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Conservation Clip List is 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.

Obama moves to protect land in Utah, Nevada via CNN

President Barack Obama moved to preserve wide swaths of land in the American West, including a controversial designation making the Bears Ears area in Utah a national monument, pitting him against the state's Republican governor and congressional delegation. Obama said in a statement that the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears monument, so called for its distinctive pair of buttes, would "protect some of the country's most significant natural, cultural and archaeological resources, including important ancestral grounds for numerous tribes." A second national monument in Nevada, Gold Butte, preserves 300,000 acres on the outskirts of Las Vegas.

Rock Island Clean Line withdraws petition for Iowa wind project via The Des Moines Register

Rock Island Clean Line withdrew its petition seeking permission from the Iowa Utilities Board to build an electric transmission line across Iowa — a move that the project's opponents hailed as a victory for state landowners. The $2 billion, 500-mile overhead transmission line would have funneled wind energy across 16 counties from northwest Iowa into Illinois and states further east.

Conservation area to help wildlife migration in 3 states via The Washington Post

A federal agency has established a 7,000-square-mile watershed conservation area in three Western states that includes major migration corridors for birds and mammals. The Bear River Watershed Conservation Area in Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming is part of a plan to protect wildlife habitat by buying perpetual conservation easements from willing private landowners. The conservation area includes national wildlife refuges in each state and the 500-mile Bear River.

Obama’s mixed impact on endangered species via High Country News

During Obama’s presidency, 29 species recovered enough to be taken off the endangered species list, more than under all four presidents before him (George H. W. Bush did not delist any species). And 340 were added, far more than under his predecessor, George W. Bush. But the Endangered Species Act itself has changed during the Obama years, and critics say that despite the impressive numbers, it’s actually become more business-friendly and less effective at protecting wildlife.

USDA to Reimburse Organic and Transitional Farmers via Organic Authority

Beginning on March 20, 2017, the USDA will accept applications for financial assistance from farmers transitioning to or maintaining organic certification, the agency announced this week. Farmers will be able to apply at more than 2,100 USDA Farm Service Agency locations (FSA) to apply for reimbursement.

Plan would give large dairy farms more power in drafting of pollution permits via Wisconsin State Journal

A day after announcing plans to streamline water quality regulation, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources emphatically denied that it will allow large dairy producers to write their own pollution permits. But DNR leaders do want animal feedlot operators to take more responsibility for drafting pollution discharge permits, the legal documents that spell out standards and techniques aimed at keeping millions of gallons of manure they produce annually out of the state’s lakes, streams, and drinking water. Conservationists say the change is loaded with pitfalls that threaten water quality, while industry representatives say it doesn’t go far enough.

Herd of 41 elk die in east Oregon after falling through ice via The Washington Post

Dozens of elk are dead after the herd fell through the ice at a reservoir in eastern Oregon. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said that 41 elk died on the Powder River arm of Brownlee Reservoir.

U.S. Wildlife Is Increasingly Being Managed as Private Livestock—and It's Creating a Disease Epidemic via Alternet

(Opinion) There’s a burgeoning movement in this country of private individuals breeding captive cervids—including elk and white-tailed deer—for personal gain. Disease can brew among these confined herds and spread to wild populations. In addition, captive-raised animals often end up in fenced-shooting operations, where people pay money to kill the animals inside enclosures. Under the guise of private property rights and economic growth, numerous state legislatures have rallied to support such operations, designating captive cervids as livestock to be regulated by state agriculture departments rather than as wildlife to be managed by wildlife agencies as part of the public trust. Yet the push to manage wildlife as private livestock is building, leading to legislative showdowns and fears for the future of wildlife resources.

BLM cuts process time; makes e-filing the rule via St. George News

The Bureau of Land Management has taken a significant step in its multi-year effort to improve the efficiency and transparency of the permitting process for oil and gas drilling by moving away from paper applications. With the final revision to Onshore Order 1, the agency is making online filing the default method of filing Applications for Permit to Drill and Notices of Staking.‚Äč

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