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Conservation Clips are a weekly collection of articles distributed by NACD that provides our members and partners with the latest news in what's driving conservation. If you have a relevant submission, please contact your NACD Communications Team.

NACD Blog: Waters of the United States and the 2015 Clean Water Rule
By Chris Heck

Discussion on the Clean Water Rule has been going on for years, with debate starting long before the 2015 Clean Water Rule was finalized. Over the past several weeks, we’ve seen a flurry of activity related to the 2015 Clean Water Rule.

ABC News: Drought-stricken Texans turn to cows to save their farms
By Ginger Zee, David Miller, Kelly Harold, Olivia Smith and Andrea Miller

That diversity of grass has kept Taggart’s soil healthy even as Texas faces droughts. The grasses’ ability to hold on to water when it rains has helped keep his farm healthy. Soil health is crucial to a successful farm, no matter if the cattle is grain-fed or grass-fed.

Des Moines Register: Key achievement or drop in bucket? What $282 million water quality bill means for Iowans
By Brianne Pfannenstiel and Donnelle Eller

The $282 million water quality bill represents a clear win for Gov. Kim Reynolds, who promised quick action on water quality this session. For farmers, it means about $150 million in new funding for cover crops, bioreactors and saturated buffers as they seek to curb the high levels of nitrates and phosphorous entering Iowa's waterways.

Bloomberg: Drought Across U.S. Reaches Highest Levels Since 2014
By Brian K Sullivan

Drought, which has left winter wheat struggling across the Great Plains, expanded to cover 38.4 percent of the contiguous U.S., the most since May 2014.

Reno Gazette Journal: Suit tries to block roundup of nearly 10,000 Nevada mustangs
By Scott Sonner

Animal rights activists are suing to block what they say is an unprecedented federal plan to capture thousands of wild horses over 10 years in Nevada. BLM District Manager Jill Silvey says the gathers are needed to protect the rangeland from overgrazing in an area that has 10 times more mustangs than the land can sustain.

ABC News: Turning to beet juice and beer to address road salt danger
By Michael Casey

Looking to strike a balance between ice-free roads and clean waterways, public works departments around the country are working to cut their salt use in winter by slathering the roadways with beet juice, molasses and even beer waste to make them safer.

The Hill: EPA delays Obama water rule
By Timothy Cama

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pushing back by two years an Obama administration rule redefining the federal government’s power over small waterways. The Trump administration is working to repeal the rule, dubbed the Clean Water Rule or Waters of the United States (WOTUS), and formally proposed to do so last year.

Chicago Tribune: Southern California's brief escape from drought ends
By Ellen Knickmeyer and Rich Pedroncelli

California's brief escape from severe drought ended Thursday after scientists declared more than 40 percent of the state in moderate drought and water officials confirmed lower-than-normal snowpack in the Sierra Nevada.

Omaha World-Herald: Iowan Bill Northey's USDA nomination remains blocked by Ted Cruz
By Joseph Morton

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, tried Wednesday to advance Bill Northey’s nomination to be an undersecretary of agriculture only to once again run up against Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Cruz has blocked the Iowa agriculture secretary’s nomination to the federal level for months now.

Fox News: USDA announces $17.5 million to fight invasive species
By Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $17.5 million in emergency funding to fight the spread of the spotted lanternfly in Pennsylvania.

U.S. News and World Report: Governor Says Drought Requires More Wildfire Prevention Cash
By Associated Press

An exceptionally dry winter has prompted Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to ask the Legislature to boost funding for fire prevention efforts in the coming budget year. Rainfall this winter is the 4th lowest on record in Phoenix, and the U.S. Drought Monitor shows the entire state is in drought.

SunHerald: This one kind of tree threatens South Mississippi forests
By Kat Bergeron

Never has one imported tree so threatened the forests and coastal plains of Mississippi. It’s a fast-reproducing tree that is changing the native landscape, especially in the South where at least nine states are now badly infected.

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