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Newsroom - NRCS CaliforniaThe NRCS Public Affairs and Outreach team in California strives to inform, educates, coordinates and communicates with the media, general public and other target audiences to achieve understanding and support for NRCS and its programs. Our goal is to convey who we are and what we do.

California Media Liaisons:

Anita Brown, Public Affairs & Outreach Director, Davis, CA, (530) 792-5644
Jonathan Groveman, Public Affairs Specialist, Davis, CA, (530) 792-5692
Dave Sanden, Public Affairs Specialist, Redding, CA, (530) 226-2581

Where to Get Information About NRCS in California

NRCS in the News


NRCS California Concludes Eight-Year Mapping Survey of Los Angeles Soils

LOS ANGELES, Calif., Feb. 6, 2017—USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has concluded an eight-year project creating an inventory of the soil properties and their associated landscapes within the southeastern section of Los Angeles County. The City of Los Angeles, included in this survey, was the largest U.S. city without a completed soil survey.

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NRCS California Offers Post-Flood Assistance; Assessments Underway

DAVIS, Calif., Jan. 25, 2017—In the wake of recent California flooding, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is meeting with landowners and other agencies to assess damages and offer technical and financial assistance where possible. 

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USDA Easement Investments Benefit California Agriculture and Resources

DAVIS, Calif., Jan. 24, 2017—USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California successfully finalized 18 new easements in 2016 protecting a total of 10,758 acres of farmland, ranchland, and wetland throughout the state. These voluntary easements were funded with a combination of partner investments and NRCS easement programs dollars.

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$8 Million Fund Created to Improve Water Quality and Conserve Greater Sage-Grouse in the Eastern Sierra

BISHOP, Calif., Jan. 20, 2017—In a landmark victory for local conservation and the long-term health of the Eastern Sierra, the USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) has created an $8 million fund to support initiatives conserving the Bi-State population of greater sage-grouse and enhancing ranch water quality in the region.

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New Partnership-Driven Projects Boost Conservation in California

DAVIS, Calif., Dec. 21, 2016—USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) today announced $225 million in funding for 88 partnership projects nationwide.  California captured funding for four projects—three completely within the state and one shared with Nevada. Funding comes through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), created in the 2014 Farm Bill.

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USDA and CDFA Host Joint Summit on Healthy Soils

DAVIS, Calif., Dec. 21, 2016—The public is invited to a Soils Summit hosted by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) on healthy soil and climate smart agriculture. The meeting provides an opportunity to explore roles and collaborative opportunities for managing California soils for health and natural fertility while reducing greenhouse gases. The meeting will be held at the CDFA Auditorium on Jan. 11, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

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2017 Conservation Easement Applications for Agricultural Lands and Wetlands Due by January 20

DAVIS, Calif., December 1, 2016—USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently accepting applications for the Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP). ACEP offers two easement options, Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) and Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE). A total of $18.6 million is available for ACEP applicants throughout California.

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Glenn County Soil Partnership Honored with Excellence in Innovation Award

DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 22, 2016—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and California Association of Resource Conservation Districts recognized the outstanding achievements of the Glenn County Soil Partnership at an awards last week at the Double Tree Hotel in Ontario, Calif.

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East Bay Wildlife Team Selected for Annual Outstanding Conservation Planning Team Award

DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 22, 2016—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has selected a team of conservationists and ecologists to receive the prestigious Outstanding Conservation Planning Team award for 2016 for their work improving wildlife ponds in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in California. The team includes conservation professionals from the local Resource Conservation Districts.

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Merced’s Jarrod Martin Selected as Conservation Planner of the Year

DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 18, 2016—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has selected Jarrod Martin as the 2016 Conservation Planner of the Year. Martin, the recently-appointed district conservationist for Merced County, did his award winning work in irrigation water management while serving as a conservationist in Stanislaus County. 

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Over 300 Latino Farmers in Attendance at the Latino Farmer Conference

Monterey, Calif., Nov. 15, 2016—California’s second annual Growing Together Latino Farmer Conference is being held today in Monterey, Calif., to provide tools and resources to help farmers and ranchers be successful on their land. Over 300 farmers are in attendance, which is being conducted in Spanish and translated into English for all attendees.

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Federal Funding Available to Expand On-farm Conservation Activities

DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 14, 2016—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will now accept and process applications for enrollment in the updated Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the nation’s largest conservation program by acreage.

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Federal Funding Available to Address Tree Mortality on Private Forestlands

DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 7, 2016—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is expanding its initiative to assist private forestland owners in addressing tree mortality and other drought-related damage to improve forest health.  NRCS will provide financial assistance for landowners with dead and dying conifer forest trees in certain counties.  Removing dead tree debris and other woody material will also help reduce the spread of invasive pests and reduce the threat of wildfire.

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Farmers and Ranchers Are Encouraged to Submit Their Applications for Federal Conservation Assistance

DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 7, 2016—All farmers and ranchers interested in conservation enhancements are encouraged to submit their applications for the 2017 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for financial and technical assistance. Administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), EQIP applications will be screened and ranked on an ongoing basis, with the best projects receiving priority consideration. 

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Firebaugh Farmers Grow Quality Tomatoes with Half the Nitrogen and a Third Less Water

DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 3, 2016—How do you cut your water use by a third, cut your nitrogen use in half, maintain your tomato yield and improve your fruit quality?  “With patience, perseverance and by treating your soil like a living ecosystem--which it is,” says Jesse Sanchez.

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California Forests, Air, Wildlife and More Benefit from $88 Million EQIP Investment

DAVIS, Calif., Oct. 20, 2016—California’s agricultural landscape received a healthy boost of conservation in fiscal year 2016. Over 1,900 farmers and ranchers teamed with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and partners to voluntarily invest time and money in protecting soil, water, air, plants and wildlife habitat. Conservation planning and funding was provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), part of the 2014 Farm Bill.

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NRCS Seeks Input on 2017 Conservation Priorities for California

DAVIS, Calif., Sept. 28, 2016—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will hold a State Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) meeting on Oct. 13, 2016. The STAC is invited to recommend natural resource priorities for the Agency to consider as it implements Farm Bill conservation programs in fiscal year 2017. The meeting will be held at the Odd Fellows Hall at 415 2nd St., in Davis from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

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NRCS and Ducks Unlimited Extend Deadline for Regional Conservation Partnership Program

RED BLUFF, Calif., Sept. 16, 2016—USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has extended the deadline for California landowners in 10 Central Valley counties to apply for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) – Rice Stewardship Partnership, sponsored by Ducks Unlimited, Inc. in partnership with USA Rice Federation. Other local partners include the California Rice Commission, Northern California Water Association, and numerous regional water districts.

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NRCS and TNC Host Mexican Delegation to Promote the Science of Conservation Planning

STOCKTON, Calif., Sept. 1, 2016—Top agricultural experts from Mexico are learning about conservation American style.  The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California, together with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), is hosting a weeklong training session to share the Agency’s science and philosophy of on-farm conservation, established in the United States following the environmental calamity known as the Dust Bowl.

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USDA California Agencies Offer Post-Fire Assistance; Assessments Underway

DAVIS, Calif., Sept. 1, 2016—In the wake of recent California fires, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) staffs in California are meeting with landowners and Agencies to assess damages and offer technical and financial assistance where possible. 

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Soberanes Fire Baer Assessment - Phase 1

SOBERANES FIRE, August 24, 2016—Efforts are under way for Phase 1 of the damage assessment on the land burned by the Soberanes Fire. A Burn Area Emergency Response Team (BAER) has been ordered to begin its burned area survey on federal and private lands. There will be two phases to the assessment. Phase 1 will cover all the burned lands north and west of Big Sur and the Upper Carmel River.  Phase 2 will cover the remainder of the fire south and east of the two streams. The team is expected to begin the BAER analysis next week.

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NRCS and Ducks Unlimited Looking to Help Central Valley Rice Producers Improve Irrigation Efficiency

RED BLUFF, Calif., July 19, 2016—USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently accepting applications from California landowners in 10 Central Valley counties for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) – Rice Stewardship Partnership, sponsored by Ducks Unlimited, Inc. in partnership with USA Rice Federation.

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NRCS Making Air Quality Incentives Available to Agricultural Producers

DAVIS, Calif., June. 30, 2016—USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making air quality funds available to help agricultural producers to improve and maintain air quality within designated nonattainment areas of California. Funding for the National Air Quality Initiative (NAQI) is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Producers interested in participating in this initiative are encouraged to get their applications in soon.

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Reclamation Announces $3 Million in Agricultural Water Conservation and Efficiency Grants

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 24, 2016—The Bureau of Reclamation announces the selection of three California water districts to receive $3 million total in Agricultural Water Conservation and Efficiency grants for Fiscal Year 2016. The grants, combined with local cost share contributions, total more than $6 million slated for water management improvement projects to be implemented during the next two years.

