with blockchain technology for a carbon removal marketplace.

Phys.org: Wildfire risk rising as scientists determine which conditions cause blazes
By Brendan Bane

As wildfires burn more often across the Western United States, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are working to understand how extensively blazes burn. Their investigation, aided by machine learning techniques that sort fires by the conditions that precede them, not only reveals that the risk of wildfire is rising, but also spells out the role moisture plays in estimating fire risk.

CPR News: If Ranching Wants To Survive Drought And Other Climate Hassles, It’s Time To Show Soil Some Love
By Michael Elizabeth Sakas

It’s likely that Colorado’s drought will continue into 2021 and Gov. Jared Polis is urging farmers and ranchers to prepare for it. To adapt to climate change, some producers are learning techniques that can also help trap and store carbon.

The Daily Cardinal: Rethinking water management with rain gardens
By Gavin Schopf

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is researching new ways to mitigate the effects of urban runoff using green engineering, also known as bioengineering, according to Nick Balster, professor of soil science and explorer of the interactions between soil, plants and organisms. 

Phys.org: Ecologists study how soil fungi respond to wildfire
By Taylor Kubota

Most people know soil fungi by their fruit—mushrooms—but there's much more to these organisms, both physically and functionally. Working alongside plant roots and other microbes that live in the soil, soil fungi play important roles in their ecosystems, including helping trees grow and aiding in decomposition.

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