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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: Birds and Berries – Friend or Foe?
By Lucas Patzek and Ariel Rivers

In California’s wine country, Wild Farm Alliance recently partnered with the Napa County Recourse Conservation District and others to hold an “All Things Avian” field day about supporting beneficial birds and managing pest birds in the vineyard. Conservation districts and NRCS play an important role in bringing the science of predatory birds to the field by promoting the adoption of agricultural practices that support birds and increase on-farm resilience.

AgDaily: Ag groups unite in support of protecting conservation funding

Having succeeded in protecting funding for the Conservation Title in the 2018 Farm Bill, more than 140 leading farm, conservation, and wildlife groups are once again joining together to protect those hard-fought conservation funding and programs in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations process.

Hobbs News-Sun: Brent Van Dyke honored by New Mexico legislature

Brent Van Dyke, who retired as president of the National Association of Conservation Districts, was honored by the New Mexico State Senate in a resolution adopted during the past 60-day session. Van Dyke, who has a passion for conservation and sustainable agriculture, said he enjoyed his tenure as president of the organization he has served on the state level for many years.

EurekAlert!: Grant will allow scientists to study how prairie strips on farms affect soil over time

Richard Cruse, a professor of agronomy, and his colleagues recently received a three-year, $746,000 grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture to conduct experiments to gauge how quickly soil health changes after the implementation of prairie strips. They'll also examine how quickly soil health reverts to its previous state after strips are removed and the land converted back into crop production. The researchers also will conduct an economic analysis of prairie strips, which will consider new income streams strips may generate.

Cotton Grower: Soil Health Training to Supply Growing Demand for Sustainable Cotton

The Soil Health Institute (SHI), the nonprofit organization charged with safeguarding and enhancing soil health, has announced it will launch “Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton,” a continuous engagement project to help U.S. cotton farmers increase soil health on their farms. In addition, the project will seek to quantify and expand the productivity, economic, and environmental benefits of soil health systems for those farmers.

Wyoming Public Radio: Online Tool Provides Overlook Of Vegetation Changes In The West
By Kamila Kudelska

There's a new online tool that provides a big picture view of vegetation change over the last 35 years in the West. Jones said it's important to understand how vegetation responds to human events like irrigation and grazing.

Santa Fe New Mexican: More trees dying in New Mexico
By Thom Cole

Forest mortality increased nearly 50 percent across New Mexico in 2018, the first jump in five years. Near-record heat and a drought across the state weakened the ability of trees to fight off beetles and other pests.

Local News 8: Phosphate mine deal creates conservation fund

Funds will be awarded to successful applicants by a Habitat Improvement Team comprised of natural resource, land management and Tribal trustees. They will use a public forum to consider and evaluate proposed habitat protection and enhancement projects.

Western Forestry Leadership Coalition: UAVs and Trees: How American Samoa is using Drones to Track Invasive Species and Monitor Forest Health
By Lauren Goldfarb

This technology is not only safer and more accessible to surveyors, but allows for monitoring of invasive species without the need of expensive and slower remote sensing of satellites, which has been the primary method for monitoring since the 1990s. With only one year into development, American Samoa has already taken great strides in using UAVs to monitor forest health and developing a new way for forest health to be monitored across the globe.

Tucson.com: More than beauty, healthy lawns benefit our environment and communities

Healthy lawns also protect important water resources. A thriving lawn can help absorb unhealthy runoff that would otherwise reach water sources used by communities. An average, healthy lawn can absorb more than 6,000 gallons of water from a single rainfall.

The Denver Post: Colorado’s epic snowfall helps ease drought conditions, but state not out of the woods
By Jackson Barnett

In Colorado, snowpack forms a strong pillar of water storage, but spring rains and summer monsoons will still be required to keep this year’s water at a needed high. If trends continue, 2019 will be only the fifth year the state’s water-storage level is at or above average since 2000.

Augusta Free Press: Chesapeake Bay water quality continues to improve: Report

The Chesapeake Bay Program announced this week that water quality in the Chesapeake Bay met its highest standard for water quality since monitoring began in 1985, besting its previous record reported in 2017.

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