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NRCS Expands Targeted Investment to Combat Climate Change

DAVIS, Calif., May 20, 2016—USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is committing $4.3 million to help farmers and ranchers mitigate the effects of climate change.  The agency has identified more than a dozen conservation practices that farmers can choose from that will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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USDA-NRCS Chief Weller Visits Sonoma County after NRCS Invests $8 Million in Local Land Conservation

SANTA ROSA, Calif., May 6, 2016—A regional collaboration of local resource agencies will host a special reception and field tour for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) Chief Jason Weller and USDA-NRCS State Conservationist Carlos Suarez. The event will showcase the multi-partner collaboration and innovative approach to land conservation in the face of drought and climate change that netted the group $8 million in federal funding. The reception and field tour is Friday, May 6 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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Funding Available to Help Farmers Protect Nesting Tricolored Blackbirds

DAVIS, Calif., April 29, 2016—Farmers who have Tricolored Blackbirds nesting in their fields may be eligible for financial assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to delay silage harvesting and allow the birds 35 days to fledge their young.  Interested producers should submit an application as soon as possible because the application-ranking period closes May 13, 2016, for funding consideration.

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Upcoming Farm Demonstration Visits to Focus on Soil Health

DAVIS, Calif., April. 27, 2016—The California Farm Demonstration Network (CFDN) is hosting a series of farm visits for agricultural producers during the months of May and June that will demonstrate how long-term goals for healthy soil are being achieved at each farm—without compromising production.

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NRCS Hosts Mid-year State Technical Advisory Meeting

DAVIS, Calif., April 27, 2016—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is hosting a mid-year State Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) meeting on May 5, 2016, to discuss NRCS programs, initiatives, and conservation issues. The meeting will be held at the Odd Fellows Hall in Davis from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  

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NRCS Invites Proposals for Conservation Innovation Grants

DAVIS, Calif., March 29, 2016—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is now accepting proposals for its Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. Up to $375,000 is available for one- to three-year grants.  Proposals are due by June 17, 2016.

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California Farmers Achieve More Air Quality Gains in 2015

DAVIS, Calif., March 28, 2016—Although California continues to cope with some of the Nation’s most compromised air quality, farmers continue to reduce emissions from their operations. During 2015, California’s farmers, working with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, voluntarily applied seven conservation practices to reduce pollutants by 788 tons—an equivalent of 170,000 low emissions vehicles for the NOx reductions alone.

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NRCS Continues Financial Assistance to Protect Salt River Watershed

HUMBOLDT, Calif., Feb. 29, 2016—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will again offer continued financial assistance to agricultural producers to improve water quality in the Salt River Watershed. This is the fifth year that the NRCS National Water Quality Initiative is providing accelerated assistance to landowners in this watershed.

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NRCS Continues Financial Assistance to Protect Calleguas Creek Watershed

VENTURA, Calif., Feb. 29, 2016—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will again offer continued financial assistance to agricultural producers to improve water quality in the Calleguas Creek Watershed. This is the fifth year that the NRCS National Water Quality Initiative is providing accelerated assistance to landowners in this watershed.

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NRCS Announces New Federal Funds to Improve Forest Health in Los Angeles County

LANCASTER, Calif., Feb. 22, 2016—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for a special forest health initiative in Los Angeles County. Federal funding will assist private forestland owners in mountain communities surrounding the Angeles National Forest.

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For Second Year, New Partnership-Driven Projects Boost Conservation in California                                  

DAVIS, Calif., Feb. 12, 2016—USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) today announced $220 million in funding for 84 partnership projects nationwide.  California captured funding for six projects—five completely within the state and one shared with Oregon. Funding comes through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), new in the 2014 Farm Bill. 

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Application Deadline for 2016 Conservation Stewardship Program is March 31

DAVIS, Calif., Feb. 5, 2016—The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making available $150 million this year through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and private landowners interested in participating are encouraged to get their applications in soon.

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Federal Funding Available to Address Tree Mortality on Private Forestlands

DAVIS, Calif., Jan. 21, 2016—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has launched an initiative to assist private forestland owners address tree mortality and other drought-related damage to improve forest health. Removing dead tree debris and other dry woody material will also help reduce the spread of invasive pests and reduce the threat of wildfire.

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New Air Quality Incentives for Nut Farmers to Adopt Low-Emission Harvesters

DAVIS, Calif., Jan. 14, 2016—California air quality should get a boost from farmers using lower emission harvesting equipment, according to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in California.  Beginning in 2016, the agency is offering a new incentive option for almond and walnut farmers (and potentially others) to use cleaner harvesting technology.

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California Conservation Investment Exceeds Expectations Again in 2015

DAVIS, Calif., Dec. 22, 2015—The invaluable part of voluntary conservation on farms and ranches is customers walking away with a deeper appreciation for the natural resources they just protected. For David Jablons, of Toluma Farms in Marin, Calif., who works with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), he values gaining better management practices from his in-depth conservation plan. 

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Funding Available to Help California Ag Producers Restore Wildlife Habitat

DAVIS, Calif., Dec. 16, 2015—USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making available about $50 million nationwide this year in financial assistance to partner with agricultural producers who want to restore and protect habitat for seven focus species, including two California species:  greater sage-grouse and the southwestern willow flycatcher. Conservation efforts for these species are part of Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW), an innovative partnership that supports struggling landscapes and strengthens agricultural operations.

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USDA Announces $40 Million Available to Help Ranchers Restore Sage Grouse Habitat

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2015—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the availability of $40 million to help ranchers and other partners in 11 western states restore and protect sagebrush habitat for greater sage-grouse on privately-owned land. This investment is part of USDA’s four-year, $211 million Sage Grouse Initiative 2.0 through the Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) partnership. The WLFW partnership uses seven focus species, including sage grouse, to steer public and private conservation investments that improve struggling landscapes and strengthen agricultural operations.

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New Software Measures Agriculture’s Carbon Footprint

DAVIS, Calif., Dec. 4, 2015—As world leaders meet in Paris to discuss climate change, agriculture is one human activity that must be factored in—both as an emitter and an absorber of greenhouse gas.  But how can farmers know their farm’s carbon footprint? Not just a qualitative idea, mind you, but the actual shoe size?

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2016 Conservation Easement Applications Due January 15

DAVIS, Calif., Dec. 2, 2015—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is now accepting applications for both Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) and Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). Created in the 2014 Farm Bill, the program encompasses protection of farms and ranches through ALE and protection and restoration of wetlands through WRE.  Applications for available funding are due no later than January 15, 2016.

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Latino Farmers Conference Offers Templates for Success, Exceeds Expectation

DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 3, 2015—From Brawley to Butte and from Napa to Santa Maria, almost 200 Latino farmers and about 100 Agency and business representatives gathered today in Fresno for a conference called Growing Together. The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) teamed with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to host the first-of-its-kind conference in Spanish for Latino farmers and ranchers to help them build profitable and sustainable operations.

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Agriculture Partners Host Fresno Outreach Conference for Hispanic Growers

DAVIS, Calif. Oct. 20, 2015—The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has teamed up with the USDA to host a first-of-its-kind conference in Spanish tailored for Spanish-speaking farmers and ranchers statewide. The Growing Together conference will be held Nov. 3, 2015, in Fresno, Calif. 

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Socios Agrícolas Coordinan Conferencia en Fresno al Productor Hispano

Davis, California 20 de Octubre 2015—El Centro Nacional para la Tecnología Apropiada (NCAT por sus siglas en ingles) se ha asociado con el Departamento de Agricultura de los Estados Unidos para desenvolver una conferencia en español adaptada para los agricultores y ganaderos de habla hispana en todo el estado. La conferencia Juntos Creciendo se llevará a cabo el 03 de noviembre 2015, en Fresno, California.

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Healthy Soil Offers Sustainable Solutions in a Changing World

DAVIS, Calif., Oct. 5, 2015—While a punishing drought lingers, an unpredictable El Nino threatens, and California recovers from recurring wildfires, strategies are in demand to protect the State’s natural resources and its famed agricultural productivity from fickle climatic conditions.  USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California and partners believe at least part of the answer lies just underfoot.

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NRCS Partners in California Receive $2.7 Million for Conservation Innovations

DAVIS, Calif., Sept. 21, 2015—Six California organizations have been selected to receive $430,000 through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program. In addition, five organizations received nearly $2.4 million through a separate nationwide CIG program that will benefit California projects as well.

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USDA Offers Help to Fire-Affected Farmers and Ranchers

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2015—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farmers and ranchers affected by the recent wildfires in Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington State that USDA has programs to assist with their recovery efforts.

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NRCS Seeks Input on 2016 Conservation Priorities for California

DAVIS, Calif., Sept. 15, 2015—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will hold the next State Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) meeting on Oct. 6, 2015, to discuss Fiscal Year 2016 priorities for Farm Bill conservation programs. The meeting will be held at the Odd Fellows Hall in Davis from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

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Investments in Water Efficiency Paying Off During Drought

DAVIS, Calif., September 2, 2015—Drought conditions in California have been hard on most farmers and ranchers. But thanks to irrigation improvements, which agricultural producers have implemented with help from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), many farmers remain successful despite severe water cutbacks.

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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces $150 Million, New Partnership to Support Water Quality and Quantity in Drought-Stricken California

SUNOL, Calif., June 24, 2015—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today joined Interior Deputy Secretary Mike Connor and California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird to announce a new partnership focused on conserving and restoring the Sierra-Cascade California Headwaters, as part of President Obama's Resilient Lands and Waters initiative. Over the next two years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service will invest $130 million in the partnership, which also includes the Interior Department, the State of California, non-profits, and private landowners. In total, the partnership will yield a minimum investment of $210 million by all partners.

