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Conservation Connection e-blast - April 22, 2014

Conservation Connection e-blast

The latest news from NRCS Massachusetts and our partners

Earth Day 2014Happy Earth Day!

Sustainable solutions at our feet

To meet the growing sustainability challenges of the 21st Century, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is reminding everyone that many of the solutions are right at our feet — in the soil. Here are the top five reasons why on Earth Day 2014 you should “root” for soil health farmers.


Conservation Showcase

(left to right) Phalla Nol, Nancy Faulkner and Jim FaulknerSmall farmers share land, a high tunnel and knowledge

Jim & Nancy Faulkner with Phalla Nol | farmers | Boxborough, Mass.

When Jim and Nancy Faulkner bought their small farm in Boxborough, Mass. in 2009, the place was a mess. Buildings were falling down, the soil was poor and the land was covered with invasive plants. Nonetheless, they wanted to turn it into a sustainable farm.

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Conservation Compliance Do not lose your USDA benefitsMost USDA programs require you to comply with the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985, as amended, which link program eligibility to farming practices designed to protect wetlands and to protect highly erodible land from excessive soil erosion.

These provisions are described in form AD-1026, which you complete and sign when you apply for assistance from USDA.  If you don’t comply with these requirements for the term of your USDA contract, you risk losing your program payments.

Before making any changes on your land, you must call the Farm Service Agency (FSA). They will ask you to file an updated form AD-1026 and review your planned work with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

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A tree canopy viewed from the ground.Reading the Forested Landscape with Tom Wessels

May 8, 2014
6:00 pm
Greenfield Community College
Free and open to all
For more information or directions: Wendy Ferris at 413.625.9151 or

The fascinating history of the forests of western Massachusetts is on display for all to see if you know where to look. If you want to learn how to look a little closer, join Tom Wessels for a talk about how to decipher the evidence etched into our forested landscape to unravel its complex stories on Thursday, May 8th, at Greenfield Community College.

You Love Your Woods, What’s Their Future? Habitat or Just Another Harvest?

Saturday, April 26 2014
9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (lunch will be served after the walk)
30 Peck Rd. Wales, MA – Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary
RSVP: (413) 267-9654 or 

Do you own woodland and have questions about managing for wildlife habitat? Join Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary staff for a Saturday morning habitat walk. Participants will get a first-hand look at recent, on-going, and pending habitat management projects at Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary, along with a chance to talk with other landowners, foresters and natural resource professionals about forestry concepts applied for wildlife benefit.

Read more about both workshops...