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The USDA announced the investment of $26.6 million into 45 projects that will spur innovative conservation initiatives on both rural and urban farms across the country. Public and private grantees will provide matching investments, bringing the total value of support to $59 million. The 2016 projects focus on water quality, conservation finance and assistance to historically underserved USDA customers.
BLM horse program at epic low point via Elko Daily Free Press
(Opinion) Nevadans are especially sensitive because of the sheer number of horses here. Ranchers deal with the horses’ impact on their livelihoods, just as they do with elk and other wildlife, but that doesn’t mean Nevada is full of horse-haters. But we are aware — perhaps more than people living in any other state — of the extent to which the federal government’s system of handling horses has failed. This failure is not an accusation on our part, it’s a fact.
President Obama visited one of the USA's most remote island territories Thursday to tout his conservation record and highlight the threat that climate change poses to Pacific islands.
CSP: Headed in the right direction via Agri-Pulse
(Opinion) Last week the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced updates to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) including more than 200 enhancements, nearly double the previous number. These are the specific conservation management activities that farmers and ranchers agree to implement that take them to the next level-beyond minimum conservation standards.
California, wracked by drought, has 66 million dead trees across its landscape. They’ve been killed by both the drought itself and by voracious bark beetles, and now they’re just sitting there — destined to either decompose, burn in a wildfire, or be incinerated, for safety reasons, by state fire managers before the next blaze comes along. Belmont is studying an intriguing solution for what to do with all these dangerous dead trees — namely, burn them for energy.
Yosemite National Park is growing by 400 acres — the largest expansion to the park since 1949. The area includes a sprawling grassy meadow, wetlands and rolling hills dotted with tall pine trees, and is known to be home to at least two endangered species.
FWS to decide on ESA protections for fisher, 8 other species via Associated Press
The U.S. government agreed Tuesday to decide over the next several years if federal protections are needed to help a small, fanged predator of the Northern Rockies, massive alligator snapping turtles in the South and seven other troubled species that in some cases have awaited action for years.
Farm Bureau group moves closer to backing water quality funding via The Des Moines Register
A powerful farm group took a step Wednesday toward supporting a long-term funding source for water quality, with some members arguing the state needs to aggressively ramp up conservation spending to avoid unwanted regulations. The group has broadly supported conservation funding, but it's the first time it has moved to support new funding for water quality.
10,000-acre fire planned to reduce risk of wildfire via Great Falls Tribune
The U.S. Forest Service is planning a 10,000-acre fire treatment to create fuel breaks in a large area of continuous stands of trees on the eastern border of the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest southwest of Augusta that a district ranger says are primed to burn.
First-of-kind study suggests cover crop mixtures increase agroecosystem services via Penn State News
As continued research yields more precise information about optimal cover-crop seed mixtures and planting rates, Kaye predicted, farmers will deploy this strategy to enhance soil quality, control weed growth, manage critical nutrients such as nitrogen, improve crop yields and reduce nutrient runoff.
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