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Interior Announces Latest $6.5 Million in Grant Funding to Help Relieve Drought in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 16, 2015—The Department of the Interior today announced that its Bureau of Reclamation is awarding grants totaling $6.5 million for more efficient management and conservation of California’s water as part of the Obama Administration’s effort to bring relief to drought-stricken communities.

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Landowners Encouraged to Apply for Regional Conservation Projects                      

DAVIS, Calif., May 27, 2015—Funding is now available for private landowners to conserve and protect their land as part of six new regional conservation projects in California. The six projects are funded by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), newly created in the 2014 Farm Bill.

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California Dairy Farmer Provides Habitat for 15,000 Imperiled Birds

TIPTON, Calif., May 20, 2015—Frank Mendonsa, a dairy farmer in Tipton, Calif., and the President of Western United Dairymen was recognized today for his significant contributions to protecting two colonies of the California emergency-listed Tricolored Blackbird. Since April, Mendonsa’s silage fields became a temporary nesting habitat for the colonies of nearly 15,000 birds, and Mendonsa is delaying harvest to help the birds safely fledge their young.

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USDA Announces Up to $235 Million for Partnered Conservation Program

DAVIS, Calif., May 5, 2015—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced an investment of up to $235 million to improve the nation's water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability. Eligible organizations in California are encouraged to submit their project proposals for available funding.

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Successful Conservation Partnership Keeps Bi-State Sage-Grouse Off Endangered Species List

RENO, Nev., April 21, 2015—U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the Bi-State population of greater sage-grouse does not require the protection of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

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Voluntary Conservation Effort to Clear California San Joaquin Valley Air Gets a Thumbs Up from Regulators

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2015—Voluntary efforts by farmers, ranchers, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to improve air quality in California’s San Joaquin Valley have received regulatory acknowledgement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Earlier this month, EPA published a revision to California’s State Implementation Plan that for the first time credits these producer actions from a regulatory perspective.

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NRCS California Celebrates Earth Team Volunteer Week

DAVIS, Calif., April 13, 2015—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is celebrating National Volunteer Week by thanking and honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation.  Earth Team is NRCS’s official volunteer program. Over the past 12 months, 211 volunteers dedicated approximately 8,180 hours of service to NRCS California valued at nearly $185,000.

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2015 Conservation Easement Applications for Agricultural lands and Wetlands Due May 15

DAVIS, Calif., April 3, 2015—USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently accepting applications for the Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP). ACEP offers two easement options, the Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) and the Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE). A total of $14.5 million is available for ACEP applicants throughout California.

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NRCS Announces Federal Funds to Improve Forest Health in Southern California

REDLANDS, Calif., April 2, 2015—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for a special forest health initiative in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Interested landowners should submit an application for financial assistance as soon as possible to be considered for available funding.

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USDA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Launch Ecosystem-Wide Effort to Aid Southwestern Willow Flycatcher and Other Riparian Species

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2015—The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) today unveiled an ecosystem-wide model to aid the Southwestern willow flycatcher and help western landowners. The model will enhance or restore habitat for at-risk, threatened and endangered species while supporting working lands in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

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NRCS Continues Financial Assistance to Protect Salt River Watershed

HUMBOLDT, Calif., March 12, 2015—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will again offer continued financial assistance to agricultural producers to improve water quality in the Salt River Watershed. This is the fourth year that the NRCS National Water Quality Initiative is providing accelerated assistance to landowners in this watershed.

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NRCS Continues Financial Assistance to Protect Calleguas Creek Watershed

VENTURA, Calif., March 12, 2015—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will again offer continued financial assistance to agricultural producers to improve water quality in the Calleguas Creek Watershed. This is the fourth year that the NRCS National Water Quality Initiative is providing accelerated assistance to landowners in this watershed.

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Farmers Offered Funding to Help Protect Nesting Tricolored Blackbirds in their Fields

DAVIS, Calif., March 10, 2015—Farmers who have Tricolored Blackbirds nesting in their fields may be eligible for financial assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to delay silage harvesting and allow the birds 35 days to fledge their young.  Interested producers should submit an application as soon as possible because the application-ranking period closes April 17 for available funding.

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Deadline for Conservation Innovation Grant Pre-Proposals is Quickly Approaching

DAVIS, Calif., March 9, 2015—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is announcing that April 10, 2015, will be the deadline to submit project pre-proposals for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) this fiscal year. Up to $375,000 is available for the California statewide CIG competition.

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NRCS California Accepting Applications for Tribal Initiative

DAVIS, Calif., Feb. 12, 2015—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is again partnering with California’s tribal nations to make financial assistance available to help tribal farmers, ranchers and non-industrial private forest operators put additional conservation on the ground. 

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Conservation Partners Sought for Drought-related Wind Erosion Prevention                                                   

DAVIS, Calif., Feb. 11, 2015—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is looking to partner with local city, county, or irrigation districts to address wind erosion risks on fallow farmland due to California's ongoing drought.

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Application Deadline for 2015 Conservation Stewardship Program is February 27

DAVIS, Calif., Feb. 11, 2015—The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making available $100 million this year through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and private landowners interested in participating are encouraged to get their applications in soon.

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New Partnership-Driven Projects Boost Conservation in California

DAVIS, Calif., Jan. 14, 2015—The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California announces six new partnership-driven conservation projects, funded under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), newly created in the 2014 Farm Bill. Nationwide, RCPP is providing federal financial and technical resources for more than 100 approved projects, totaling $372 million.

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Westwide Snow School to Teach Sampling and Survival

DAVIS, Calif., January 8, 2015—Scientists, engineers, and technicians employed in the water resources arena will convene at Granlibakken Conference Center in Tahoe City, Calif., Jan. 11-16, for training in snow sampling, avalanche recognition, outdoor survival, and emergency care.

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NRCS Provides Emergency Assistance to Camarillo Springs Community

CAMARILLO, Calif., Dec. 22, 2015—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has provided nearly $1 million to the City of Camarillo to install a number of emergency protection measures in the Camarillo Springs community. This federal funding, through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP), is designed to relieve imminent hazards to life and property created by a natural disaster.

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California Conservation Investment by NRCS, Farmers and Ranchers Reaches $200 Million in Federal Fiscal Year 2014

DAVIS, Calif., Dec. 17, 2014—California’s agricultural landscape received a healthy boost of conservation in fiscal year 2014. Over 2,400 farmers and ranchers teamed up with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and partners to voluntarily invest time and money in protecting and improving soil, water, air, plants and wildlife habitat across California’s landscape, through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

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Help Available for Wildfire-Impacted Ranches & Private Forestland

DAVIS, Calif., Dec. 16, 2014—USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has funds available through its Catastrophic Fire Recovery Initiative to address the immediate impacts of fire on natural resources on land that has suffered impacts from recent California wildfires.  This assistance is available to agricultural operators or private non-industrial forest owners and applications will be accepted and considered for possible funding on a continuing basis.

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California NRCS Begins New Year-Round Contracting for EQIP Conservation Projects

DAVIS, Calif., Dec. 10, 2014—NRCS in California is rolling out a new approach for farmers and ranchers applying for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The new system will shorten the time between applying for EQIP and, for those selected, getting a contract.  Applications will be ranked and approved for funding multiple times throughout the year instead of once or twice as done previously.

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San Mateo’s Jim Howard Selected as Conservation Planner of the Year

DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 21, 2014—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has selected Jim Howard as the 2014 Conservation Planner of the Year. Howard, the district conservationist for San Mateo County, has been an invaluable resource and partner to the county’s farming and ranching community, agricultural organizations, and local residents for nearly 10 years.

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NRCS Seeks Input on 2015 Conservation Priorities for California

DAVIS, Calif., Oct. 3, 2014—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will hold the next State Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) meeting on Oct. 16, 2014. The STAC is invited to recommend natural resource priorities for NRCS California to consider as the Agency implements Farm Bill conservation programs in fiscal year 2015. The meeting will be held at the USDA building in Davis from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Farm Bill Conservation Information Now Available in Spanish

Sept. 29, 2014—Davis, Calif., Information on the new Farm Bill conservation opportunities is now available in Spanish, in time to help farmers plan for the 2015 planting season. With the new federal fiscal year beginning October 1st, a new round of funding opportunities will open to all interested farmers and ranchers.

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USDA Announces Recipients of Conservation Innovation Grants

DAVIS, Calif., September 22, 2014–USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) today announced the winning proposals funded for 2014 California Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) in the state level competition. Five projects have been awarded more than $324,000 to develop conservation approaches to benefit wildlife and native plants, conserve water, and improve farm resource management.

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NRCS Selects California Projects for National Conservation Innovation Grants

DAVIS, Calif., Sept. 17, 2014The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has selected three California organizations to receive national Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) awards for 2014. NRCS administers both a national and a state-level CIG program to fund the development of unique and innovative solutions that will make natural resources conservation more effective and efficient. State level grants will be announced soon.

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USDA Announces New Support for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

DAVIS, Calif., June 23, 2014–U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced the implementation of new Farm Bill measures and other policy changes to improve the financial security of new and beginning farmers and ranchers. Harden also unveiled www.usda.gov/newfarmers, a new website that will provide a centralized, one-stop resource where beginning farmers and ranchers can explore the variety of USDA initiatives designed to help them succeed.

