Conservation, Energy & Environment

White House Pollinator Strategy Released

May 22, 2015

The importance of pollinators in food security and agriculture across the country has been a topic of national interest for the last few years. We can thank pollinators for every third bite of food we take, and our nation’s food supply is largely dependent on the health of pollinator insects, birds, bats, and other animals. […]

Upcoming Deadlines for Federal Farm and Food Programs

May 20, 2015

With seeds in the soil and summer approaching, deadlines for federal farm and food grant programs are coming up as quickly as your seedlings! For farmers, ranchers, and groups who work with producers, the next few months are critical to ensure timely and successful completion of applications, so read on! NSAC has compiled a list of upcoming deadlines […]

House Passes Bill to Withdraw Clean Water Rule

May 13, 2015

In yet another attempt to halt the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule clarifying the scope of its jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, the House passed a bill on May 11 requiring EPA to withdraw the proposed rule and start the process over. The bill passed 261-155, with all voting Republicans in favor of […]

130 Organizations Deliver Letter Opposing Cuts to Conservation

May 5, 2015

On Tuesday, May 5, more than 130 organizations from around the country urged the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees to oppose cuts to farm bill conservation funding in fiscal year (FY) 2016 appropriations legislation. The letter was sent by a broad range of groups, including the American Seed Trade Association, National Farmers Union, American Society […]

New Funding Available for Conservation Partnership Projects

May 5, 2015

On Monday, May 4, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of up to $235 million to fund conservation projects through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) in fiscal year 2016. As its name implies, RCPP supports partnerships between farm and conservation organizations working with state and federal agencies to deliver federal farm […]

2016 Budget Resolution and Appropriations in Process

April 24, 2015

The House and Senate passed their respective versions of the annual budget resolution at the end of March, leading to expectations that a final version might be hashed out by close to the statutory target date of April 15. Though missing that deadline, the negotiations between House and Senate Budget Committee GOP leadership are now […]

USDA Awards $2 Million for Energy Audits and Renewable Energy

April 24, 2015

On Wednesday, April 22, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the first round of fiscal year 2015 awards for the Rural Energy for American Program (REAP). The $2 million will go out to 25 intermediary entities such as universities and electric cooperatives to provide energy audits and renewable energy development assistance to producers and small businesses in […]

USDA Awards $10 Million in Water Quality Assistance through Mississippi River Basin Initiative

April 10, 2015

On April 7, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack awarded $10 million through the Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) for 27 new conservation projects, each located in a watershed new to the Initiative, as well as 13 ongoing projects that have previously received MRBI funding. These new awards build upon $18.5 million that was invested through […]

New Study Exposes Conversion of Millions of Acres of Grasslands and Forests

April 3, 2015

On Thursday, April 2, a research team from the University of Wisconsin published a new study revealing the conversion of 7.34 million acres of uncultivated land to cropland between 2008 and 2012. The researchers focused on land that had not been cultivated during the eight years preceding the conversion. “In the US Corn Belt (supplementary figure […]

Wetland and Farmland Easement Funding Available

March 31, 2015

On Tuesday, March 31, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that $322 million is now available for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) for fiscal year (FY) 2015. The deadline for applications for enrollment in FY 2015 is May 15, 2015. Wetlands and grasslands are some of our most threatened national land resources across […]

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