May 10, 2011
Register Today for NACD’s 2011 Legislative Conference
Join conservation leaders from across the country on July
18-19 in Washington, D.C. at NACD’s 2011 Legislative Conference.
This year, participants will receive an update on conservation
and land issues from Marcilynn Burke, Deputy Director of the
Bureau of Land Management (BLM), among other agency heads.
The conference will also feature expert panels on TMDL and
the Chesapeake Bay.
As usual, take advantage of this opportunity to meet with your
members of Congress and talk about conservation policy and the
work of districts at the local level. The conference is a
great time to interact with Capitol Hill staff and learn about
the latest 2012 Farm Bill developments. Your voice on Capitol
Hill can be powerful; do not miss the chance to make your
Stick around on Wednesday, July 20, for a special grassroots
advocacy workshop titled “Kicking Your Conservation Message
into High Gear.” The workshop, hosted by Beekeeper Group,
provides direction on strengthening your messages and
To register for the 2011 Legislative Conference and the
“Kicking Your Conservation Message into High Gear” workshop,
NACD President Responds to New York Times Article on Dust,
NACD President Gene Schmidt submitted the following Letter
to the Editor of the New York Times in response to an article
regarding the Dust Bowl and the recent drought situation in
“While the Dust Bowl of the 1930s was indeed an epic disaster,
the author of ‘Survivor of the Dust Bowl now Battles a Fiercer
Drought,’ is correct in saying it’s unlikely to happen again.
Unfortunately, the article neglects to explain why.
“It‘s not by chance that we haven’t seen 1930s-level dust
storms in recent years. It’s the result of careful planning
and implementation of conservation practices on the land. In
direct response to the Dust Bowl, local landowners formed soil
conservation districts in every state across the nation. Today,
nearly 3,000 conservation districts are helping local communities
conserve natural resources.
“Much of this work would not be possible without support from
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service
Agency. To reduce the chances of a repeat “dirty thirties,” and
to help minimize the impact of other major weather events across
the nation, it’s critical Congress upholds the conservation
title of the Farm Bill and provides USDA with the resources to
continue providing conservation technical assistance. Without
support for these programs, we’ll be gambling with our nation’s
land and food security.”
EPA Launches Green Infrastructure Strategy
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching
a new strategy to promote the use of green infrastructure by
cities and towns to reduce stormwater runoff. According to
EPA, green infrastructure decreases pollution to local waterways
by treating rain where it falls and keeping polluted stormwater
from entering sewer systems.
In addition to protecting Americans' health by decreasing
water pollution, green infrastructure provides many community
benefits, including increased economic activity and neighborhood
revitalization, job creation, energy savings and increased
recreational and green space. Examples of effective green
infrastructure tools and techniques include green roofs,
permeable materials, alternative designs for streets and
buildings, trees, rain gardens and rain harvesting systems.
To learn more, visit www.epa.gov/greenin.
Seed Grants Awarded for Greenways Projects
The annual Kodak American Greenways Award Program offers seed
grants for work in expanding America’s network of greenways,
blueways, trails and natural areas.
This year, the program anticipates awarding up to fifty
percent of the grants to projects demonstrating the convergence
of economic prosperity and the environment. Most grants range
from $500 - $1,000 with a maximum grant of $2,500.
Projects that are typically funded advance one or more of the
- Catalyzing new greenway projects
- Assisting grassroots greenway organizations
- Leveraging additional money for conservation and greenway
- Promoting use and enjoyment of greenways
This year’s application deadline is June 15. Visit the following
link for more information and to apply online www.conservationfund.org/kodak_awards.
The program is a collaboration of Eastman Kodak Company, The
Conservation Fund and the National Geographic Society.
FWS Finalizes Gray Wolf Management Rule
Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published
the final rule to remove gray wolves from the federal Endangered
Species Act’s list for the Northern Rocky Mountain Distinct
Population Segment, encompassing Idaho, Montana, and parts of
Oregon, Washington and Utah. Under the rule, these states
will have authority to manage their individual gray wolf
populations at the state level.
The recently-enacted Fiscal Year 2011 appropriations bill
directed FWS to remove the gray wolf from federal protection
in a portion of the Northern Rocky Mountain region. While the
budget rider does not remove the gray wolf from federal protection
in Wyoming, is working with the state to develop a wolf-management
plan that would allow wolves in Wyoming to be removed from the
list in the future.
In addition to the delisting, FWS has published a proposed rule
to remove gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes area, which
includes Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin. More information
on the gray wolf population in the Midwest region can be found
Comments to the proposed rule can be made by July 5 by going to
the Federal eRulemaking Portal located at www.regulations.gov.
Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. [FWS-R3-ES-2011-0029].
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