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Media Advisory: USDA and Farm Bureau Co-host Meetings to Answer Farm Bill Questions

DAVIS, Calif., June 10, 2014–The new 2014 Farm Bill brought changes in conservation, commodity programs, crop insurance, rural development programs, loans, disaster programs, energy opportunities and much more. Many of these changes will take full effect in fiscal year 2015, beginning October 1, 2014. Interested farmers, ranchers, agencies and organizations are welcome to attend workshops to hear about these and other Farm Bill changes from four USDA agencies.

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NRCS Drought Assistance Averts Hazardous Wind Erosion in the Klamath Basin

DAVIS, Calif., June 12, 2014—One of the early successes of this year’s drought response in California is the work of Klamath Basin farmers to rapidly establish cover crops on fallowed land. Technical assistance was provided by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and funding was provided by the agency’s Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program. After a speedy signup, which resulted in 41 contracts, Klamath farmers protected 8,836 acres that could otherwise have resulted in severe wind erosion and hazardous dust storms.

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Media Advisory: USDA and Farm Bureau Co-host Meetings to Answer Farm Bill Questions

DAVIS, Calif., June 10, 2014–The new 2014 Farm Bill brought changes in conservation, commodity programs, crop insurance, rural development programs, loans, disaster programs, energy opportunities and much more. Many of these changes will take full effect in fiscal year 2015, beginning October 1, 2014. Interested farmers, ranchers, agencies and organizations are welcome to attend workshops to hear about these and other Farm Bill changes from four USDA agencies.

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Reclamation in Partnership with Natural Resources Conservation Service Announces $6.3 Million to Fund Projects

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 5, 2014—The Bureau of Reclamation announced today the recipients of $6.3 million in Agricultural Water Conservation and Efficiency grants as part of a partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Reclamation/NRCS partnership projects funded in Fiscal Year 2014 will help communities build resilience to drought, including modernizing their water infrastructure and efficiently using scarce water resources, while supporting the agricultural economy. The joint program promotes district-level water conservation improvements that facilitate on-farm water use efficiency and conservation projects.

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$300,000 Available to Stanislaus County Farmers to Improve Irrigation Water Efficiency

MODESTO, Calif., May 28, 2014—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California, in partnership with DOI’s Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), is providing $300,000 to improve the efficiency of agricultural water use in Stanislaus County. This partnership combines rural infrastructure upgrades with on-farm conservation enhancements. The deadline to submit an application for assistance is June 20, 2014.

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USDA Rolls Out Strong New Partnered Conservation Program

DAVIS, Calif., May 27, 2014—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new era in American conservation efforts with an historic focus on public-private partnership. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), created in the 2014 Farm Bill, will fund a number of conservation activities across California – with special funding available for California’s Bay-Delta watershed.

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NRCS California Accepting Applications for Tribal EQIP Initiative

DAVIS, Calif., May 27, 2014—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is partnering with California’s tribal nations to make financial assistance available to help tribal farmers, ranchers and non-industrial private forest operators put additional conservation on the ground.

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NRCS Announces Second Funding Opportunity to Improve Forest Health

REDLANDS, Calif., May 16, 2014—The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering a second funding opportunity to eligible participants who want to improve forest health on private forestlands in San Bernardino and Riverside counties in Southern California. The application signup deadline is June 20, 2014.

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NRCS to Offer Financial Assistance to Protect Calleguas Creek Watershed

VENTURA, Calif., May 16, 2014—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will offer financial assistance to agricultural operations to improve water quality in Calleguas Creek Watershed. This is the third year that the NRCS National Water Quality Initiative is providing accelerated assistance to landowners in this watershed.

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2014 Conservation Easement Applications for Agricultural Lands Due June 6

DAVIS, Calif., May 9, 2014—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now accepting applications for Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) through the new Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP). ACEP, created through the 2014 Farm Bill, provides funding for conservation easements on agricultural land, including grasslands of special environmental significance.

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NRCS California Launches Air Quality Chipping Initiative

DAVIS, Calif., April 29, 2014—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will assist farmers to chip woody debris in fallowed orchards and vineyards impacted by California’s ongoing drought. The conservation benefits associated with this practice include controlling erosion and protecting air quality.  

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California Rolls out 2014 Farm Bill Conservation Programs

DAVIS, Calif., April 25, 2014—Lawmakers whittled down the number of program names to remember, but continued a strong commitment to conservation when they passed the 2014 Farm Bill on February 7 of this year. The Nation is investing $3.4 billion for conservation programs administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in fiscal year 2014 and $18.7 billion over five years.

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Funding Available to Napa Growers Fighting the European Grapevine Moth

NAPA, Calif., April 17, 2014—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is offering assistance to Napa County growers to combat the European Grapevine Moth (EGVM). NRCS is offering Integrated Pest Management (IPM) tools to farmers as an environmentally-safe alternative to treat the pests.

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NRCS Announces Signup for Funding to Improve Forest Health

REDLANDS, Calif., April 17, 2014—The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for funding offered through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to provide financial and technical assistance to eligible participants who want to improve forest health on private forestlands in San Bernardino and Riverside counties in Southern California.The application signup deadline is May 16, 2014.

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NRCS Announces Signup for Funding to Improve Forest Health

YREKA, Calif., April 17, 2014—The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for funding offered through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)to provide financial and technical assistance to eligible participants who want to improve forest health along the middle Klamath River in Northern California.The signup deadline is May 16, 2014.

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 NRCS to Offer Financial Assistance to Protect Salt River Watershed 

HUMBOLDT, Calif., April 17, 2014—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will offer financial assistance to agricultural operations to improve water quality in the Salt River Watershed. This is the third year that the NRCS National Water Quality Initiative is providing accelerated assistance to landowners in this watershed.

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Conservation Funding Available to Improve Fish Habitat in Northern California

DAVIS, Calif., April 16, 2014—Farmers, including Forest landowners, along California’s northern coast, have long been committed to improving fish habitat while running sustainable agriculture operations.  The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will provide $500,000 in financial assistance to help these landowners take additional steps to boost local salmonid and other aquatic-species populations.

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2014 Conservation Easement Applications for Wetlands Due May 15

DAVIS, Calif., April 15, 2014—Private landowners interested in enhancing, restoring and protecting wetlands are encouraged to get their applications in soon. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has set May 15, 2014, as the deadline for considering projects for 2014 Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) funding through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).

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NRCS California Celebrates Earth Team Volunteer Week

DAVIS, Calif., April 8, 2014—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is celebrating National Volunteer Week by thanking and honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation.  Earth Team is NRCS’s official volunteer program. Over the past 12 months, 93 volunteers dedicated approximately 6,700 hours of service to NRCS California valued at nearly $150,000.

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Farmers Offered Funding to Help Nesting Tricolored Blackbirds in their Fields

DAVIS, April 2, 2014—Farmers who have tricolored blackbirds nesting in their fields may be eligible for financial assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to delay harvesting and allow the birds 35 days to fledge their young. Interested producers have until May 2, 2014, to apply for funding.

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NRCS Holding Free Soil Health Workshops this Month

DAVIS, Calif., March 6, 2014—"Soil health is a journey to understand how to mimic nature," says Ray ‘the-Soil-Guy’ Archuleta, a conservationist and soil health instructor with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Farmers and anyone who wants to understand how to build more naturally fertile soil that also absorbs rainfall while requiring fewer inputs to produce a profitable crop, are invited to attend any of the four free seminars.

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Deadline to Apply for Drought-related Conservation Funds Fast Approaching

DAVIS, Calif. Feb. 25, 2014—USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) reminds interested farmers and ranchers that they have until March 3, 2014, to apply for $25 million in drought-related conservation assistance. Farmers and ranchers should consult with their local NRCS offices as soon as possible in order to apply for assistance.

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Obama Administration Announces Additional Assistance to Californians Impacted by Drought

FRESNO, Calif., Feb. 14, 2014—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined President Barack Obama in Fresno, Calif., today to announce that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide additional assistance to help farmers, ranchers and residents affected by severe drought in California. At President Obama's direction, USDA has made implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill livestock disaster assistance programs a top priority and plans to have the programs available for sign up by April 15, 2014.

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Deadline for Conservation Innovation Grant Pre-Proposals is March 14, 2014

DAVIS, Calif., Feb. 12, 2014—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has announced March 14, 2014, as the deadline to submit project pre-proposals for fiscal year 2014 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). Up to $375,000 is available for the California statewide CIG competition.

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California Farmers & Ranchers Offered Drought Help

DAVIS, Calif. Feb. 7, 2014—USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing information for farmers and ranchers interested in applying for the $20 million in drought assistance announced by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack last Tuesday, Feb. 4. Farmers and ranchers should consult with their local NRCS offices as soon as possible in order to apply for assistance by the March 3, 2014, deadline.

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NRCS and Forest Service Partner to Improve Forest Health

HELENA, Mont., February 6, 2014—Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie announced today a multi-year partnership between the U.S. Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where public and private lands meet across the nation.

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Federal Agencies and State of California Coordinating Response to Drought

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 5, 2014—With California in its worst drought in the state’s 160 years of record-keeping, the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture and Commerce are working with the State of California to accelerate water transfers and exchanges, provide operational flexibility to store and convey water, expedite environmental review and compliance actions, and pursue new or fast-track existing projects that might help stretch California’s water supplies.

