Updates and news from Private Landowner Network
Secretary Vilsack Announces Partnership to Advance Commercial Potential of Cellulosic Nanomaterial from Wood
This public private partnership will rapidly advance the development of the US's first commercial facility that produces cellulosic nanomaterial.
Agriculture, Navy Secretaries Promote U.S. Military Energy Independence with 'Farm-to-Fleet'
Program blends homegrown biofuels with conventional fuels, propelling ships, jets and jobs
NFWF Announces More Than $100 Million for Restoration Projects on the Gulf Coast
Funds derived from settlement of DOJ criminal charges against BP and Transocean
New initiative focuses on critical role of soil health
The Soil Health Initiative will bring recognition to the central role of soil in productive agricultural systems, and establish a strategic plan to address soil health issues.
Report Shows that Farm Bill Conservation Practices Reduce Runoff of Nutrients, Sediment in Chesapeake Bay Watershed
USDA-led conservation practices in the Bay watershed are preventing millions of tons of soil erosion annually while reducing harmful runoff, report says.
USDA, EPA Partnership Supports Water Quality Trading To Benefit Environment, Economy
The USDA and EPA have announced a partnership that will support water quality trading and market-based approaches to land and natural resource conservation.
Applications for Conservation Stewardship Program due Jan. 17
Popular Farm Bill conservation program seeks producer participation
Will the farm bill leave private lands conservation behind?
Right now, following the farm bill’s progress seems a lot like watching corn grow. The major hurdle to clear right now, and that’s received a fair bit of media attention already, is how much to cut food stamps. But it’s important not to lose sight of what else is at stake. In addition to being the major domestic and foreign food assistance program, and agriculture safety net, the farm bill is also the nation’s largest private lands conservation fund. The House and Senate
USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for December 2013
The CCC announced rates for Dec. 2013, which are unchanged from Nov.
Improving forage, livestock production begins with the soil
The management of soil health is of vital importance to producers as it is the dynamic resource that supports plant life.
NBCI's 2013 Almanac Examines Bobwhite Restoration Advancements
While the wild bobwhite quail population continues to struggle, the momentum to restore their populations range wide continues to grow with several important pieces falling into place over the last year, according to Don McKenzie, director of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI).
SEAFWA Endorses Full Funding for NBCI by States
The Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) has voted unanimously to endorse member states’ fully funding the core operations of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) for an initial three-year period.
Sequestration cuts will hit farm and ranch programs
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) warns that producers should consider expected sequestration cuts as the work with 2014 budgets.
USDA Announces Notice of Funding Availability for Value-Added Producer Grants
Grants extend production season and income opportunities for America's Farmers
Ag Sustainability Goes Long – From Field-Scale to Nation-Wide
Ag Resource Strategies, LLC offers ‘Farm Portfolio’ approach to simplify conservation complexity
Celebrate Urban Birds Mini-Grants
Every year, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology invites organizations, educators, and youth to apply for mini-grants to help fund creative neighborhood events.
USDA Announces November 2013 Feedstock Flexibility Program Results and a New CCC Invitation to Sell Sugar for Non-Food Uses
The CCC announced the results of the CCC's offer to sell sugar inventory for bioenergy production under the FFP.
High tunnel finds place in large-acreage farm plan
Even though the Adam's farm totals 4,000 acres the family recently began experimenting with farming on a much smaller scale through the use of high tunnels. The NRCS provided the family with technical and financial assistance to build the tunnels and install water efficient drip-irrigation systems in them.
New Campaign Calls for Restoration Projects that Benefit Environment and Economy
October 30, 2013 -- The Walton Family Foundation announced a Gulf-wide effort to spotlight business support for restoration projects that will benefit both the economy and the environment.
New White House Rural Council Report Highlights the Economic Importance of Passing a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill
The Administration has made clear that passing a comprehensive farm bill is a priority, and of importance for every American. The White House released a new report, which explains what is at stake in this debate.
U.S. Forest Service Offers New Digital Maps for Mobile Devices
The U.S. Forest Service now offers access to variety of visitor maps for people using Android and iOS devices.
EPA Offers Funding to Reduce Pollution from Diesel Engines
The EPA has $2 million in funding for rebates to help public and private construction equipment owners replace or retrofit older diesel construction engines.
Experts: 'Something Bigger is Going on' with Wildfires
Science is connecting hotter, bigger fires and a longer, more intense fire season with changes in the climate.
