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USDA Releases Five-Year Strategy to Improve Forest Health in Appalachia

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released a new five-year conservation strategy to support private landowners managing for healthier forests in the Appalachian Mountains, part of an ongoing effort to help the golden-winged warbler rebound, and avoid the need for regulation of the species. This strategy serves as a game plan for how USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and its conservation partners can best meet their goal of helping landowners adopt bird-friendly practices on more than 15,000 acres of young forests and shrublands over the next five years.

The golden-winged warbler has suffered… ... Read more >>
Posted by Matt Cimitile: August 09, 2017

Farm Bill Works for Landowners and Birds, New Report Finds

State of the Birds 2017 Identifies Benefits for Agriculture, Forestry, and Conservation

(Washington, D.C., August 3, 2017) Thirty-seven million. That’s the increase in the number of waterfowl in the Prairie Pothole Region over the past quarter-century, thanks to the Farm Bill. The State of the Birds 2017 report, released today by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI), documents the many benefits the Farm Bill—America’s single largest source of conservation funding for private lands—has delivered to birds, farmers, and rural communities.

For more than three decades, the Farm Bill has been an… ... Read more >>
Posted by Matt Cimitile: August 03, 2017

Research Calls for Enhancing Long-term Benefits of Farm Bill Programs

Many farmers, ranchers, and landowners rely on voluntary conservation incentive programs within the Farm Bill to make improvements to their land and operations that benefit them, the environment, and society.

According to a recent study by researchers from Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment and Point Blue Conservation Science published in the scientific journal Conservation Letters, it is necessary to find ways to sustain the benefits from these practices after the incentive program ends. This finding is crucial as Congress discusses the reauthorization of the Farm Bill.

In the United… ... Read more >>
Posted by Matt Cimitile: July 28, 2017

Greatest Threat to Eastern Forest Birds Is Habitat Loss on Wintering Ground

Map showing connection between Latin American wintering grounds and U.S. and Canada breeding grounds of 21 study species in this report. Map by Frank La Sorte.
Within the next few decades, human-caused habitat loss looms as the greatest threat to some North American breeding birds. The problem will be most severe on their wintering grounds, according to a new study published today in the journal Global Change Biology. By the end of this century, the study's authors say predicted changes in rainfall and temperature will compound the problem for birds that breed in eastern North America and winter in Central America.

"This is really the first study to measure the combined impact of climate change and land-use change over a bird's… ... Read more >>
Posted by Matt Cimitile: July 25, 2017

Bill Introduced To Boost Migratory Bird Conservation

In good news for migratory birds, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) have introduced a bipartisan bill, S. 1537, to reauthorize the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA), one of the nation's most important bird conservation laws. Now called the Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Act, the bill would provide a higher level of funding to help conserve species like Baltimore Oriole, Red Knot, Wood Thrush, and other migratory birds, many of which are in rapid decline. Rep. Robert Wittman (R-VA) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) are expected to introduce companion legislation in the House of… ... Read more >>
Posted by Matt Cimitile: July 25, 2017

Habitat Hero: John Hoover

Check out the Story Map of this Habitat Hero Blog here.

Since 1866 – a year after the end of the Civil War – John Hoover’s family has owned property in Centre County, Pennsylvania. Over the decades, the largely forested property became subdivided and boundary lines and titles blurred with most of the land going into disuse. Nearly 40 years ago, when John inherited a portion of the original property, he figured the best way to unclutter boundary lines and make better use of the land was to buy as much of the surrounding forest… ... Read more >>
Posted by Matt Cimitile: July 20, 2017

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