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USDA Launches Effort to Assist California Producers Affected by Drought

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2014—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA will make $20 million available for agricultural water conservation efforts throughout California to combat the effects of drought. Interested landowners and managers have until March 3, 2014 to apply for available funds.

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Four Project Areas Added to NRCS Bay Delta Conservation Initiative

DAVIS, Calif., Jan. 15, 2014—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has approved four proposed project areas to be added to its three-year old Bay Delta Initiative, bringing the total number of project areas to 15. Farmers who wish to apply for contracts within these project areas must do so by Feb. 21, 2014, to ensure consideration for funding in 2014.

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2014 Farm and Ranch Easement Program Applications Due February 14

DAVIS, Calif., Dec. 20, 2013–Land trusts and other eligible entities interested in permanently protecting farm or ranchlands in California are encouraged to get their applications in soon. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has set Feb. 14, 2014, as the deadline for accepting applications for the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP).

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Applications for Conservation Stewardship Program Due Jan. 17

DAVIS, Calif., Dec. 2, 2013–The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is opening the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for new enrollments for federal fiscal year 2014. Starting today through Jan. 17, 2014, producers interested in participating in the program can submit applications to NRCS.

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California Conservation Investment by NRCS, Farmers and Ranchers Surpasses $200 Million in Federal Fiscal Year 2013

DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 20, 2013–California’s air, water, soil, wildlife and landscapes all received a healthy boost in federal fiscal year 2013. Over 2400 farmers and ranchers joined with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and partners to voluntarily invest time and money in protecting and restoring natural resources under their care. Each participant worked with NRCS to create a conservation plan to identify and schedule the conservation practices needed to conserve and protect water, soil, air and habitat on the land.

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December 20 Application Deadline Set for New Wildlife Conservation Initiative

LIVERMORE, Calif., Nov. 20, 2013–California’s ranchers in Alameda County are invited to apply for a new Wildlife-Friendly Livestock Pond Rangeland Health Initiative, funded through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Those who apply by Dec. 20, 2013, will receive priority consideration for funding this fiscal year.

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December 20 Application Deadline Set for Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program

DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 15, 2013–California’s farmers and ranchers interested in participating in the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) have until Dec. 20, 2013, to do so.

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December 20 Application Deadline Set for Water Conservation Program

DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 15, 2013–California’s farmers and ranchers interested in participating in the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) have until Dec. 20, 2013, to do so.

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Conservation Videos Give Quick Glimpse into Assistance Available

DAVIS, Calif., Oct. 21, 2013–USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in California has released five short videos on YouTube, providing a quick glimpse into some of the Agency’s most popular conservation opportunities.

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Application Deadline for NRCS Conservation Programs Fast Approaching

DAVIS, Calif., Oct. 18, 2013–For those farm and ranch operators, as well as non-industrial private timber managers and Tribes, who are interested in applying for Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014) Farm Bill conservation program financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), USDA-NRCS in California has established Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, as the sign-up deadline for submitting an EQIP application for funding consideration.

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NRCS Announces Assistance for Catastrophic Fire Recovery 

DAVIS, Calif., Oct. 18, 2013—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that applications will be accepted to assist private landowners in California affected by wildfires in the last 18 months. Applications can be submitted for primary consideration and ranking through Nov. 15, 2013.

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NRCS Chief Tours On-farm Irrigation Improvements in Los Banos

LOS BANOS, Calif., Sept. 24, 2013–USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Jason Weller toured local farmland today that is benefiting from a federal partnership between NRCS and the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) to protect the Bay-Delta Watershed. Approximately $6 million was invested by the two agencies, from 2011 – 2013, to upgrade irrigation water delivery infrastructure and on-farm irrigation equipment to conserve water for San Luis Canal Company farmers.

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Smashing and Recycling Old Tractors Helps Assure Air Quality Benefits for the San Joaquin Valley

FRESNO, Calif., Sept. 24, 2013–Jason Weller, Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), with help from machinery operators at Bruno’s Iron and Metal in Fresno, today demonstrated the process that the local agricultural and regulatory leaders have agreed upon for destroying old, higher-polluting agricultural equipment. Together they reduced a 20,000 pound tractor to a metal cube that would never plow another field with its old, less efficient engine.

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NRCS Partners in California Receive $425,000 for Conservation Innovations

DAVIS, Calif., Sept. 12, 2013—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that six conservation organizations have been selected to receive a total of $425,000 through the Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program in California. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers both a national and a state-level CIG program to fund the development of unique and innovative solutions that will make natural resources conservation more effective and efficient.

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Local Farmers and Conservationists Save 65,000 Rare Tricolored Blackbirds

DAVIS, Calif., June 13, 2013—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 USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Audubon California, have resulted in saving more than 65,000 rare Tricolored Blackbirds.

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Conservation Stewardship Program Applications Due by June 14

DAVIS, Calif., May 31, 2013—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will provide funding to enroll agricultural acreage this year into the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Nationwide, NRCS will allocate $175 million to enroll up to 12.6 million additional acres this year.

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Forestland Fuel Load Reduction Funding for Southern California Available Through June 7, 2013

RIVERSIDE, Calif., May 29, 2013—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for funding to apply conservation practices on non-industrial private forestland and shrub land areas in seven Southern California counties. The application deadline is Friday, June 7, 2013.

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Rangeland Conservation Opportunity Extended to May 24

RIVERSIDE, Calif., May 17, 2013—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Bishop, Victorville and Lancaster, Calif., is accepting applications for financial and technical assistance to improve rangeland health through May 24, 2013. Eligible counties include Inyo, Eastern Kern, San Bernardino and southern Mono.

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NRCS Invests $700,000 to Protect the Salt River Watershed

HUMBOLDT, Calif., May 8, 2013—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will invest $700,000 to improve water quality in the Salt River. This is the second year that the NRCS National Water Quality Initiative is providing accelerated assistance to landowners in this watershed.

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NRCS Invests $1 Million to Protect Calleguas Creek Watershed

DAVIS, Calif., May 8, 2013—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will invest $1 million to improve water quality in the Calleguas Creek. This is the second year that the NRCS National Water Quality Initiative is providing accelerated assistance to landowners in this watershed.

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NRCS California Celebrates Earth Team Volunteer Week

DAVIS, Calif., April 22, 2013—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is celebrating National Volunteer Week, April 21-27, 2013, by thanking and honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation. Earth Team is NRCS’s official volunteer program. Over the past 12 months, 182 volunteers dedicated approximately 6,700 hours of service to NRCS California valued at nearly $150,000.

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Before Spring Planting Expert Says, "Dig a Little. Learn a Lot."

DAVIS, Calif., April 3, 2013—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.

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$500,000 Available to Farmers in the South San Joaquin Irrigation District

STOCKTON, Calif., March 29, 2013—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is providing funds to improve the efficiency of agricultural water use in the South San Joaquin Irrigation District (SSJID), Division Nine Irrigation Enhancement Project Area. The deadline to submit an application for assistance is April 29, 2013.

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Deadline Extended - Hispanic and Women Farmers and Rancher’s Claims Must Be Filed By May 1, 2013

DAVIS, Calif., March 28, 2013—U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the extension of the voluntary claims process for Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who allege discrimination by the USDA in past decades. Hispanic and Women Farmers and Rancher’s claims must be filed by May 1, 2013

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Pollinator Hedgerows, Cover Crops Spotlighted at USDA Plant Materials Center Event

DAVIS, Calif., March 15, 2013—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will host an open house at the Lockeford Plant Materials Center (PMC) on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event, to be held in Lockeford, Calif., will present opportunities to learn from conservation and science professionals about pollinator hedgerows, cover crops, soil health and related subjects in a setting focused on group learning and field tours.

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Deadline for New Trinity County Forestland EQIP Initiative Signup is April 19, 2013

WEAVERVILLE, Calif., March 11, 2013—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for funding to apply conservation practices on non-industrial private forestland in Trinity County. The application deadline is April 19, 2013.

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2013 Conservation Easement Applications for Wetlands and Grasslands Due April 5

DAVIS, Calif., March 5, 2013—Private landowners interested in enhancing, restoring or protecting their wetlands or grasslands may want to get their applications in soon. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in California has set April 5, 2013, as the deadline for considering projects for 2013 Wetlands Reserve Program and Grassland Reserve Program funding.

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Deadline for Conservation Innovation Grant Pre-Proposals is March 22, 2013

DAVIS, Calif., March 4, 2013—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has announced March 22, 2013, as the deadline to submit project pre-proposals for fiscal year 2013 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). Up to $375,000 is available for the California statewide CIG competition.

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Organic and Transitioning Farmers Invited to Seek Conservation Assistance

DAVIS, Calif., February 26, 2013—California agricultural producers who are certified organic or transitioning to organic production are invited to apply for technical and financial assistance through a national organic initiative administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Applications for this ranking period are due at NRCS offices by April 19, for funding consideration this fiscal year.

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Funding Available for USDA Sage-Grouse Conservation Initiative

DAVIS, Calif., February 19, 2013—USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently accepting applications in four eastern California counties for funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for the Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI). Applications must be submitted by March 15, 2013.