New effort helps farmers with tools to measure conservation impacts
NRCS is helping farmers install monitoring stations to test the quality of water flowing off their fields.
FSA Advises Producers to Anticipate Payment Reductions Due to Mandated Sequester
The Budget Control Act of 2011 mandates that federal agencies implement automatic, annual reductions to mandatory spending limits, the FSA describes it's implementation of sequestration here.
Obama Administration's National Drought Resilience Partnership to Help Communities Prepare for Drought
As part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, the Obama Administration today announced an interagency National Drought Resilience Partnership to help communities better prepare for future droughts and reduce the impact of drought events on livelihoods and the economy.
Indiana Corn says AP Story Misses Facts on Farming and Conservation
The ICMC and Midwestern states refute a recent news article that claims ethanol production has pressured the removal of US farmland from conservation programs.
Meet me at the Border: Sage Grouse Initiative Projects Converge on Utah-Colorado Boundary
The Sage Grouse Initiative and private landowners are teaming up to erase the boundaries and restore valuable sage grouse habitat.
Conservation Easements: a tax break for the rich or a valuable conservation tool?
This week BusinessWeek published an article, 'IRS Cracks Down on Breaks Tied to Rich Americans' Land', explaining how conservation easement donations are being used unfairly by wealthy landowners. The Land Trust Alliance's response is included below.
Farmland too often not seen for environmental benefits
Farmland is too often seen as merely a 'place-holder' for development, when in fact it has many benefits for humans and wildlife alike.
USDA Partnership Supports Crop Insurance Education
USDA's Risk Management Agency announces crop insurance outreach funding for 45 states.
USGS Reports Lower Nitrates in Portions of Mississippi River Basin
Survey finds strong declines in some areas of basin, status quo in others
Tale of two ranches
Ranchers in Montana and Colorado see big game wildlife differently due to their state's policies on habitat management incentives, or lack thereof.
Cowgirl legacy lives in New Mexico
The Chase Ranch Foundation, owner of the historic Chase Ranch near Cimarrón since Sammis passed away in Aug. of 2012, and the adjacent and famous Philmont Scout Ranch, have announced the joint signing of a long-term lease and operating agreement that will help restore facilities at the ranch and open the ranch up to scouts and the general public in the years ahead.
Release of 2012 Census of Agriculture Data Delayed
USDA Invests in Crop Insurance Education to Help Small and Underserved Producers in 47 States Manage Risk, Remain Productive
The USDA RMA will support crop insurance education and outreach to ensure small and underserved producers get the information they need to effectively manage their risk and remain productive.
Secretary Vilsack Highlights First-Ever Report on USDA Efforts to Expand Agroforestry Practices on Farms, Ranches and Woodlands
This USDA report shows it's role in advancing agroforestry across the country.
What Good is Dead Wood?
When you hear a barred owl calling “who cooks for you?” in your woods, chances are it’s calling from a nest cavity in the limb of a dying tree.
Farmers, agribusiness could be hammered by commodity loan suspension
USDA announcement that it is reducing commodity loan rates and suspending loan processing creates uncertainty as producers enter heart of harvest season.
US Forest Service Seeks Comments on Year-Round Recreation Activities at Ski Areas
Agency Proposes Criteria to Evaluate Activities and Facilities Allowed at Ski Areas Using Forest Service Lands
Farm Bill Could Benefit From Government Shutdown Crisis
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week proposed officially what many agricultural lawmakers and lobbyists have been expecting for a couple of years: The farm bill could be included in a much larger budget package.
Conservation Corner: Forests And Livestock Can Be Compatible
Livestock and trees can coexist and a managed silvopasture approach can maximize the benefit to the forest and the owner.
At trial, BP denies dithering during response to U.S. Gulf spill
Dithering and indecision at BP Plc delayed the capping of its Macondo well and worsened the extent of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to allegations by plaintiffs' lawyers at trial on Tuesday that the British company denied.
USDA Announces 2013-Crop Sugar Loan Rates
The CCC announced loan rates for 2013 crop sugar: 18.75 cents per lb for raw cane sugar and 24.09 cents per lb for refined beet sugar.
QUWF Steps Up Support of Wild Quail Restoration
PORTLAND, OR -- The Buffalo, Missouri-based Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation (QUWF) stepped up support of national efforts to restore wild bobwhite quail populations recently, signing a formal agreement in support of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) during the annual meeting of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies.
