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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: Pollinator Conservation Takes Off in Montana

During the first year of its pollinator initiative in Montana, NRCS entered into 40 contracts with landowners on about 1,600 acres in 16 counties. “It’s really important that Montana, the NRCS and local conservation districts continue to work on this,” King says. Landowners who have participated “have come away amazed at what a difference they can make with just a small parcel of land.”

E&E News: 'I'm not expecting them to recover soon, or ever' after floods
By Marc Heller

In places on the edges of the worst flooding, conservation measures such as reduced tillage and planting of cover crops that hold the soil in place were helpful, Winkler said. But the flooding was unprecedented and came at the perfect time of year to have the biggest impact — when the ground was frozen and couldn't absorb the water — and overwhelmed conservation measures in many areas.

Agri-Pulse: Farm bill offers more conservation tools in EQIP
By Ed Maixner

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) will soon emerge more fully equipped, so to say, for a broader spectrum of farm conservation assistance as USDA implements 2018 farm bill program changes in the year ahead. In comments to USDA, the National Association of Conservation Districts said the incentive contracts would “allow producers to implement a suite of practices by offering annual payments rather than cost share without having to meet the more rigorous eligibility standards required" by the Conservation Stewardship Program.

The Hill: Trump approves Nebraska disaster declaration
By Chris Mills Rodrigo

President Trump approved a disaster declaration Thursday to address severe flooding in Nebraska. The declaration will free up federal funding to assist local efforts to recover from the powerful winter storm that hit the Midwest last week and triggered massive floods.

The New York Times: Amid 19-Year Drought, States Sign Deal to Conserve Colorado River Water
By John Schwartz

Seven Western states have agreed on a plan to manage the Colorado River amid a 19-year drought, voluntarily cutting their water use to prevent the federal government from imposing a mandatory squeeze on the supply. State water officials signed the deal on Tuesday after years of negotiations, forestalling what would have been the first federally enforced restrictions on the river’s lower basin.

StarTribune: Cities across Minnesota prep for worst as spring, snowmelt add to flood threat
By Mary Lynn Smith

Nestled between the Vermillion and Mississippi rivers near Red Wing, Prairie Island is accustomed to spring flooding because much of the reservation is in a floodplain. This year, however, the flooding could rival historic levels because of a deep snowpack that blanketed most of state.

The Fern: As coastal flooding surges, ‘living shorelines’ seen as the answer
By Rowan Jacobsen

“Armored” shorelines such as bulkheads offer less protection against big storms than people think. By reflecting wave energy instead of dispersing it, they tend to wear away at the base, which causes them to gradually tilt seaward. Although they still function well in typical storms, they often backfire when high storm surges overtop them, causing them to breach or collapse, releasing an entire backyard into the sea.

U.S. Ag Net: What Do Gardens Bring to Urban Ecosystems?

The results will provide information on urban ag's ecosystem services: changes to microbe and insect populations, water quality, soil fertility, and greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers also measure how much each urban plot will grow given different growing practices.

Phys.org: New approach to stem soil erosion

Topsoil and nutrient runoff are two serious challenges of sustainable agriculture. Perennial crops can help solve these problems by preserving cropland productivity without requiring substantial dietary and manufacture shifts. Although the development of perennial corn has long been an idea, a major roadblock has been the lack of knowledge about the genetics of perennialism.

Morning Ag Clips: Funding available to protect Delaware wetlands

This year, Delaware NRCS has funding available in both the Wetland Reserve Easement and Agricultural Land Easement components of this 2018 Farm Bill program. Applications are accepted on a continual basis; however, the submission deadline date for eligible applications in Fiscal Year 2019 is April 19.

Capital Press: BLM approves sage grouse plan amendments
By Carol Ryan Dumas

The Bureau of Land Management on Friday finalized amendments to Obama-era management plans for sage grouse habitat in the West to better align federal plans with state plans to conserve the species. The plans adopted show that listening to and working with state and local government is the key to long-term conservation and ensuring the viability of local communities across the West.

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