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Funding Available to Farmers in Napa and Sonoma to Fight Grapevine Moth

DAVIS, Calif., February 14, 2013—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is offering assistance to farmers in Napa and Sonoma Counties to combat the European Grapevine Moth (EGVM). NRCS is offering Integrated Pest Management (IPM) tools to farmers as an environmentally-safe option to treat the pests.

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NRCS Provides Nearly $1 Million to Expand Conservation in the Monterey Bay Region

SALINAS, Calif., February 6, 2013—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will again provide approximately $1 million in technical and financial assistance to farmers and ranchers to protect the Monterey Bay Region. The Monterey Bay Conservation Program is being made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to protect water resources in this important region. The application deadline is March 15, 2013.

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$1 Million Available to Farmers and Dairies in Kings River Area for Conservation Improvements

DAVIS, Calif., January 31, 2013—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in California, in conjunction with Kings River Conservation District, is announcing today that $1 million is available for irrigated cropland farmers and dairy producers in portions of Fresno, Kings and Tulare Counties.

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Lower Snake River Area Eligible for Conservation Funding

DAVIS, Calif., January 28, 2013—The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is making $1.6 million available to agricultural producers in the Lower Snake River Watershed in Sutter County for water quality and water conservation projects. Applications are due by February 15, 2013.

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$1.5 Million Available to Improve On-Farm Water Resources in San Joaquin County

STOCKTON, Calif., January 28, 2013—The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in California has set February 15 as the deadline to apply for financial assistance to address critical water quality issues in San Joaquin County. This funding is anticipated to help eligible farmers implement water quality and irrigation efficiency practices in selected San Joaquin County watersheds.

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$5 Million Available in Water Quality Funding for Eastern San Joaquin River

DAVIS, Calif., January 25, 2013—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California announced today that $5 million is available to farmers and dairy producers east of the San Joaquin River in Merced and Stanislaus counties for water conservation and water quality improvements. Applications are due February 15, 2013.

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$500,000 Available to Improve On-Farm Water Resources in Solano County

DIXON, Calif., January 24, 2013—The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has set March 15 as the deadline to apply for financial assistance to address critical water quality issues in Solano County. This funding is anticipated to help eligible farmers implement water quality and irrigation efficiency practices in select Cache Slough Complex watersheds.

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NRCS California Accepting Applications for Tribal EQIP Initiative

DAVIS, Calif., January 24, 2013—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for the California Tribal Initiative, a partnership effort with Tribal Nations in California to help tribal farmers and ranchers put additional conservation on the ground. Eligible tribal producers are encouraged to apply before the Feb. 15, 2013, deadline.

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NRCS Funding Available for Special Conservation Initiatives in California

DAVIS, Calif., January 22, 2013—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for special conservation initiatives funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to help producers conserve energy, address resource concerns on certified organic operations or those transitioning to organic production, and achieve a number of other environmental benefits. Applications must be received by Feb. 15 to be considered in the next round of funding.

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Conservation Partners Announce Steps to Improve Fish Habitat in Northern California

SANTA ROSA, Calif., January 18, 2013—Wine grape growers and other agricultural operators along California’s northern coast have long been committed to improving fish habitat while running sustainable agriculture operations. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and local partners today announced $2 million in financial assistance to help these landowners take additional steps to boost local salmonid and other aquatic-species populations.

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Media Advisory: Special Announcement for Improving Fish Habitat in Northern California

DAVIS, Calif., January 16, 2013—Federal and local partners will make an announcement on future steps to improve fish habitat in five northern California watersheds. The goal is to increase salmonid populations while also sustaining productive agricultural operations.

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NRCS Announces Opportunity to Apply for Waterbird Habitat Enhancement Program

DAVIS, Calif., January 15, 2013—The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for the Waterbird Habitat Enhancement Program (WHEP) through February 15, 2013. The eligible program area includes Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sutter, Sacramento, Yolo and Yuba counties.

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Carlos Suarez Assumes Lead of USDA Conservation Agency in California

DAVIS, Calif., January 14, 2013—Carlos Suarez began his tenure today as State Conservationist for USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service in California. Suarez will assume leadership of the Agency’s 400 employees in 62 offices across California from the state headquarters in Davis.

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Conservation Partners Restore San Dieguito River Habitat

ESCONDIDO, Calif., December 20, 2012—Daily commuters may have noticed exciting activity happening near the San Dieguito River recently. Helicopters have been airlifting out wildfire-burned logs and other debris since September, capping a multi-year effort to restore the river back to health – complete with native vegetation and restored habitat for various wildlife species.

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2013 Conservation Easement Applications Due February 15 for Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program

DAVIS, Calif., December 17, 2012—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has set Feb. 15, 2013, as the deadline for accepting applications for the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP).

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NRCS Honors Four RCDs for Conservation Work in California

DAVIS, Calif., November 19, 2012—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has honored four California Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) as "Outstanding Districts of the Year." The honors were presented at NRCS’s partnership awards luncheon held during the 67th annual California Association of Resource Conservation Districts conference in San Diego on November 15.

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Conservation Efforts Yield Soil Savings on Private Agricultural, Forest Land

DAVIS, Calif., November 16, 2012—Seventy-seven years since the creation of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a new documentary reminds the agency of its beginnings amid the nation’s worst man-made ecological disaster. "The Dust Bowl," a documentary by filmmaker Ken Burns airing Nov. 18-19 on PBS, chronicles the era of drought and dust storms as well as the creation of the Soil Conservation Service, which eventually became NRCS.

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November 16 Application Deadline Set For Water Enhancement Program

DAVIS, Calif., October 18, 2012—California’s farmers and other agricultural producers interested in applying for funding through the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) have until Nov. 16, 2012, to do so. AWEP applications are being taken for existing approved projects, which can be found at: www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/awep.html.

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NRCS California Accepting Applications for Tribal EQIP Initiative

DAVIS, Calif., October 10, 2012—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is partnering with California’s tribal nations, for a second year in a row, to make $1 million available to help tribal farmers and ranchers put additional conservation on the ground. Applications will be accepted through November 16, 2012, for consideration pending Congressional approval of Farm Bill conservation funding. Funding is being made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) through two statewide and three landscape tribal resource priority areas.

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California Conservation Investment on Farms and Ranchland Reaches $250 Million in 2012

DAVIS, Calif., October 9, 2012—California’s air, water, wetlands and wildlife habitat all received a significant boost in 2012 as private landowners joined with USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service to voluntarily invest approximately a quarter billion dollars in protecting and restoring natural resources. The federal portion of the investment, $154.2 million, comes from a mix of financial incentive and easement programs funded by the conservation programs of the Farm Bill.

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NRCS Announces Assistance for California Fire Recovery

DAVIS, Calif., October 2, 2012—Acting State Conservationist Jeff Burwell today announced that the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will take applications to assist private landowners in northern California affected by wildfires in the last six months. Applications for this initiative will be taken from Oct. 2, through Oct. 19, 2012.

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NRCS California Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Resource Conservation and Development Councils

DAVIS, Calif., September 28, 2012—For more than 50 years, California’s Resource Conservation and Development Councils (RC&Ds) have dedicated hundreds of thousands of hours, and raised millions of dollars, to helping sustain the land, protect natural resources and grow local communities. RC&Ds are a critical partner to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and together we have helped local communities protect the landscape.

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Application Deadline for NRCS Conservation Programs Fast Approaching

DAVIS, Calif., September 24, 2012—For those farm and ranch operators, as well as non-industrial private timber managers and Tribes, who are interested in applying for Fiscal Year 2013 Farm Bill conservation program financial assistance, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has set Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, as the deadline for future funding consideration.

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Media Advisory: Conservation Innovation from the Ground Up

DAVIS, Calif., September 18, 2012—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in California, the Sotoyome Resource Conservation District, the City of Santa Rosa and other partners are embarking on a new and innovative venture that will generate new revenue to fund enhanced on-farm conservation practices through a municipal water quality credit trading market. Participants will take a short tour of the facility and will discuss the fundamentals of this new program.

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NRCS to Seek Input on 2013 Conservation Priorities for California on Sept. 13

DAVIS, Calif., September 10, 2012—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will hold its next State Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) meeting on Sept. 13, 2012, to discuss 2013 priorities for Farm Bill conservation programs. The meeting will be held at the USDA building in Davis from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Encroaching Junipers Prove Powerful to Fire-Plagued Community

DAVIS, Calif., August 29, 2012—Twenty-one California ranchers in Lassen and Modoc Counties are among those in eleven states participating in a novel private-federal initiative to restore habitat for the imperiled sage grouse. The ranchers probably didn’t realize that ridding their land of the encroaching, water-thirsty junipers would not only make their ranches healthier and help sage grouse, but might also give the local community a powerful boost during a devastating wildfire season.

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NRCS Partners Receive $2 Million for Conservation Innovations

DAVIS, Calif., August 27, 2012—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that four conservation organizations will receive approximately $2 million to fund five Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) projects in California. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers the grants that in California will include developing water quality trading markets in Sonoma County, improving pollinator habitat on farms and ranches and other conservation innovations.