Deep sea recovery from U.S. Gulf spill could take decades: study
The muddy deep-sea ecosystem around the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill could take decades to recover from the effects of the disaster, researchers reported on Tuesday.
USDA Specialty Crop Block Grants Create New Economic Opportunities and Grow Markets in Local Communities
USDA will invest $52 million in grants to support America's specialty crop producers through the 2013 Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) Program awards.
Halliburton pleads guilty to destroying Gulf spill evidence
Halliburton Co pleaded guilty on Thursday to federal charges of destroying evidence, stemming from its role in the 2010 BP oil disaster that killed 11 men and sent more than 4 million barrels of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.
'Licence to trash' offsetting scheme set back until Autumn
Government proposals would mean developers would have to pay compensation equal to any damage to habitats
Leading Environmental Restoration and Mitigation Banking Firm Expands Into Conservation Banking: Lesser Prairie Chicken to Benefit
The partnership between Restoration Systems LLC and Common Ground Capital will provide the capital and strategic resources needed to enable CGC to complete execution of landscape-scale species conservation banks. These banks will compensate for the destruction of the Lesser Prairie Chicken habitat.
New FSA Guaranteed Loan Limit
The new Farm Service Agency guaranteed loan limit is $1,355,000.
Backyard Conservation: Bringing conservation from the countryside to your backyard
Just as they do on the farm, conservation practices on nonagricultural land can help increase food and shelter for birds and other wildlife, control soil erosion, reduce sediment in waterways, conserve water and improve water quality, inspire a stewardship ethic, and beautify the landscape.
Rebel claimants in BP spill settlement get expedited hearing
A U.S. appeals court will hold an expedited hearing for a small group of claimants in a Gulf spill settlement with BP Plc, with oral arguments set for the week of November 4, the court said on Friday.
NBTC Petitions FSA for Addition to CP33 Eligibility
Farm bill and sequestration impacting conservation programs
Farm and nutrition programs are often at the forefront of debate over a new farm bill. But conservation programs are also a vital part of the farm bill mix.
Soil matters: How the Federal Crop Insurance Program Should Be Reformed to Encourage Low-Risk Farming Methods with High-Reward Environmental Outcomes
Texas Quail Group Supports NBCI Ag Policy Efforts with $75,000 Grant
The Dallas-based, non-profit Park Cities Quail (PCQ) organization has awarded the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) $75,000 to support its efforts to educate federal agriculture policymakers in the nation’s capital regarding farm policy impacts on bobwhite quail and other wildlife species.
NRCS Accepting Applications from Mississippi Farmers and Ranchers for Key Conservation Programs
JACKSON, MS, Aug. 13, 2013 - The U. S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications to help producers improve water and air quality, build healthier soil, improve grazing and forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations, and achieve other environmental benefits.
Energy Dept. Reports: U.S. Wind Energy Production and Manufacturing Reaches Record Highs
The Energy Department released two new reports showcasing record growth across the U.S. wind market -- increasing America’s share of clean, renewable energy and supporting tens of thousands of jobs nationwide. According to these reports, the United States continues to be one of the world’s largest and fastest growing wind markets.
BP sues U.S. government over contract suspensions after oil spill
BP Plc is suing the U.S. government for barring the British oil giant from obtaining new federal contracts after the company pleaded guilty to charges related to the 2010 rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.
Judge orders BP to pay $130 million fees to Gulf claims program
BP Plc must pay $130 million to a court-appointed administrator overseeing payments to thousands of people who claimed they were hurt by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday, in a fresh legal setback for the oil company.
Louisiana, Gulf Coast wildlife tourism means billions of dollars, thousands of jobs, study says
Judge denies BP effort to halt Gulf spill claim payouts
A federal judge denied an attempt by BP Plc to suspend payments to people and businesses claiming damages related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, while an investigator looks into possible misconduct in the payout process.
Row Crop Field Buffers Show Dramatic Increase in Bobwhite Potential in Most Regions
A conservation practice introduced in agricultural row crop settings in 2004 by USDA at the behest of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) has resulted in bobwhite populations up to three times greater than those found in traditionally managed crop fields, according to a just-released study of the program’s impacts.
