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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 the NACD Communications Team.

NACD Blog: Louisiana districts take the lead in longleaf pine pastureland efforts
By David Daigle

Longleaf pine forests and coastal prairies are among the most imperiled ecosystems in the nation, and both systems evolved with and were shaped by large grazing mammals. Their absence also shapes these systems and may lead to their loss over time.

NACD Blog: Central New York district promotes growing food instead of lawns
By Marissa Phelps

In 2019, the Cortland County Soil and Water Conservation District (CCSWCD) located in Central New York was awarded funding through the National Association of Conservation Districts’ (NACD) Urban Agriculture Conservation (UAC) Initiative to develop a new program promoting urban agriculture and natural resource conservation.

Tri-State Livestock News: Top of the inning
By Megan Silveira

In the game of agriculture, Mother Nature always bats last, and it is the job of agriculturists across the country to make sure they are prepared to win in the last inning. Ian Cunningham, secretary-treasurer of NACD, believes this preparation starts with protecting topsoil.

PR Newswire: Soil Health Institute releases progress report on adoption of soil health practices

The Soil Health Institute (SHI) has released Progress Report: Adoption of Soil Health Systems, based on data from the 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture. The analysis includes a state-by-state breakdown of changes in adoption from 2012 to 2017 for cover crops and no-till production.

Wisconsin State Farmer: Cover crops help improve soil health in prevented planting fields

Prolonged rain and flooding have resulted in many fields that will go unplanted this year. Farmers in this situation need to weigh not only their program and insurance options but should also assess agronomic options to ensure long term productivity. Producers should explore the benefits of planting a cover crop.

Agri-Pulse: Opinion: How to make the new 'Waters of the US' definition last
By Kendal Frazier and Barb Glenn

For farmers and ranchers living under the uncertainty of the 2015 Waters of the United States rule, this year could bring relief to an ongoing state of regulatory confusion.

CBS19 News: Millions in funding to help farmers improve conservation efforts

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced this week that $73 million in funding has been approved for the Improved Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program. This program aims to protect water and soil health by investing to help farmers implement conservation practices.

Sacramento Bee: California passes $26 billion plan to deal with wildfire threats
By Bryan Anderson

A costly $26 billion proposal to deal with the state’s ongoing wildfire threats is heading to Gov. Gavin Newsom. Newsom, who had worked with Democratic lawmakers behind the scenes to pass a comprehensive plan ahead of a month-long summer recess, is expected to sign the bill as early as Friday.

E&E News: Colo. may go all in on gambling to fund conservation
By Jeremy P. Jacobs

(Subscriber Only) A bill has been signed and passed that puts the question of legalizing sports gambling to Colorado voters on a ballot measure this November. Proposition DD would impose a 10% tax on gambling proceeds. A big chunk of that money would go to implementing the state's water plan.

Star Tribune: Invasive grasses choke birds’ habitat
By Jennifer Bjorhus

When the forest canopy along the Mississippi River gaps and shrinks, an aggressive, sun-loving invasive plant called reed canary grass takes hold, a species that thrives in areas disturbed by fluctuating water. Hundreds of bird species are affected.

AgriPulse: Productive ag land is degrading into “salt sacrifice areas”
By Brad Hooker

(Subscriber Only) The impacts of salt and nitrate pollution are costing California at least $3 billion per year and taking ag land out of production, with salts impacting the valley for decades to come.

Bay Journal: States’ latest Bay cleanup plans found lacking by EPA
By Karl Blankenship

The draft Bay cleanup plans drawn up by watershed states fall short of ensuring the region will finally achieve its longstanding goal of delivering a healthy Chesapeake by 2025. Stormwater and agricultural pollution reduction goals are the hardest to meet.

New Scientist: Butterfly numbers fell by one third in the US over last two decades
By Ruby Prosser Scully

Butterfly numbers have dropped by one third in the U.S. over 20 years because of climate change and habitat destruction – and other insects may be declining too.

Tahoe Daily Tribune: Study: Thinning forests, prescribed fire before drought can reduce tree loss in Sierra Nevada
By Kat Kerlin

Thinning forests and conducting prescribed burns may help preserve trees in future droughts and bark beetle epidemics expected under climate change, suggests a study from the University of California, Davis.

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