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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: Congressional Efforts on ESA Modernization
By Adam Pugh

On July 12, the Congressional Western Caucus rolled out its legislative package to modernize the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Bringing the ESA into the 21st century is crucial to improving species recovery and essential to increasing the state and local government’s authority to lead on conservation efforts.

The Hill: House completes first half of 2019 spending bills
By Niv Elis, Timothy Cama and Naomi Jagoda

The House on Thursday passed a package of two 2019 appropriations bills, marking the halfway point in its quest to pass the 12 annual spending bills needed to fund the government. Totaling $58.7 billion, the Financial Services bill and the Interior and Environment bills fund agencies including the IRS and various financial regulators, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Interior Department and a series of popular arts programs.

Agri-Pulse: USDA announces almost $2 billion in hurricane, wildfire disaster assistance
By Spencer Chase

The Department of Agriculture is making available just under $2 billion for producers affected by hurricanes and wildfires in 2017.

The New York Times: Interior Department Proposes a Vast Reworking of the Endangered Species Act
By Lisa Friedman, Kendra Pierre-Louis and Livia Albeck-Ripka

The Interior Department on Thursday proposed the most sweeping set of changes in decades to the Endangered Species Act.

Politico: Farm bill conference has 47 members and counting
By Catherine Boudreau

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday appointed dozens of lawmakers to the farm bill conference committee after the chamber agreed to head to conference. The Senate still has to vote on a motion to go to conference as well as name its conferees, and Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) has said that may happen as soon as next week.

Agri-Pulse: Lawmakers review grazing on federal lands
By Corryn La Rue

A House Natural Resources subcommittee held an oversight hearing in which experts argued for and against livestock grazing on federal lands and reviewed the role of ranchers in regulating the practice.

MPR News: Minnesota sweetens the pot to shift cropland into conservation
By Dan Gunderson

Under the program, landowners enroll land in the federal Conservation Reserve Program for 15 years. But they also sign up for the Reinvest in Minnesota program, and agree to a permanent easement, a legal document stipulating the land must always be managed for conservation.

The New York Times: California Is Preparing for Extreme Weather. It’s Time to Plant Some Trees.
By Henry Fountain

“There’s always an opportunity to use vegetation and this green infrastructure to lower flood risk — move the water where it will do the most good and redirect it from places that will do the most harm,” she said. “And you can do that in a way that is durable and sustainable over time.”

Statesman Journal: 80 percent of Oregon now in drought, highest since 2015
By Zach Urness

Eighty-percent of Oregon is now in moderate drought, the most since the historically dry 2015 season, according to a new report from the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The Baltimore Sun: Halfway to cleanup deadline, Chesapeake Bay hits goals for phosphorus, sediment, but misses nitrogen target
By Scott Dance

Halfway to a 2025 cleanup deadline, the Chesapeake Bay is on track to meet goals for reduced phosphorus and sediment pollution, but has missed a target for nitrogen contamination.

Scientific American: To Feed the World Sustainably, Repair the Soil
By David R. Montgomery

New technologies and genetically modified crops are usually invoked as the key to feeding the world’s growing population. But a widely overlooked opportunity lies in reversing the soil degradation that has already taken something like a third of global farmland out of production.

The New York Times: Restoring the West’s Burned Rangeland, With Seeds and a Pasta Machine
By Kirk Johnson

The seeds — coated with a cloak of botanical trickery to hold moisture or delay germination — are ready for planting on the mostly treeless open-range landscapes that have been scorched by fire.

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