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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: NACD’s Take: The Final 2018 Farm Bill Agreement
On Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, the House and Senate Agriculture Committees released the text and conference report for the 2018 Farm Bill. NACD staff have been busy analyzing the bill to see how our priorities fared.
Brownfield: NACD is Pleased with Farm Bill Conservation Title
“The biggest priority for us was making sure that the Conservation Title maintained funding from the 2014 Farm Bill levels,” said Coleman Garrison, director of government affairs at the NACD. “That has occurred in this farm bill and we are really pleased.”
Agri-Pulse: Farm bill upgrades commodity programs, boosts most conservation initiatives
A compromise farm bill ready for final congressional votes melds a variety of Senate and House improvements to the major commodity programs, boosts spending on several major conservation programs while also creating a new $30 million a year program to fight animal diseases.
Des Moines Register: Iowa's voluntary approach to protecting waterways isn't working
(Opinion) Though everyone can see that tillage, spraying, and driving heavy equipment near the edge of a stream is damaging, it is not an uncommon practice. We, local soil and water commissioners, think it needs to stop. We urge the Iowa Legislature to take action this session to prohibit crop farming within 30 feet of a stream, and to require permanent buffer strips to protect water quality.
Agri-Pulse: Fewer streams covered under new WOTUS proposal
Many areas covered by the Obama administration’s “waters of the U.S.” rule would be removed from federal oversight under a proposal released today by the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers. EPA and the Corps propose to remove ephemeral streams – those that flow when the rain falls – from federal jurisdiction. In a change sure to be welcomed by the ag industry, the proposal also would exclude ditches from regulation unless they contribute flow to a perennial or intermittent stream.
The Sacramento Bee: Sale, possible slaughter of California horses delayed while they get their day in court
Before the “horse gather” removed nearly 1,000 horses from the herd, the Devil’s Garden herd had almost 4,000 horses, with a range of 250,000 acres. McAdams said that the land in question could support only 206 to 402 horses.
WTKR: Grant announced to help water quality in Chesapeake Bay
A grant announced by Gov. Ralph Northam will help the state’s Department of Forestry enhance the water quality on the Chesapeake Bay. The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) and Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), in cooperation with other key partners such as local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, will lead these efforts in the Shenandoah Valley through riparian forest buffers and other innovative livestock stream exclusion practices.
Agri-Pulse: BLM sage-grouse plans receive mixed response
The Bureau of Land Management’s new management plans for tens of millions of acres of greater sage-grouse habitat aim to give BLM and seven western states “flexibility” to address threats to the bird’s continued existence.
Politico: Farm bill headed to Trump after landslide House approval
The House on Wednesday easily passed the compromise farm bill by a vote of 369-47, sending the sweeping agriculture and nutrition measure to President Donald Trump to sign.
The Wall Street Journal: Harvard Quietly Amasses California Vineyards—and the Water Underneath
The university’s endowment manager, Harvard Management Co., was stealthily building a sizable grape-growing business on the Central Coast. With the land, it was acquiring rights to vast sources of water. A Harvard official responded that its investment was “purely agricultural in nature” and that the vineyards prioritized water conservation.
The Baltimore Sun: 3 things the federal farm bill funds besides farming: Chesapeake Bay cleanup, food stamps and renewable energy
The program helps pay for efforts to address flooding or drought, degradation in water or soil quality, and loss of wildlife habitat, including projects to create or preserve forest buffers between farmland and waterways, to plant cover crops and to rotate crops in a way that helps trap carbon in soil.
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