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Conservation Clip List is a weekly collection of articles distributed by NACD that provides our members and partners with the latest news in what's driving conservation. If you have a relevant submission, please contact your NACD Communications Team.
What does the new federal water bill mean for California? For one, a big win for farmers via The Sacramento Bee
Congress passed a wide-ranging water bill that is likely to result in greater pumping of Northern California water to farms and cities in the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. The bill is designed to route more of the Sacramento River’s flows to the giant government-run pumping stations near Tracy, which deliver water to California’s dry interior and southern expanse via the State Water Project and Central Valley Project. That would mean less water in the rivers for fish and wildlife, and less flowing to the San Francisco Bay and out to the ocean.
Voluntary conservation: It works! via Agri-Pulse
(Opinion) As we look ahead to a new year, a new Administration, and a new farm bill, it's important to recognize what works and what doesn't. Top of my list of approaches that really work? Voluntary conservation-no surprise there. The stewardship ethic is all about putting it back. Keeping the soil on the land, building it up through manure and cover crops, and restoring and retaining productivity. Not because someone in Washington, D.C., or Pierre, South Dakota, threatens to fine you if you don't. But because you know it will reduce erosion, increase soil health, boost productivity, and benefit the bottom line both today and tomorrow.
Trump picks GOP Rep. Zinke for Interior secretary via The Hill
President-elect Donald Trump announced Thursday that Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) would be his nominee for Interior secretary. As head of the 70,000-employee Interior Department, Zinke would oversee most of the United States’ federal land, along with wildlife, parks, offshore drilling, American Indian tribal relations, and more. Zinke is an avid hunter, fisherman, and hiker, and said he is committed to both properly caring for public lands and making the best use of them.
Bald eagle comes off endangered species list in Washington State via The Christian Science Monitor
Washington State removed the bald eagle and the peregrine falcon from its endangered species list. The action in Washington is part of a national recovery effort that has seen the bald eagle population flourish since it was first placed on the federal Endangered Species List in 1967. The continental United States now has 10,000 nesting pairs nationwide, and bald eagles are officially classified as animals of "Least Concern" because their population is increasing.
MN Board of Water & Soil Resources Awards $13.4 Million in Clean Water Fund Grants via ABC 5 Eyewitness News
The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources approved more than $13 million in Clean Water Fund grants at its December meeting. The money is going to local government projects benefiting Minnesota's streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater. The BWSR receives appropriations from the Clean, Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, which was approved by Minnesota voters in 2008.
North Dakota Oil Pipeline Spills An Estimated 176,000 Gallons via The Huffington Post
A pipeline in the western part of North Dakota has spilled more than 130,000 gallons of oil into a creek, state officials said. In all, the Belle Fourche pipeline lost 4,200 barrels of crude oil, or more than 176,000 gallons, before operators shut it down. Most of the oil flowed into the Ash Coulee Creek near Belfield.
Homeowners in the Riverstone subdivision near Sugar Land, Texas, say wild pigs are devouring their lawns and landscaping. Locals believe the pigs are coming onto their properties because nearby development is pushing them out of their habitat. "We are paying all this money; our property values are going down because the pigs are causing all this devastation. Something has to be done."
During the campaign, President-elect Donald Trump's agriculture advisers had a tough row to hoe: They had to assure farm-state Republicans that Trump's constant tirades against trade wouldn't hurt a farm economy that relies increasingly on exports. They also stressed Trump's disdain for the regulation of farming practices, vowing he'd bring the Environmental Protection Agency to heel. Here's a quick rundown of why Trump's recent personnel choices amount to twin gifts to Big Ag.
Washington state suing Monsanto over PCB pollution via Seattle Times
Washington says it’s the first U.S. state to sue the agrochemical giant Monsanto over pollution from PCBs. The chemicals, polychlorinated biphenyls, were used in many industrial and commercial applications, including in paint, coolants, sealants, and hydraulic fluids. PCB contamination impairs rivers, lakes, and bays around the country. The lawsuit, which seeks potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in cleanup costs, was filed in King County Superior Court and says Monsanto long knew about the toxic dangers PCBs posed.
Colorado facing growth boom, droughts launches $25 million push to save streams via The Denver Post
Colorado officials want $25 million to create stream protection plans in every corner of the state, trying to save watersheds increasingly imperiled by industry, droughts, and more people siphoning water. There’s little doubt streams statewide are strained by thirsts of a growing population expected to double by 2060. And a look at the latest water quality data found that 12,975 miles of streams across Colorado (14 percent of all stream miles) are classified as “impaired” with pollutants exceeding limits set by state regulators.
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