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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: Growers Lead the Way: Soil Health in Glenn County, California
Sitting at the Glenn County Farm Bureau annual dinner last year as a new hire at the Glenn County Resource Conservation District (RCD), I started estimating decades of experience, per farmer in the room, and multiplying it by the numbers of people in chairs. Then I began layering in the growing experience of their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and beyond. In Glenn County, it is common for a farm to be in the fourth, fifth or sixth generation of family ownership. What I saw: arguably over ten thousand years’ accrued farming knowledge in one room.
The Washington Post: Lawmakers reach tentative farm bill deal after months-long impasse
Key lawmakers said Wednesday they have reached a tentative deal on a massive farm bill, breaking a months-long impasse over legislation that doles out more than $400 billion in federal funds for farm subsidies, food stamps and conservation efforts. The senators declined to offer details of the emerging compromise, cautioning that it was not final and could change pending completion of cost analyses and legislative language. Nonetheless, both expressed optimism the legislation could pass before the conclusion of Congress’s lame-duck session next month.
ABC News: Californians prepare for possible mudslides as rain hits wildfire-affected regions
Over the last eight days, up to 10 inches of rain fell in Central and Northern California, so the ground is very saturated. The recent wildfires left nothing to hold the ground in place so the threat for mudslides is high where the Woolsey and Camp fires burned tens of thousands of acres.
Flathead Beacon: It’s Time to Reinvest in Our Public Lands
(Opinion) It is time that we start talking about how to reinvest in our public lands. If we don’t, we risk losing them. Today, we spend less locally and at the state level to maintain our public lands infrastructure than we did 40 years ago. We’re also failing to address the need to expand our public land access at a time we see more visitors to our special wild and public lands than ever.
Ag Web: Online Tool Determines Cover Crop ROI
Farmers will be able to easily calculate return on investment for cover crops with a new online tool. It will help farmers decide whether or not cover crops work for their operation. Iowa State University’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) recently constructed a tool that helps farmers who don’t use cover crop evaluate the economics of cover crops.
Indian Country Today: Supreme Court limits ability to designate endangered species habitat
The Supreme Court made it harder Tuesday for the government to designate critical habitat for endangered species, in a ruling that business and property rights groups said corrects bureaucratic overreach.
Capital Press: UI water-quality team among four finalists in world competition
A University of Idaho team is among four worldwide to advance to the final stage of a $10 million worldwide innovation competition focused on improving water quality. UI’s Clean Water Machine, a reactive filtration system, uses biochar, iron oxide and ozone to strip phosphorous from polluted waters, reducing it to extremely low levels.
WVXU: Hamilton County Has A Greener Way Of Growing Crops
A farming experiment in Crosby and Harrison townships has proven successful in improving soil quality and reducing the use of herbicides. Executive Director of the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District Holly Utrata-Halcomb says results of the study are "quite positive." 94 percent of the fields saw an increase in soil health (and) even during the drought there was significant growth due to water retention in the soil.
California Water News Daily: USDA Announces $449 Million Investment in California Reservoir Project and Water Supply
The project – the Maxwell Water Intertie (MWI) – would include the construction of 3.5 miles of 12-foot diameter pipeline, along with a new pump station, that will be used to pump water from the existing Glenn Colusa Irrigation District (GCID) system to the existing Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority’s (TCCA) Funks Reservoir. These facilities would increase water management flexibility and improve water supply resiliency for participants during dry years and directly increase the efficiency and reliability of water management in the western Sacramento Valley.
The New York Times Magazine: The Insect Apocalypse is Here
In the United States, scientists recently found the population of monarch butterflies fell by 90 percent in the last 20 years, a loss of 900 million individuals; the rusty-patched bumblebee, which once lived in 28 states, dropped by 87 percent over the same period.
Record Eagle: 'Healing' a River
That’s just the start of years of restoration work. Grand Traverse Conservation District employees and volunteers planted 7,500 native trees and shrubs upstream from the former Boardman Dam site over three weeks in the fall. They’ll do three more rounds of planting through spring 2020. Largent said the conservation district and its green-thumbed helpers planted more than 20,000 trees and shrubs by the Brown Bridge Dam site — the conservation district manages lands by all three dam sites.
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