Analysis: Contentious oil spill claims set up BP for long legal battle
Faced with hundreds of damage claims it says are fictitious and inflated, BP must decide whether to dive into a protracted legal battle it had sought to avoid when it settled a class action over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
NEWS RELEASE: Forest Service awards $44.2M to conserve at-risk forests
Colo., Mass., and Ore., among the states granted funds
Sparks relieves Walker as Federal On-Scene Coordinator
NEW ORLEANS -- Capt. Thomas Sparks has assumed duties as the Federal On-scene Coordinator for the Gulf Coast Incident Management Team from Capt. Duke Walker.
USDA and DOI Highlight Successes of Protecting Bird Habitat on Private Lands
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell today announced the release of the State of the Birds 2013 Report on Private Lands.
New report on the Lower Mississippi River out for public comment
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in partnership with several non-government organizations, is currently involved in the Lower Mississippi River Resource Assessment (LMRRA), which includes three phases: (1) information for river-related management, (2) habitat needs, and (3) recreation and access needs.
Latest Quail Research Available in New Volume
The latest in peer-reviewed quail research is now available in a 386-page volume, Quail VII: Proceedings of the Seventh National Quail Symposium.
U.S. Coast Guard Deepwater Horizon Response transitions to National Response Center reporting
NEW ORLEANS - The Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has announced that the Gulf Coast Incident Management Team has started transitioning back to National Response Center reporting.
NOAA Fisheries Announces Changes to the Recreational Red Snapper Season in the Gulf of Mexico - Gulf-Wide Season Set at 28 Days
Earlier this year, NOAA Fisheries published an emergency rule giving the agency the authority to adjust seasons off each Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) state based on whether their state-water seasons and bag limits were consistent with federal regulations.
Vilsack Outlines Vision for Agricultural Solutions to Environmental Challenges
WASHINGTON, June 5, 2013-Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today said that the Federal government must increase collaboration with producers, researchers and industry to develop the next generation of solutions that will help agriculture mitigate and adapt to modern climate challenges.
NOAA Fisheries Announces the Gulf of Mexico Gag Recreational Season and Modification to the Recreational Shallow-Water Grouper Closure Small Entity Compliance Guide
NOAA Fisheries announces a final rule establishing the 2013 gag recreational fishing season that opens on July 1 and closes on December 3, 2013.
PRESS ALERT: First-Ever National Ranking Shows Most Coastal States Failing to Protect Oceans
Seattle WA - Today two leading marine science and conservation organizations, the Marine Conservation Institute and Mission Blue, issued the 1st-ever quantitative, scientifically rigorous national ranking of states’ protection of their ocean waters.
USDA seeks sign-ups for wetlands, grasslands conservation programs
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications from landowners interested in the Wetlands Reserve Program and Grassland Reserve Program.
NOAA Fisheries Increases Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Quota and Sets 2013 Federal Recreational Season
NOAA Fisheries announces a final rule for Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper. The rule sets the 2013 quotas for commercial and recreational red snapper harvest.
Survey of Woodland Owners Reveals Major Challenges
The U.S. Forest Service regularly surveys woodland owners to get information on the land they own, why they own it, how they use it and if—and how—they manage it.
Join AFF's Free the Trees Campaign
Insects, diseases and weeds threaten the future of the woodlands we cherish. Some 58 million acres of forestland in the United States are imperiled by pests and pathogens. More than 500 tree-damaging pests from other countries have become established here, with a new threat introduced every two to three years.
Gov. Bryant Announces $69 Million in Gulf Restoration Projects
JACKSON (May 2, 2013) – Gov. Phil Bryant today announced $69 million in early restoration projects for the Mississippi Gulf Coast following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Wetlands clean water, provide homes for wildlife across the nation
Wetlands play a crucial role in the world’s ecosystem by protecting and improving water quality, filtering surface water, storing floodwater and creating or enhancing wildlife habitat.
Successful Managing Our Nation’s Fisheries Conference Brings Together Diverse Voices
Feral Swine: Ripping and Rooting Their Way across America
Feral swine have been called the “rototillers” of nature. Their longs snouts and tusks allow them to rip and root their way across America in search of food. Unfortunately, the path they leave behind impacts ranchers, farmers, land managers, conservationists, and suburbanites alike.
As honey bee numbers drop, U.S. sees threat to food supply
Honey bees, which play a key role in pollinating a wide variety of food crops, are in sharp decline in the United States, due to parasites, disease and pesticides, said a federal report released on Thursday.