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U.S. Congressman Jerry McNerney Praises Partnership Efforts to Restore Local Waterway

PLEASANTON, Calif., August 16, 2012—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in California, the Alameda County Resource Conservation District, and other partners gathered today to mark the completion of restoration work to a 600-foot long section of Arroyo de la Laguna. The restoration efforts included planting native vegetation and returning the waterway to proper hydrologic function. The work was done to protect habitat for threatened species, reduce streambank erosion and reduce flood risks.

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Partnerships Between Dairy Farmers & Conservationists Save 60,000 Rare Tricolored Blackbirds

DAVIS, Calif., July 10, 2012—The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service and Audubon California have released final 2012 results on the status of the rare Tricolored Blackbird, a California Bird Species of Special Concern, found in California’s Central Valley. Results show the species is having a good year, thanks in large part to four farmers who have agreed to partner with the conservation agencies. Together the farmers and biologists protected 60,000 breeding birds – one-fifth of the species’ entire global population – after farmers agreed to delay their harvest schedule and allow the birds to fledge safely.

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NRCS Invests $2.7 Million to Protect Hollywood Reservoir and Local Residents

LOS ANGELES, Calif., July 3, 2012—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in California has completed a series of critical repairs to a damaged hillside that imperiled seven homes in Hollywood Hills, Calif. The necessary repairs, completed in two phases, were done to further protect life and property threatened by three landslides, which occurred because of a series of severe winter storms between January and February 2005.

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Conservation Program Has Restored One-Fourth of California Wetlands

DAVIS, Calif., May 30, 2012—There is plenty of reason for California to celebrate National Wetlands Month now before May gives way to summer days. The Wetlands Reserve Program, a Farm Bill Conservation program, is marking its 20th anniversary, and in those two decades the program in California has managed to protect and restore over 120,000 acres of historical wetlands that are home to almost 200 species of birds. All of these wetlands were voluntarily restored through 315 contracts with farmers and ranchers. Collectively this represents the restoration of more than one-fourth of all of California’s functional wetlands.

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Funding Available to Farmers to Improve Irrigation Water Efficiency

DAVIS, Calif., May 22, 2012—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in California, in partnership with DOI’s Bureau of Reclamation, is providing funds to improve the efficiency of agricultural water use in five select locations throughout California. This partnership combines rural infrastructure upgrades with on-farm conservation enhancements. The deadline to submit an application for assistance is June 8, 2012.

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Redwood Valley Partnership Receives High Praise and National Honor

DAVIS, Calif., May 17, 2012—Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan presented USDA’s prestigious Two Chiefs’ Partnership Award to representatives of the Redwood Valley Collaborative for their work in reducing the threat of Sudden Oak Death disease in the Redwood Valley of California, during a brief ceremony at the Richard E. Lyng USDA Service Center in Davis yesterday.

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NRCS Invests $2.5 Million to Protect Watersheds of Concern

DAVIS, Calif., May 8, 2012—In conjunction with a national water quality initiative, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will invest $2.5 million in targeted funds to improve water quality in five high priority watersheds in California.

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NRCS California Celebrates Earth Team Volunteer Week

DAVIS, Calif., April 16, 2012—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is celebrating National Volunteer Week, April 15-21, 2012, by thanking and honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation. Earth Team is NRCS’s official volunteer program. Over the past 12 months, 175 volunteers dedicated approximately 8,300 hours of service to NRCS California valued at nearly $180,000.

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Funding Available to Farmers Fighting the European Grapevine Moth

DAVIS, Calif., April 13, 2012—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is offering assistance to California farmers to combat the European Grapevine Moth. NRCS is offering Integrated Pest Management tools to farmers as an environmentally-safe alternative to treat the pests.

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NRCS Provides Nearly $1 Million to Expand Conservation in the Monterey Bay Region

DAVIS, Calif., April 5, 2012—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in California will provide $925,000 in technical and financial assistance to farmers and ranchers to protect the Monterey Bay Region. The Monterey Bay Conservation Program is being made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to improve water quality and quantity in this important region. The application deadline is April 16, 2012.

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Walker Creek Area Eligible for New Conservation Funding

DAVIS, Calif., March 29, 2012—The Natural Resources Conservation Service today announced that the Colusa Glenn Subwatershed Program’s Walker Creek Watershed Represented Area located in Glenn County is one of four new focus areas where $8.5 million will be made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help producers undertake water quality and water conservation projects. Applications are due April 20, 2012.

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NRCS Commits $1 Million to Protecting Declining Wildlife Species

DAVIS, Calif., March 30, 2012—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in California will provide accelerated technical and financial assistance to farmers and ranchers to improve or enhance aquatic or wildlife habitat on agricultural land. This Wildlife Initiative for Declining Species is being made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. The application deadline is April 16, 2012.

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Lower Snake River Area Eligible for New Conservation Funding

DAVIS, Calif., March 29, 2012—The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) today announced that the Lower Snake River Watershed is one of four new focus areas where funding will be made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to help agricultural producers undertake water quality and water conservation projects. Applications are due April 20, 2012, to be considered for funding in the initial allocation of $1.6 million for the Lower Snake River Watershed.

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Eastern San Joaquin One of Four Areas Selected for $5 Million in Water Quality Funding

DAVIS, Calif., March 29, 2012—$5 million is available to farmers and dairy producers east of the San Joaquin River in Merced and Stanislaus Counties to participate in a new opportunity to receive technical and financial assistance for water conservation and water quality. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service announced today that the area is one of four statewide that will receive funds through the Agency’s national landscape conservation initiative to help improve the Bay Delta ecosystem. Funds are being made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Applications are due April 20, 2012.

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$1.5 Million Available to Improve On-Farm Water Resources in San Joaquin County

DAVIS, Calif., March 29, 2012—The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service in California announced that it will invest $1.5 million to assist farmers be better stewards of water resources in San Joaquin County. This funding is anticipated to help approximately 400 eligible farmers implement water quality and irrigation efficiency practices in selected San Joaquin County watersheds.

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New Focused Conservation Opportunities for Water and Habitat in Central Valley

DAVIS, Calif., March 29, 2012—The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service in California announces four new focus areas where $8.5 million will be made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help producers undertake water quality and water conservation projects. Applications are due April 20, 2012.

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Signups Underway for Conservation Efforts to Benefit Wildlife

DAVIS, Calif., March 28, 2012—The Natural Resources Conservation Service has signups underway for wildlife conservation efforts to enhance habitat for Sage Grouse, a ground dwelling bird found in sagebrush steppe areas in eastern parts of the state, and for the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher, a small bird that resides along riparian areas in Southern California.

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Window Soon Closing for New Federal Conservation Program

DAVIS, Calif., March 22, 2012—The window of opportunity to enroll in a new habitat conservation program for this year will soon be closing. The Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications for the Waterbird Habitat Enhancement Program through Friday, April 6, 2012.

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Applications for NRCS Organic Initiative Due March 30

DAVIS, Calif., March 16, 2012—California agricultural producers who are certified organic or transitioning to organic production may qualify for technical and financial assistance through a national organic initiative administered by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Applications for the second ranking period of 2012 are due at NRCS offices by March 30, for funding consideration during fiscal year 2012.

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Deadline for Conservation Innovation Grant Proposals May 18, 2012

DAVIS, Calif., February 9, 2012—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in California announced May 18, 2012, as the deadline to submit project proposals for fiscal year 2012 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). Up to $375,000 is available for the California statewide CIG competition.

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WRP Partnership Proposals Accepted Through February 15

DAVIS, Calif., January 12, 2012—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in California has set Feb. 15, 2012, as the deadline for Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP) proposals. WREP is a nationally-competitive program and a component of NRCS’s popular Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP).

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2012 Conservation Easement Applications Due February 15

DAVIS, Calif., January 6, 2012—Private landowners interested in protecting their grassland or farmland with this year’s funding are encouraged get their applications in soon. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in California has set Feb. 15, 2012, as the deadline for accepting applications for both the Grassland Reserve Program and Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program.

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2012 Wetlands Project Applications Due February 15

DAVIS, Calif., January 6, 2012—Private landowners interested in enhancing, restoring or protecting their wetlands with this year’s funding may want to get their applications in soon. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in California has set Feb. 15, 2012, as the deadline for considering projects for 2012 Wetlands Reserve Program funding.

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NRCS California Reminds Farmers and Ranchers About January 27 Deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program

DAVIS, Calif., Updated: January 11, 2012—USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service California State Office reminds California’s farmers and ranchers that Jan. 27, 2012, is the ranking period cut-off date for applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Farmers and ranchers interested in CSP should submit applications to their local NRCS office by the deadline so that their applications can be considered during the first ranking period of 2012.

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Westwide Snow School to Teach Sampling and Survival

DAVIS, Calif., January 5, 2012—Scientists, engineers, and technicians employed in the water resources arena will convene at Granlibakken Conference Center in Tahoe City, Calif., the week of Jan. 8-13, 2012, for training in snow sampling, avalanche recognition, outdoor survival, and emergency care. The annual Westwide Snow Survey School is held in western states on a rotating basis and is part of the effort to predict water supply based on snow pack, precipitation, observed stream flow, soil moisture, and other climatic data. The training is required of all snow surveyors collecting data for NRCS and has been held nearly every year since 1950.

