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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.
102 million dead California trees 'unprecedented in our modern history,' officials say via Los Angeles Times
The number of dead trees in California’s drought-stricken forests has risen dramatically to more than 102 million in what officials described as an unparalleled ecological disaster that heightens the danger of massive wildfires and damaging erosion. Officials said they were alarmed by the increase in dead trees, which they estimated to have risen by 36 million since the government’s last survey in May. The U.S. Forest Service, which performs such surveys of forest land, said that 62 million trees have died this year alone.
After more than a decade of development, the GOES-R satellite, a collaboration between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), just launched into space. And after five to six months of testing the up in the air, it will revolutionize meteorologists’ ability to see and forecast the weather. Now we’ll see weather as it’s happening as opposed to weather that happened 15-30 minutes ago.
Can Iowa improve its water quality if it can't agree how to measure success? via The Des Moines Register
As Iowa lawmakers prepare to battle again over investing hundreds of millions of dollars to improve water quality, a new and controversial debate is looming: What measurement should the state use to determine whether that spending is working? A big part of Iowa's efforts to improve its rivers, streams, and lakes centers on farmers adopting conservation practices spelled out in the state's ambitious Nutrient Reduction Strategy, which seeks to slash nitrogen and phosphorous levels in the state's waterways by 45 percent. But a political divide has emerged over the best way to measure the success of those improvements.
The tech that will feed the world via The Daily Crunch
Twenty years from now, the most important tool for putting food on your table won’t be a harvester, combine, or a plow. It will be a piece of software. Agriculture is in the process of transitioning into a fully high-tech enterprise. This is a long-overdue revolution in the way things have been done for centuries.
2018 Farm bill - Sustainability part 2 via Agri-Pulse
(Opinion) Conservationists and environmental organizations have done their job of stressing the importance of minimizing environmental impacts of production. And we can count on animal rights advocates and those concerned with labor and human services to ensure that social impacts receive due consideration. But who is looking out for the financial welfare of the farmer? Who is tracking whether the policies and programs we implement make it possible for those living on the land to actually make a living from the land?
Obama administration moves to block mining near Yellowstone via The Washington Post
Mining claims will be prohibited on about 30,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service land near the park’s northern entrance in Montana. The prohibition will remain in effect for two years while officials gather public comment and evaluate whether to designate the area off-limits to new mining claims for an additional 20 years.
Black Vultures Growing Problem for Livestock Producers via Lancaster Farming
Livestock producers beware — black vultures are on the hunt and they aren’t just looking for dead animals. These migratory birds are known to attack and eat live animals, too. The birds have become a problem for many Ohio livestock producers in recent years. For livestock producers, this is an issue that is even more prevalent during calving.
Long after Deepwater disaster, spill causing erosion, shoreline loss via Minneapolis Star Tribune
Six years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill devastated the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, scientists are still taking stock of the damage it caused. And increasingly, they’re reporting that widespread shoreline erosion and loss of wetlands — which can hurt important salt marsh ecosystems and leave coastal areas, and the city of New Orleans, more vulnerable to sea-level rise — was a major side-effect of the disaster.
Avocados Imperil Monarch Butterflies’ Winter Home in Mexico via The New York Times
Downhill from the monarchs’ mountain roost in the oak and pine forests, there lurks a new threat to their winter habitat: a lust to grow the lucrative avocados that are being consumed at record rates in the United States. Spurred by soaring demand for the creamy fruit, farmers are clearing land to make room for avocado orchards, cutting oak and pine trees that form a vital buffer around the mountain forests where the monarchs nest.
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