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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: Conservation in the Caribbean: Technical Assistance Grants
By Rich Duesterhaus

After the hurricanes last year, conservation districts and their partners in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) were confronted with heavy workloads and staff shortages to implement conservation practices. Fortunately, NACD in cooperation with NRCS had just begun a technical assistance grant program for districts and their state/territory wide partners.

Capital Press: Districts bring conservation efforts down to earth
By Carol Ryan Dumas

There’s a soil-health movement going on, and farmers need the resources and support that conservation districts provide. “Conservation districts played a pivotal role following the Great Depression, and they’re as relevant now as they ever have been,” Brent Van Dyke, president of the National Association of Conservation Districts, said.

The New York Times: ‘The New Normal’: Wildfires Roar Across the West, Again
By Thomas Fuller and Julie Turkewitz

Wildfires are tearing across California, Colorado, New Mexico and other Western states this week, chewing up bone-dry mountainsides, scorching buildings and forcing hundreds of people to evacuate from their homes. The message across the West is that after a record-breaking 2017 fire season, 2018 is likely to be brutal, too.

Politico: Farm bill ready for conference committee
By Christine Haughney

The Senate’s easy passage of the farm bill gives Ag Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) momentum heading into conference negotiations.

Houston Herald: Partnership in the Pasture: Texas County livestock breeders utilize innovative grazing technique
By Doug Davison

It’s like a livestock triple-threat or a grazing trifecta. At BF Farm in Huggins, owners Mark Bengtson and Jodey Fulcher are breeders of Black Hereford cattle, Kiko goats and Kunekune pigs. They use a grazing regimen involving all three species taking turns working over the same space.

Capital Press: No-till farming can help save water, proponents say
By Desiree Bergstrom

With much of the West either “abnormally dry” or in drought conditions, no-till farming advocates say that method could be a way to better utilize the water that’s available.

Idaho State Journal: 50 high school teams to participate in NCF Envirothon at Idaho State University

High school teams from throughout the United States, Canada and the Republic of China will soon be competing on the campus of Idaho State University at the 30th NCF Envirothon competitions. Fifty teams will be spending six days, July 22 through 27, studying Idaho’s natural resources and vying or more than $30,000 in prize money provided by Smithfield Foods.

USDA Blog: Cooperative Forestry Act Celebrates 40 Years of Helping Private Forest Owners
By Joyce El Kouarti

Because forests continue to be threatened by wildfire, attacks by insects and diseases, and conversion to non-forest uses, forty years ago, on July 1, Congress passed the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978. The Act was designed to mitigate these threats by empowering the USDA Forest Service to partner with state forestry agencies, which typically match federal investments 2 to 1, to provide technical forest management assistance to landowners.

Pilot Tribune: Farm Bill may be "small step forward" on water quality
By Elijah Decious

Local experts are cautiously calling the 2018 Farm Bill a "small step forward" for water quality and conservation in Iowa. Grassley said he supports the reforms in the 2018 Farm Bill that should refocus CRP to what he said was its original intent--to idle less productive farm land.

Los Angeles Times: Gov. Jerry Brown, California lawmakers announce plans to address growing wildfire problem
By Patrick McGreevy

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders on Monday announced plans to improve disaster preparedness and develop policies to better deal with the wildfires that are plaguing California, citing the historic fires that hit the state last year.

The Detroit News: Opinion: Improving water quality through compost in Michigan
By Tom Zimnicki and Kerrin O’Brien

(Opinion) This year I am calling on state agencies, the legislature and stakeholders in the agricultural and urban sectors to embrace a new priority: improving soil health.

The Denver Post: As wildfires rage in Colorado high country, authorities try to protect watersheds from contamination
By Monte Whaley

In what is already a raging wildfire season, forest service and water officials in Colorado are working to protect the state’s watersheds from contamination. To reduce that risk, Denver and its partners are spending $66 million for tree thinning and reforestation above critical watersheds.

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