Tag Archives: USDA

Applications for USDA Conservation Easement Program Due May 15

On March 21, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $332 million in financial and technical assistance through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). Private landowners, tribes, and eligible entities are encouraged to apply with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) by May 15. The goal of the program is to provide long-term protection of […]

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Comment Period Open on USDA Program To Protect Agricultural Lands and Wetlands

On Feb. 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it is accepting public comments until April 28 on an interim final rule for the new Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). The program is designed to help producers protect working agricultural lands and wetlands. The 2014 Farm Bill consolidated three previous conservation easement programs […]

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USDA Announces First of Regional Conservation Partnership Projects

On Jan. 14, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that 115 high-impact projects across all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico will receive more than $370 million in federal funding as part of the new U.S. Department of Agriculture Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). In addition, these projects will leverage an estimated $400 million more […]

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FY15 Omnibus Bill Becomes Law

On Dec. 16, President Obama signed into law an omnibus appropriations package that will fund the federal government for the remaining nine and a half months of Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15). The $1.1 trillion package funds all of the federal agencies except the Department of Homeland Security. The FY15 omnibus appropriations package will fund the […]

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USGS and NRCS Partner to Quantify Effects of Conservation Practices

On Oct. 21, The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced a partnership to examine the benefits of agricultural conservation practices on water quality.  Working together, the two groups will quantify the benefits of voluntary agricultural practices at a watershed scale.  This information will strengthen the effectiveness […]

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Agencies Provide Funds to Combat Harmful Algal Blooms

On Sept. 3, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) will provide almost $12 million to federal and state agencies to target harmful algal blooms (HABs) in western Lake Erie. The funding builds upon the GLRI’s ongoing efforts to reduce algal blooms and will be made available to Ohio, […]

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U.S. Forest Service Announces Urban Forest Webcast Series

The U.S. Forest Service is launching a new monthly webinar series called Urban Forest Connections on September 10. The webcasts will take place on the second Wednesday of the month from 1 to 2 p.m. EST. Webcasts will bring experts together to discuss the latest science, practice, and policy on urban forestry and the environment. […]

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Newly Authorized Agriculture Conservation Practices Could Negatively Affect Water Quality

In late April, at the same time it released the draft Waters of the U.S. rule, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published an interpretive rule that went into effect immediately. The rule clarifies the scope of agriculture, forestry, and ranching exemptions to dredge-and-fill permits issued under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. It […]

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USDA to Provide Assistance to Improve Water Quality

On May 21, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide $33 million in assistance to farmers and ranchers. The money will be used on conservation improvements that will enhance water quality in 174 watersheds. The funding is being provided through the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI), administered by […]

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EPA Releases Online Interactive Ecosystem Mapping Tool

On May 7, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of EnviroAtlas. The interactive ecosystem mapping tool is web-based and integrates more than 300 separate data layers. EnviroAtlas can help people learn about ecosystems and their benefits, including protection from hurricanes and floods. It also can help decision-makers understand the environmental implications of […]

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