Four hundred and forty acres of historic farmland near the town of Tomales, Calif., has been permanently protected due to the conservation partnership efforts of the Poncia family of Stemple Creek Ranch, Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT), USDA-NRCS, and California Department of Conservation. "The Poncias are part of the backbone of agriculture’s conservation community in Marin County," said Charlette Epifanio, NRCS district conservationist in the area. NRCS’ Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP) provided matching funds to help purchase the development rights to the land. Read the complete story on MALT’s Web site.
Typically, it wouldn’t be especially noteworthy that six Tulare and Kern County farmers finished harvesting their silage crops last week, even if it is a little later than usual. However, the actions of these six farmers, with help from conservationists at NRCS and Audubon California, have resulted in saving more than 65,000 rare Tricolored Blackbirds. The species is now federally listed as a Bird of Conservation Concern, a California state Species of Special Concern, and also protected under the provisions of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Soil – a living and life-giving substance, without which we would perish. As world population and food production demands rise, keeping our soil healthy and productive is of paramount importance. So much so that we believe improving the health of our Nation’s soil is one of the most important endeavors of our time. By focusing more attention on soil health we can help our Nation’s farmers and ranchers feed the world more profitably and sustainably – now and for generations to come.
As spring temperatures go up, it’s an excellent time for farmers, ranchers and gardeners to focus their attention down to the soil below them. A spring check-up of your soil’s health gives clues of your ground’s ability to feed plants, hold water, capture carbon and more. No fancy equipment required. Just grab a spade or shovel and prepare your senses to dig a little and learn a lot.
Dedicated volunteer Ken Lair (NRCS, retired) received the Earth Team National Individual Award from State Conservationist Carlos Suarez in March 2013. Suarez commended Lair for the countless volunteer hours he has spent working on conservation field trials in multiple locations. He also commented on the passion that Lair has for his work, which is contagious among the people he has recruited to assist with the trials. Read the USDA blog, Volunteer Ken Lair Puts Conservation First, about Lair's heartfelt dedication to conservation.