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NRCS California Allocates $1 Million to Fund Tribal-Specific Conservation Practices

DAVIS, Calif., December 19, 2011—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in California has partnered with California’s tribal nations to make $1 million available to help tribal farmers and ranchers put additional conservation on the ground. Tribal nations have historically had unequal access to financial resources, due to the unique and tradition-based conservation practices typically practiced by tribes, and this additional funding will improve access to federal conservation dollars.

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Conservation Videos Give Quick Glimpse into Assistance Available

DAVIS, Calif., December 15, 2011—USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service in California is releasing eight short videos on YouTube, providing a quick glimpse into some of the Agency’s most popular conservation opportunities (www.youtube.com/user/NRCSCalifornia).

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Media Advisory: Lake Tahoe Hosts Snow Survey and Safety School

DAVIS, Calif., December 13, 2011—Media are invited to attend the Annual Westwide Snow Survey School held this year at Granlibakken Conference Center in Tahoe City, CA, the week of January 8-13, 2012. This Snow School training presents a rare opportunity for media reporters to see first-hand how snow survey data is collected and how surveyors are trained to operate safely in a sometimes dangerous environment.

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NRCS Honors Four RCDs for Conservation Work in California

DAVIS, Calif., November 22, 2011—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has honored four California Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) as "Outstanding Districts of the Year." The honors were presented at NRCS’s partnership awards luncheon held during the 66th annual California Association of Resource Conservation Districts conference in Stockton on November 9.

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USDA Expands People’s Garden Initiative to Sow Seeds for Community-Based Agriculture in Underserved Areas of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, Calif., November 18, 2011—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded a grant to the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust to expand educational resources and programs related to community gardening and urban farming. This project will continue USDA’s efforts to combat malnutrition while supporting local and regional food systems. "The simple act of planting a garden can help unite neighborhoods around a common effort and inspire communities to find solutions to challenges facing our country—from hunger to the environment," said USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.

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NRCS and Partners Preserve Record Number of Farms and Ranches in California

DAVIS, Calif., October 25, 2011—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) California State Office, with the California State Department of Conservation and several farm and ranchland trusts, have had an historic year preserving 14 significant farms and ranches throughout Northern and Central California in 2011. NRCS and partners invested approximately $20 million in conservation easements to preserve 5,000 acres of prime and productive agricultural land.

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NRCS Conservation Programs Deadline Fast Approaching

DAVIS, Calif., October 19, 2011—For those farmers, ranchers, forestry landowners and Tribes who are interested in applying for Fiscal Year 2012 Farm Bill conservation program-financial assistance, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in California has set Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, as the application cutoff for ranking consideration.

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Conservationists and Rice Farmers Agree: Project is for the Birds

DAVIS, Calif., October 7, 2011—Seventy rice farmers in Glenn and Colusa County have signed contracts to participate in a $2.68 million pilot project with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to modify their rice fields and production practices to benefit shorebirds and waterfowl. In the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative, rice farmers will engage in a number of practices strategically targeted to benefit the birds’ migratory and breeding needs.

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Recovery Act Project Providing Jobs, Urban Renewal

SAN JOSE, Calif., October 7, 2011—The $30 million Lower Silver Creek Project, near downtown San Jose, Calif., is now 40 percent complete. The project not only provides an estimated 400 jobs to the local community but will also alleviate ongoing flooding and enhance water quality along approximately two miles of the creek.

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USDA Honors Hayes and Fitzgerald for Heroism

WEAVERVILLE, Calif., September 16, 2011—Tiffany Hayes, district conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Weaverville, Calif., and Jim Fitzgerald, a geologist consultant, were formally recognized for their heroism in a ceremony on Sept. 14, at the Jefferson Auditorium at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC.

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Productive & Historic Farmland Protected in Three Central Valley Counties

STOCKTON, Calif., September 8, 2011—Sitting in the middle of what is arguably the best walnut and cherry orchard land in the world is the Brandstad Farms. This highly productive land, located five miles east of Stockton, has been permanently preserved for agricultural production for future generations, the Central Valley Farmland Trust announced today.

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USDA Agencies in California Raise 33,500 Pounds of Food For Those in Need

DAVIS, Calif., September 1, 2011—USDA agencies in California worked together to raise more than 33,500 pounds of fresh and non-perishable food to donate to local food banks across the state. Feds Feed Families is a national food drive led by USDA, the Office of Personnel Management and other federal agencies to raise food for Americans struggling with hunger across the country.

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2011 Conservation Innovation Grants Awarded for California

DAVIS, Calif., August 25, 2011—Seven private companies and conservation and agricultural organizations have been awarded Conservation Innovation Grants in California totaling $497,625. These are in addition to the Natural Resources Conservation Service's national awards for organizations in the state for over $1.5 million. The ultimate goal of the grants is to help the Agency and California farmers and ranchers with technical tools to protect natural resources.

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NRCS to Seek Input on 2012 Conservation Priorities for California on Sept. 7

DAVIS, Calif., August 22, 2011—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will hold its next State Technical Advisory Committee meeting on Sept. 7, 2011, to discuss 2012 priorities for Farm Bill conservation programs. The meeting will be held at the USDA building in Davis from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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NRCS Announces Additional $2 Million for Migratory Bird Habitat Conservation

DAVIS, Calif., July 29, 2011—Sacramento Valley rice producers now have the opportunity to make more of a conservation investment on their working lands this year. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has received an additional $2 million for wildlife habitat conservation improvements.

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California Receives Nearly $1 Million for Conservation Partnership Projects

DAVIS, Calif., June 10, 2011—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service California State Office received nearly $1 million to fund three projects through the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative. The projects will assist farmers and ranchers achieve natural resource benefits such as clean water, forest health and abundant wildlife.

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$9.1 Million to Fund Collaborative Projects for Bay-Delta Water Use Efficiencies

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2011—Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes and Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced that by working together to leverage monies for water delivery agencies and agricultural producers in California’s Central Valley, agencies of the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture will provide $9.1 million in funding to five water/power delivery districts to save water, improve water management and create new supplies for agricultural irrigation.

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$375,000 Available for Innovative Approaches to Conservation

DAVIS, Calif., May 4, 2011—USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service announced $375,000 available for California to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies through its Conservation Innovation Grants for fiscal year 2011.

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NRCS and Partners Host Watershed Recovery Recognition Event

CRESTLINE, Calif., April 20, 2011—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, along with the U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and San Bernardino, San Diego and Riverside counties hosted a recognition event today, in Crestline, commemorating six years worth of work reducing the threat of wildfire, improving forest health and protecting residents in Southern California.

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NRCS Announces Signup for Healthy Forest Reserve Program in California

DAVIS, Calif., April 15, 2011—Applications are being accepted until May 2, 2011, for funding through the Healthy Forest Reserve Program, a program that provides financial and technical assistance to eligible participants who want to protect, restore, or enhance threatened and endangered species habitat on forest lands they own or manage.

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Local Private Consultants Wanted for Federal Program

EUREKA, Calif., April 12, 2011—The Natural Resources Conservation Service is looking for local private consultants who are interested in becoming Technical Service Provides for USDA's Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan program.

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NRCS California Celebrates Earth Team Volunteer Week

DAVIS, Calif., April 8, 2011—USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) California State Office is celebrating National Volunteer Week, April 10-16, 2011, by thanking and honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation. Earth Team is NRCS’s official volunteer program. Over the past 12 months, 314 volunteers dedicated approximately 9,500 hours of service to NRCS California valued at nearly $200,000.

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$500,000 Water Enhancement Project Funded for California Dairies

DAVIS, Calif., April 7, 2011—Western United Dairymen has secured $500,000 for water quality projects on dairies in California’s Central Valley. The funding is provided through the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program, part of the 2008 Farm Bill conservation title, and is administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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Funding Available to Farmers Fighting the European Grapevine Moth

DAVIS, Calif., April 1, 2011—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is offering assistance to California farmers to combat the European Grapevine Moth. In this second year of the program, NRCS is offering Integrated Pest Management tools to prevent isolated pest finds from becoming a widespread infestation.

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On-Farm Energy Audits Help California Landowners Improve Energy Conservation and Efficiency

DAVIS, Calif., February 7, 2011—Applications are being accepted through Feb. 25, 2011, to assist farmers and ranchers conduct on-farm energy audits to improve their overall energy efficiency. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) launched this initiative in fiscal year 2010 and this is the second year for applications.

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Six Organizations Honored by the Department of Pesticide Regulation for Reducing Pesticide Use

SACRAMENTO, Calif., January 27, 2011—On Jan. 27, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) will recognize a diverse group of businesses and organizations as 2010 IPM Innovators. They control insects, weeds, rodents and other pests with a combination of natural and preventive strategies and pesticides less toxic than traditional treatments.

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Conservation Easement Applications to be Ranked February 15

DAVIS, Calif., January 10, 2011—Private landowners interested in protecting their grassland or farmland with this year’s funding are encouraged to get their applications in soon. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in California has set Feb. 15 as the deadline for 2011 funding consideration for both the Grassland Reserve Program and Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program.

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Wetlands Projects Slated for Ranking February 15

DAVIS, Calif., January 6, 2011—Private landowners interested in enhancing, restoring or protecting their wetlands with this year’s funding may want to get their applications in soon. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in California has set Tuesday, February 15 as the deadline for considering projects for 2011 Wetlands Reserve Program funding.

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NRCS Farm Bill Update