Federal Lawmaking

DOI review of designations under Antiquities Act underway

By Chris Heck What is the Antiquities Act?  The Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities was signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. During his presidency, Roosevelt used the act 18 times. Seven of his original designations have been upgraded to “national park” or “national forest” by Congress, or in the case…… Continue reading →

The importance of Section 319 grants

By Eric Hansen Conservation districts draw on a variety of funding sources to protect and conserve our nation’s natural resources. Districts pull from farm bill conservation programs, state resource protection programs, and leverage private funds to achieve conservation objectives. They also can apply for funding through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Section 319 program. Fast…… Continue reading →

What do the Trump, Zinke orders mean for conservation?

By Chris Heck On Tuesday, March 28, President Donald Trump issued an executive order rescinding several Obama-era executive orders and memoranda on energy, natural resources, and climate change, including the following: Executive Order 13653 of November 1, 2013 (Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change); The Presidential Memorandum of June 25, 2013 (Power…… Continue reading →

What does the rollback of BLM’s planning rule mean?

By Chris Heck WASHINGTON, March 30, 2017 - The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 established a process that requires the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to develop resource management plans (RMPs) in cooperation with state, local, and tribal governments. The first BLM land planning process regulation was finalized by the agency in…… Continue reading →

How can the new Congress use CRA authority?

By Chris Heck WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2017 – Speculation is flying on whether the new Congress will use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to repeal several of the Obama administration’s more controversial regulations. These regulations include the Farmer Fair Practices or GIPSA rule, the SNAP retailers rule, the school lunch and breakfast program’s nutrition standards,…… Continue reading →

USDA funds new Working Lands for Wildlife projects

By Eric Hansen USDA is expanding its Working Lands for Wildlife program, an NRCS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiative that has been instrumental in conserving at-risk wildlife habitat on working lands. Through Working Lands for Wildlife, NRCS focuses financial and technical assistance on private lands that support seven target species: the greater sage-grouse, lesser prairie-chicken, gopher tortoise, New England cottontail,…… Continue reading →

Updated ACEP provides new opportunities for conservation districts

By Eric Hansen Last month, NRCS finalized regulations for its new Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), marking the end of 2014 Farm Bill implementation and opening up several opportunities for conservation districts to assist landowners in conservation planning. First, some background: the 2014 Farm Bill combined the NRCS' Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program, Grassland Reserve…… Continue reading →

The truth about wild horses in the American West

By Lee McDaniel and Brent Van Dyke As you may have heard by now, the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board recommended last month that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) humanely euthanize or sell (without restriction) unadoptable wild horses and burros on the western range. Perhaps you heard an activist group claim that…… Continue reading →

EPA’s 319 grants help put voluntary conservation on the ground

By Coleman Garrison The Environmental Protection Agency released a national snapshot of its Section 319 grants program last week to highlight the voluntary program’s many conservation successes in recent years. This week, NACD is joining the celebration. Technical and financial assistance allocated through the Section 319 grant program, also called the Nonpoint Source Program, helps…… Continue reading →

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