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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: Michigan District Makes Difference for Wildlife Habitat

Blue Water Conservation District (BWCD) is improving wildlife habitat through a $50,700 grant the district received from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). BWCD, which serves St. Clair and Sanilac counties, will use the funds to convert 86 acres of row crops into native grasses, wet grass mix and wildflower mix in Sanilac County.

Civil Eats: A Change to Farm Bill Conservation Efforts Could Spell Disaster for the Corn Belt
By Julia Poska

The House of Representatives has proposed cutting CSP and rolling its “best features” into the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a similar conservation program for working lands without a long-term commitment. If this happened, EQIP would absorb $3 billion previously allocated for CSP. The Senate’s more moderate farm bill, on the other hand, would maintain the status quo and maintain the separate programs. Either way, the direction Congress goes will have major implications for farmers and natural resources around the U.S.

Agri-Pulse: Trump aims to aid California farmers, congressmen with water memo
By Steve Davies

Lawmakers have blasted what critics are calling a “water grab” by the California State Water Resources Control Board to re-allocate water flowing through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to help sustain endangered fish species and restore the Bay-Delta ecosystem. But that would mean less water for farmers in the state’s Central Valley, who have been sharply critical of the plan.

DTN/The Progressive Farmer: Texas Court Asked to Vacate 2015 WOTUS
By Todd Neeley

Three states, along with the American Farm Bureau Federation, asked a federal court in Texas on Thursday to vacate the 2015 waters of the United States, or WOTUS, rule in the latest in a long series of court actions.

High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal: Could Kernza become a perennial alternative?
By Amy Bickel

Lee DeHaan, the lead scientist developing the crop at the Salina, Kansas-based Land Institute, sees it as a crop for the regenerative agriculture movement. The deep-rooted plant builds soil health, curbs water runoff, sequesters carbon and enhances wildlife habitat. It mimics the prairie ecosystem that conventional crops replaced.

Reuters: Trump says EPA acting chief 'doing well,' may become permanent
By Steve Holland and Richard Valdmanis

Wheeler has said that EPA, under his leadership, would take the same course as under Pruitt, prioritize cleaning up industrial Superfund sites - areas contaminated by hazardous waste and identified by the EPA as a candidate for cleanup due to a risk to health and/or the environment - and financing investments in water infrastructure.

AP News: Trump taps ex-Monsanto executive to lead wildlife agency
By Matthew Daly

President Donald Trump says he is nominating a former executive at agribusiness giant Monsanto to head the Fish and Wildlife Service. Aurelia Skipwith of Indiana is currently deputy assistant Interior secretary for fish, wildlife and parks.

Legacy: Prescribed Fire Is Essential to the Land
By Russell Stevens

Prescribed fire, grazing and rest are integral processes for maintaining the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community in the Southern Great Plains and throughout the U.S. When managing native plant communities, it is impossible to achieve beneficial outcomes when using only the process of fire, the process of grazing or the process of rest. They should be used in combination with each other.

Phys.Org: Working lands play a key role in protecting biodiversity

Maintaining even small pieces of the original landscape—even a single tree- can help conserve the original diversity of species.

Successful Farming: No-Till Champion Tests No-Till in Poorly Drained Soils
By Raylene Nickel

In just four seasons of no-till, Cavadini has seen soil quality improve. Soil aggregates have become more stable, and water infiltration has increased. Because of the improved drainage and soil structure, he suggests farmers consider no-till as a more cost-effective alternative to installing drain tile.

Los Angeles Times: National Park Service cancels controlled burn near Earth's largest tree
By Joseph Serna

A National Park Service plan to set fire to an ancient sequoia grove in western Sierra Nevada has been canceled for the second time this year, further delaying a delicate forestry operation aimed at triggering new growth near the world’s largest tree.

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