Soil Health

Districts a key windbreak partner across Great Plains

By Mike Beacom Conservation leaders from eight states gathered in Manhattan, Kansas, earlier this month for the Great Plains Windbreak Initiative, a three-day meeting designed to advance the “research, understanding, and use of windbreaks in the Great Plains.” [caption id="attachment_7770" align="alignright" width="640"] In additional to mitigating hazardous winds, these windbreaks in North Dakota save energy…… Continue reading →

‘Tis the season: Road salt applications catch the attention of Vermont district

By Whitney Forman-Cook The district manager of a Vermont conservation district spoke before the state's House Committee on Natural Resources recently on an important issue in the northern U.S. Road salt, Corrina Parnapy told lawmakers this winter, is making its way into American riparian, aquatic, and terrestrial ecosystems. Following a thaw or rain event, Parnapy testified, salt applied to…… Continue reading →

Chesapeake Bay district partners to accelerate conservation adoption

By Bill Tharpe and Jackie Koehn [caption id="attachment_7370" align="alignleft" width="363"] The Thomas Run project created three shallow water wetland developments and restored and forested approximately 12 acres of wetland, providing habitat for waterfowl and allowing landowners to lease their property for hunting rights.[/caption] The Harford Soil Conservation District in Maryland is working with a private sector…… Continue reading →

Districts among the many partners assisting 2017 LRP projects

By Mike Beacom Conservation districts are partners in half of the 2017 Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership (LRP) projects announced in December. Through the program, the U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) strive to work together to restore landscapes, reduce wildfire threats to communities and landowners, protect water quality, and enhance wildlife…… Continue reading →

SWCDs a good fit for BLM in Alaska

by Mike Beacom Eric Geisler admits that until recently he hadn’t given much thought to enlisting soil and water conservation districts as cooperators. “I’d worked with the Salcha-Delta Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) following the Eagle Trail Fire, but that was in 2010,” said Geisler, the program lead for forestry in BLM’s Alaska State…… Continue reading →

Did You Know? NACD has a Soil Health Champions Network

By Beth Mason [caption id="attachment_7033" align="alignright" width="619"] Each dot on the map above represents a Soil Health Champion. Is your state represented in the Network?[/caption] In 2014, NACD received a three-year NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) to promote the adoption of soil health practices across the United States. The grant has two parts: First, NACD…… Continue reading →

Silvopasture getting closer look in Southeast

By Mike Beacom Dr. Alan Franzluebbers didn’t go looking for silvopasture; the practice was waiting for him. The research ecologist relocated four years ago to a position with North Carolina State University's Department of Soil Science. Having researched pasture systems for more than a decade in Georgia, Franzluebbers inherited a silvopasture study already underway at…… Continue reading →

Did You Know? How to be a high-achieving district

By Mike Brown Our heritage began over 75 years ago, and the accomplishments achieved by conservation districts have been nothing short of remarkable. We have transformed the American landscape from barren wastelands of the Dust Bowl era to productive working lands that support healthy wildlife populations, protect water quality, and invest in the future by…… Continue reading →

Soil health continues to top hot topics in conservation

By Josie Dallam The National Association of Conservation Districts’ president, Lee McDaniel, knows a few things about soil health. He owns Indian Spring Farm in Darlington, Maryland, where he has raised dairy and beef cattle, and now farms row crops. Everything he’s done there relates back to soil health, he told an audience of conservation…… Continue reading →

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