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Category: Communities

Maintaining Healthy Timber Forests Takes Teamwork

Posted by Tracy Robillard, Oregon Public Affairs Officer on June 27, 2016 at 04:31 PM
Kevin Goodell (left), a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and tribal natural resources crew member, and Mike Kennedy, natural resources director for the Siletz Tribe.

Kevin Goodell (left), a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and tribal natural resources crew member, and Mike Kennedy, natural resources director for the Siletz Tribe.

“I love working in the forest. Feels good just to be out here,” says Kevin Goodell, a Siletz tribal member who serves on the tribe’s natural resources crew. “We log the trees, we go back in and plant them, we thin them. It’s a cycle that keeps the forest healthy and keeps it here for future generations―for my kids and grandkids.”

Healthy forests are an integral part of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians’ way of life—spiritually, culturally, and economically.

“Forest health is our shared focus,” says Kate Danks, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) district conservationist in Lincoln County. “Pre-commercial thinning is essential because it removes damaged and diseased trees, and it opens up the canopy, allowing more sunlight in. The open understory also provides better wildlife habitat.” Read more >>

Tags: Oregon, forests, Tribal

categories Communities, Environment, Farmer & Rancher Stories, Soil Health


Reining in a Rogue River: NRCS and Walker River Paiute Tribe Team Up to Tame the Walker River

Posted by Heather Emmons, Nevada Public Affairs Officer on June 08, 2016 at 11:25 AM
A look at the latest streambank stabilization project completed through a partnership between the Walker River Paiute Tribe and NRCS Nevada.

A look at the latest streambank stabilization project completed through a partnership between the Walker River Paiute Tribe and NRCS Nevada.

In the Great Basin, on the eastern slope of the Sierras, lies the small town of Schurz, Nevada, which is surrounded by the Walker River Paiute Tribe Indian Reservation. As the reservation’s name implies, the Walker River meanders through the area, making its way through Schurz, and eventually spills into its terminus Walker Lake at the southern tip of the reservation. At high flows, the river chooses its own course as it meanders through the soils. Picture an inner tube ride at your local water park: as you start making your way through the tunnels, you pick up speed and start bouncing higher and higher from one side to the other as you splash through the course.  

With the Walker River’s high velocity, it carves away at embankments made of sandy loam soil—a soil perfect for local area farmers to grow their alfalfa, but easily erodible when faced with the power of the river.  The river pushes off of sand bars created by soil deposits and then cuts into the area of private landowners and farmers, placing their livelihoods and even their families in jeopardy. Through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program, or EQIP, the Nevada NRCS teamed up with the Walker River Paiute Tribe to help them control the sedimentation issue.      Read more >>

Tags: Nevada

categories Communities


Connecticut Engineer Recognized as USDA Unsung Hero

Posted by Carolyn Miller, Visual Information Specialist on May 13, 2016 at 10:31 AM
NRCS Civil Engineering Technician Michael Rosado has designed nearly 40 different types of conservation practices in his 32 years with the agency.

NRCS Civil Engineering Technician Michael Rosado has designed nearly 40 different types of conservation practices in his 32 years with the agency.

Demonstrates Extraordinary Service to the Public
Dedicated to Fulfilling USDA’s Mission

When it comes to recognizing NRCS Civil Engineering Technician Michael Rosado as an Unsung Hero, all the boxes are checked. It’s a no-brainer. He’s an employee of the highest caliber. He loves what he does and isn’t shy about who knows it! He takes pride in his work, and will talk about the agency to anyone who will listen.

One can’t help but wonder if it was fate that in 1985―one year after Rosado began his career with what was then the Soil Conservation Service―the Unsung Hero Award Program was created. It’s as if they were fulfilling a prophecy.

Rosado was hired in 1984 and assigned to the State Office engineering staff. While his official title is civil engineering technician, he also performs a great deal of engineering and conservation planning work. Over the years, Rosado’s willingness to take on additional responsibilities has transformed his position making him Connecticut’s go-to guy.  Read more >>

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Tags: employee, Connecticut

categories Communities


Growers Transition to Organic in New York’s Black Dirt Region

Posted by Suzanne Pender on May 03, 2016 at 11:40 AM
This greenhouse is shared by five farmers who collaborate and share information and resources in the Black Dirt Region of New York.

This greenhouse is shared by five farmers who collaborate and share information and resources in the Black Dirt Region of New York.

Beginning a farm can be challenging, especially if transitioning depleted land to an organic system. A new crop of farmers in the famous black dirt region of Chester, New York, are enthusiastically taking on that challenge.

Some of these new farmers lease farmland through a Chester Agricultural Center project managed by Northeast Farm Access. This project provides farmers with affordable leases and requires them to use organic practices. The result is conserved farmland that grows healthy, local organic food in an environmentally sustainable way. 

These farmers also get help from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Simon Ziegler of Sun Sprout Farms; Shayna Lewis and Matt Hunger of Dirty Boots Farm; and Travis Jones of Verdant Common Growers heard about NRCS’ High Tunnel Initiative and went together to their local NRCS service center to ask about it. Read more >>

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Tags: organic, high tunnels, greenhouse, soils, locally-grown food, New York

categories Farmer & Rancher Stories, Communities, Conservation Programs


NRCS Blogs Comment Policy

Posted by NRCS Public Affairs Division on April 28, 2013 at 12:21 PM

The NRCS blog site shares NRCS information and customer stories regarding the activities, policies and programs of the Natural Resources Conservation Service. We encourage discussion and comments on posts. Your insights are important to ensure Americans nationwide are informed and can be a part of our work. Read more >>

Tags: comments

categories Communities