Grant helps educate tribes on drought management
With the help of a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service grant, the American Indian Inter Tribal Buffalo Council is working to make tribal lands more resilient to drought.
Water Quality Index for Agricultural Runoff, Streamlined and Accessible
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has developed a new web-based tool to help producers easily calculate the quality of water flowing off their fields.
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council April 2013 Update
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council met in Gulfport, Mississippi, April 15 - 18, 2013, to discuss a number of fishery issues, including several related to the management of red snapper.
Analysis: BP's legal gamble may trim spill bill by billions
BP Plc's attempt to get a U.S. federal court to pin at least a sizeable amount of the blame for the Deepwater Horizon disaster on other companies may have saved it billions of dollars.
Conservation and the Fiscal Cliff Deal
Enhanced Tax Incentive & Charitable Deduction Survive
NRDA Group Seeks Information about CRMS
On April 3, 2013, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Branch Chief Greg Steyer was invited by the Deepwater Horizon Restoration Subcommittee of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustee Council to present to them the lessons learned in developing the Louisiana Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS).
The State of Our Rivers and Streams
A recent EPA survey shows that more than half of the nation’s rivers and stream miles are in poor condition for aquatic life.
Download the Free Federal Fishing Regulations App
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council offers a fishing regulations App for the Android and the iPhone - both are available for download.
Stay in the loop with Gulf Currents
Stay up to date on Gulf of Mexico Fishery issues - visit our blog - Gulf Currents.
Marine Recreational Information Program Update New Public Access Fishing Site Register is Launched
On January 24, 2013, NOAA Fisheries launched a new comprehensive, online database of public recreational fishing sites on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.
Why does the recreational red snapper season keep getting shorter?
We know you’re seeing more red snapper than ever before, and this is a great
indicator that the rebuilding plan is working, but it doesn’t mean that the stock is rebuilt.
New Bobwhite Foundation Gets $1 Million Commitment As a Challenge for Additional Contributions
A bobwhite enthusiast in Texas kicked off fundraising for the new Bobwhite Foundation this week with a $100,000 endowment … and a promise to match up to $1 million in “endowed” donations from any other source within the next two years.
Project Noah is an award-winning software platform designed to help people reconnect with the natural world.
Deepwater Horizon was 'in really good shape,' Transocean executive testifies at BP Gulf spill trial
The Transocean executive who led the Swiss-based company's internal investigation into the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster testified Tuesday that the drilling rig was "in really good shape" before the accident, as the company's lawyers worked to poke holes in previous testimony that blamed the rig owner for BP's Macondo well blowout.
News Release: EPA Survey Finds More Than Half of the Nation’s River and Stream Miles in Poor Condition?
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the results of the first comprehensive survey looking at the health of thousands of stream and river miles across the country, finding that more than half – 55 percent – are in poor condition for aquatic life.
Terrafirma Takes Flight
The Land Trust Alliance has created a one-of-a kind charitable risk insurance pool to defend more than 20,000 land trust properties covering 6,354,434 acres in 46 states and Washington, DC from conservation violations or legal attack by developers and other parties. Terrafirma RRG LLC is owned by 420 land trusts that now have a safety net and can keep the promise of permanence.
The Enhanced Easement Incentive: Fiscal Cliff Update
Fiscal Cliff Deal Renews Tax Incentive Through 2013
Transocean should have done more before 2010 Gulf spill: CEO
The chief executive of Transocean Ltd, owner of the rig destroyed after BP Plc's Macondo well blew out in 2010, told a federal judge on Tuesday that his workers made mistakes that day, but were not responsible for overall safety on the rig.
BP cries foul at "fictitious" spill claims
BP launched its promised appeal against "fictitious" and "absurd" oil spill compensation payouts on Friday and asked a judge to temporarily halt to those made on a so-called business economic loss basis.
BP oil spill probe did not address cost overruns: executive
BP Plc's investigation of its disastrous 2010 Gulf of Mexico blowout did not address cost overruns on the well, the executive who ran the probe said on Thursday - the final day of testimony this week in the massive civil trial over the spill.
Trial Starts for BP’s Deepwater Horizon Clean Water Act Violations
In November 2012, BP settled the Justice Department’s criminal case against it in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, agreeing to pay $4.5 billion in fines and admit it was guilty of 11 counts of manslaughter. But that 10-figure deal was just the tip of the iceberg.
