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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: Grant County Conservation District able to reach more landowners through grant

Washington’s Grant County Conservation District is using a technical assistance grant to get more boots on the ground and help the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) climb out of a backlog of program applications.

NACD Blog: Big Thompson Conservation District is improving Colorado’s forests

Colorado’s Big Thompson Conservation District is using a technical assistance grant from the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to grow its Healthy Forest Initiative program with new staff and new projects.

NACD Blog: Community Forest Program

Communities and private landowners across the country are embracing the U.S. Forest Service’s Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (Community Forest Program), a program designed to manage private property for public access and the good of the community.

NACD Blog: District finds ways to assist CFP in Washington

A 2008 wildfire that began with a lightning strike on Mt. Adams and moved toward nearby rural communities sparked a movement to find innovative ways to address fire risk and protect forest health in southern Washington. Those conversations grew into the Mt. Adams Community Forest, which benefited from the Community Forest Program, a newer program provided through the U.S. Forest Service that has opportunities to connect with local conservation districts.

NACD Blog: Five ways conservation districts can assist CFP

From the application process to providing ongoing technical assistance, conservation districts have several opportunities to participate in the Community Forest Program at different levels.

Politico: USDA digs in on farm bill outreach
By Ryan McCrimmon

President Donald Trump’s budget request will propose steep cuts to USDA, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Monday. The White House is looking to trim overall non-defense spending by 5 percent, but the USDA chief said his department’s “conservative” budget proposal is likely to be targeted for even bigger cuts.

Medium: For U.S. Farmers, Sustainability Is the Future of Profitability
By Sarah Mock

(Opinion) But, at least right now, the sheer scale of work to be done — and the razor-thin margins of even the most profitable U.S. farms — makes it nearly impossible to significantly invest in sustainability.

The Hill: Senate confirms Wheeler to lead EPA
By Miranda Green

The Senate on Thursday voted to confirm Andrew Wheeler as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a 52-47 mostly party-line vote.

EurekAlert!: Getting to the core of underwater soil

Soils all over the Earth's surface are rigorously tested and managed. But what about soils that are down in the murky depths? Although not traditional soils, underwater soils have value and function.

Newsweek: ‘Yellowstone is more valuable than gold’: Congress passes landmark natural resources management act
By Hannah Osborne

The act designates over 1 million acres of land as wilderness, with almost 700,000 acres reserved for recreation and conservation. It allows for the expansion of Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley National Park and the Mojave National Preserve, and would allow for the creation of four national monuments.

WeatherNation: Study Shows Changes in Great Plains’ Ogallala Aquifer
By Michon Scott

According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), producers are extracting water faster than it is being replenished, which means that parts of the Ogallala Aquifer should be considered a nonrenewable resource.

Corn and Soybean Digest: Ten-year cover crop study challenges negative yield perceptions
By Elizabeth Juchems

Back in 2008 before anyone was really talking about cover crops, Iowa Learning Farms (ILF) and Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) got together to undertake a long-term on-farm field research study to help understand the impacts of planting cover crops on soil health, yields and nutrient/soil leaching. At the end of the 2018 harvest season, the team tabulated the results of the unprecedented ten-year field-scale study. This is the only study of its kind in the Midwest that has spanned 10 years and includes working farmers and their farms, not research plots under the close supervision of researchers and scientists.

Cornell Chronicle: Roadmap points way to better soil health in New York
By Kitty Gifford

The roadmap identifies key policy, research and education efforts to overcome barriers to adoption of soil health practices by farmers. It also identifies strategies for integrating soil health goals with state priorities focused on environmental issues such as climate change and water quality.

The Hill: Agencies reduce grazing fees for federal land
By Timothy Cama

Two federal agencies are cutting the fees that ranchers and other land managers pay them to graze their animals on public land. The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Agriculture Department’s Forest Service announced Wednesday that the fees would be $1.35 for each month that an animal unit — one cow and calf, one horse, five sheep or five goats — grazes.

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