conservation


The Bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill Brings Some Consequences, Cautious Optimism for Conservation

, senior scientist

Last week, 11 weeks since the 2014 farm bill expired, Congress passed the latest version, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which President Trump is expected to sign into law. Although there are many things to celebrate in the new farm bill, there were also disappointments. This was the case for conservation, which was a bit of a mixed bag—and worth a closer look. Read more >

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So, What Does the Endangered Species Act Mean to Me?

Cody Ernst-Brock, , UCS

I was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, a land of extremes. Temperatures could drop below -50ᵒ Fahrenheit in the winter and the darkness would seem to stretch out endlessly, while the summers provided radiant sunshine for months that infused a sense of magic into our town. Certainly, for me, the most charmed experiences from my childhood all happened in the Alaskan wilderness. Read more >

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Restoring America’s Wetland Forest Legacy

Sam Davis, , UCS

Like many white, middle-class, suburban kids, I grew up with one foot in the forest. To me, that small woodlot, a green buffer along a half-polluted tributary, was a paradise unmatched by any other forest in the world. Unfortunately, like many other tracts of land across the United States, my childhood forest is gone—cleared for a housing development. Read more >

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Corn Belt Farmers Managing Weather-Related Risks Through Greater Soil Stewardship

Gabrielle Roesch-McNally, Ph.D. Sustainable Agriculture and Sociology, , UCS

Spring planting season in the Corn Belt reminds those of us living in the region that soil erosion is still a serious concern as we gear up for another year of intensive corn and soybean cultivation. For example, the Environmental Working Group, with the Iowa Daily Erosion Project, estimate that millions of acres of Iowa farmland are losing dangerous amounts of soil through wind and water erosion at levels far exceeding the so-called tolerable rate of soil loss (5 tons per acre). This has serious impacts on water quality via sedimentation and carries an economic cost to farmers and to society. Read more >

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Dear Future President: Be a Hero—Replace Perennial Problems with Perennial Solutions

, senior scientist

The presidential horse race is currently dominating the front pages of newspapers in Iowa (and beyond). After next week’s Iowa caucuses, however, the Iowa press will most certainly return to the usual steady stream of coverage about the environmental crises du jour. In daily installments, such stories will once again detail the severe and undeniable environmental impact of the style of row crop agriculture that dominates the landscape as far as the eye can see in Iowa—and in the Midwest as a whole. Read more >

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