Possible causes of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and BP oil spill
Meet the lead attorneys involved in the BP oil spill trial
The BP oil spill trial, which begins Monday, will involve dozens of high-profile attorneys on both sides of the aisle. Here are the lead litigators who are expected to be the major players during the trial's first phase.
The defendants in the BP oil spill trial, and what's at stake for each
BP and its two main contractors, Transocean and Halliburton, are the primary defendants in Gulf oil spill trial scheduled to start Monday. But lots of legal issues have been settled since the 2010 disaster. Here is a primer on what has happened so far and what each company still has at stake.
The phases of the BP oil spill trial explained
The civil trial, which will be tried before a judge instead of a jury, is scheduled to begin Monday and will be heard by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier.
Environmental leaders weigh in on the start of BP oil spill trial
Here's what leaders of national environmental groups say about the BP oil spill trial that begins Monday
BP oil spill trial to begin as settlement talks continue
The long-awaited civil trial against BP and its partners in the ill-fated Macondo oil well explosion was getting under way Monday (Feb. 25) at the federal courthouse in New Orleans, even as negotiations for a settlement continued.
How Does the BP Oil Spill Impact Wildlife and Habitat?
Scientists are still assessing the effects of the estimated 170 million gallons of oil that flooded into the Gulf after the explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment
Project Goal: Enhance conservation and restoration planning and implementation by providing a better understanding of the effects of climate change, sea level rise, and land use change on Gulf of Mexico coastal ecosystems and their species.
New Waterfowl Survey Technique for the Lower Mississippi Flyway increases Efficiency, Accuracy and Coverage of Arkansas’s January 2013 Count
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists recently conducted their annual late-January aerial waterfowl survey in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, or Delta, and the Arkansas River valley.
Battle Lines Drawn for BP’s Day in Court
Business officials push for RESTORE Act funds to pay for ecosystem restoration
A group of 120 business leaders have signed a letter urging that money allocated under the RESTORE Act be used to rebuild the Gulf Coast’s ecosystem after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
BP agreement could cut oil spill fines
BP has won an agreement from the Justice Department that there will be no penalties on the barrels of crude oil the company was able to recapture during the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill, effectively cutting the company’s potential Clean Water Act fines by as much as $900 million, or even up to $3.5 billion.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Partners Invest in Conservation for Mississippi River Health
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the investment of $59 million this year from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for the health of the Mississippi River basin, making a total of approximately $289 million for the initiative that reduces nutrient and sediment run-off.
Transocean Pleads Guilty, Is Sentenced to Pay $400 Million in Criminal Penalties for Criminal Conduct Leading to Deepwater Horizon Disaster
Second Corporate Guilty Plea Obtained by Deepwater Horizon Task Force, Second-largest Criminal Clean Water Act Fines and Penalties in U.S. History
Don’t Take Your Ecosystem to a Doctor
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Glenn Suter II, who’s been an EPA scientist since 1998.
2013 Sage Grouse Initiative Tracking Success Report Released
NEW 2013 REPORT REVEALS WHY A NEW PARADIGM FOR CONSERVATION WORKS
NDSU Develops Farm Fuel Budget App
Producers can compare projected fuel costs and use based on alternate crop acreages, tillage systems and crop rotations.
House Legislator Roby Introduces CRP Reform Bill
Bill would tighten the Conservation Reserve Program, allowing more land to be used for production.
Wetlands reserve program marks 20 Years of wetlands conservation
In its two decades of existence, USDA’s Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) has restored more than 2.6 million acres of wetlands habitat across the U.S., creating prime wildlife habitat and cleaner water.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers the voluntary program that works with landowners to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on private and tribal lands, a mission that helps rural and urban communities throughout the country by reducing flood damage, contributing
Utah Farmers and Ranchers Help Voluntary USDA Conservation Program Reach 50M-Acre Mark
In just four years, America’s top conservationists have enrolled 50 million acres in USDA’s Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), a program that helps farmers, ranchers and forest landowners take conservation to the next level.
Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area Grows
Louis Bacon, owner of Blanca Ranch, completed a 90,000 conservation easement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency's largest donated conservation easement. This helps build the Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area, one of the world's longest protected wildlife corridors through Colorado and New Mexico.
USDA Revises National Nutrient Management Standard to Achieve Maximum Agricultural, Environmental Benefits
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has revised its national conservation practice standard on nutrient management to help producers better manage the application of nutrients on agricultural land.