WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that $150 million in funding is available for agricultural producers through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), USDA's largest conservation program, by acres impacted, that helps producers voluntarily improve the health and productivity of private and Tribal working lands. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to add an estimated 10 million acres to the rolls of CSP during fiscal 2016.
"The Conservation Stewardship Program is one of our most popular programs with producers because it results in real change on the ground by boosting soil and air quality, conserving clean water and enhancing wildlife habitat," Vilsack said. "With this investment, we'll be able to build on the already record number of acres enrolled in USDA's conservation programs, enabling producers to achieve higher levels of conservation and adopt new and emerging conservation technologies on farms, ranches and forests."
NRCS accepts applications for CSP throughout the year, but producers should submit applications by March 31 to a USDA service centers to ensure they are considered for enrollment in 2016.
Participants with existing CSP contracts that will expire on Dec.31, 2016 have the option to renew their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands. Applications to renew are also due by March 31.
NRCS also makes CSP available to producers as an additional opportunity to participate in regional landscape-level conservation efforts including the Sage Grouse Initiative, Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative, Longleaf Pine Initiative and Ogallala Aquifer Initiative.
Funding is available for more than 100 kinds of enhancements nationwide to help participants:
Learn more here: $150 Million for Working Lands
As hawks in the Reno and Sparks area go about their lives, University of Nevada, Reno graduate student Justin White and his team of enthusiastic interns are there for all the action and activities.
"We have found more than 70 nests and have set up 24 nest cameras," White, who is a geography student working on his doctorate, said. "This means we have driven enough kilometers to cross the United States twice just in Reno looking for nests. We have been able to measure things like chick survival, feeding intervals and parental roles relative to urban density."
White's Reno Hawk Project has two main goals: to gain insight into how nesting Red-tailed Hawks as one of the largest apex predators in the urban ecosystem are affected by different levels of urbanization, and to provide a platform for the University to connect with the local community and an opportunity for interested residents of the Truckee Meadows to join in the research. Since the fall of 2014, White, his team and community partners have sighted, recorded and documented several kinds of hawks and their activities.
Learn more here: http://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2015/the-reno-hawk-project_
Winnemucca, Nev. – The BLM Black Rock Field Office coordinated with Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and Friends of Nevada Wilderness to install an exclosure fence around a spring in the Fly Canyon to protect a population of Desert Dace, a rare Nevada fish.
Wild horses and burros frequently use the spring at Fly Canyon as a water source and heavy use has caused damage to the spring habitat. The severity of these impacts has been compounded due to continuing drought conditions. Agency biologists were concerned that without some type of protection this Desert Dace population would not survive the summer. The exclosure will reduce impacts caused by heavy use while allowing wild horses and burros access to the water that flows out of the spring.
In 1985 USFWS listed the Desert Dace as a federally listed threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). At that time, the species was only known to occur in Soldier Meadows, another area managed by the BLM. In 2010, NDOW discovered a separate population of Desert Dace in a geothermal spring in Fly Canyon, located in the High Rock Lake Wilderness. Desert Dace are known to occur in only a small number of locations and require specific types of spring environments. The Fly Canyon population of Desert Dace is separate from that found in the Soldier Meadows area and may have different genetic traits.
While the protection of a species under the ESA was the driving force for the project, the land surrounding it is protected by the Wilderness Act, which prohibits the use of mechanized equipment in designated wilderness areas. By flying the materials in by helicopter and installing the fence by hand the partners prevented damage to the land while providing protection for the Desert Dace and the potential unique genetic of the species in Fly Canyon.
“The project was critical to prevent the loss of this population of the Desert Dace, and we very much appreciate the assistance of both the BLM and USFWS in completion of the exclosure” says Jon Sjoberg, NDOW Chief of Fisheries. “With the protection now in place, NDOW will be continuing Desert Dace population and monitoring surveys over the next several years while inspecting the fence for functionality and maintenance.” Adjacent to Fly Canyon is the Soldier Meadows Area of Critical Environmental Concern, which the BLM manages to ensure harmony between recreational use of the area and the needs of its many sensitive species, such as the Desert Dace.
“The recovery of species like Desert Dace ultimately depends upon our ability to work together toward common goals. The determination and commitment of our partners at NDOW, BLM, USGS, and the Friends of Nevada Wilderness proves that we can come together to conserve Nevada’s imperiled species and most unique natural resources for future generations,” says Ted Koch, Field Supervisor for the USFWS’s Reno Fish and Wildlife Office.
For more information about the project, please contact Kathy Cadigan, Wildlife Biologist for the Black Rock Field Office at 775-623-1500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SocialHiker.net published a nice article on hiking near cultural/archeological sites. Below is the list of rules for visiting remote archaeological sites that was put out by the Utah BLM and which is highlighted in the article.
If you see people vandalizing sites, please report it as soon as possible by calling 1-800-VANDALS.
From the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension:
If you love the outdoors, this is the program for you!
Do you love the outdoors? Enjoy exploring the natural world in southern Nevada? Like learning about native plants and animals? Wonder how you can volunteer and participate in conservation projects locally? Then, the Nevada Naturalist program is for you! Drop by the Lifelong Learning Center on Saturday, March 7 between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. and chat with current Nevada Naturalists, meet instructors, see interesting and educational project presentations, participate in activities, learn about exciting volunteer opportunities, tour the Outdoor Education Center and more.
Nevada Naturalist, a University of Nevada Cooperative Extension program, focuses on giving a broad understanding of nature to participants interested in learning, volunteering, teaching and participating in conservation projects and issues. The program will also give participants the skills and confidence necessary to make a difference for environmental stewardship and conservation in southern Nevada.
The Lifelong Learning Center is located at 8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nev. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information on the open house or the Nevada Naturalist program, email or call Denise Parsons at 702-948-5906.
The Nevada Naturalist program offers two semesters of instruction. Topics include: ecology, regional plants and animals, invasive species, geology and soils, environmental laws, taxonomy, biological diversity, and more. Classes are held in the spring and fall in a variety of settings including classrooms, museums and in the field. Additionally, students complete a project intended to increase their capacity and knowledge about specific issues that interest them. Participants receive a certificate following the completion of the course and their projects.
Carson City, Nev. - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District, American Forests, Nevada Conservation Corps, and Alpine County are partnering to rehabilitate the Airport Fire area by planting trees starting Tue., March 10 and concluding on Sun., March 15, 2015. This fire burned 81 acres of BLM and Alpine County land during the 2011 fire season and is located near the Indian Creek Recreation Area and the Alpine County Airport along Airport Road.
The planting of 25,000 Jeffrey pine seedlings will be completed by a Nevada Conservation Corp (NCC) crew and is expected to take two weeks, weather permitting. These crew members are AmeriCorps volunteers engaged in national service to earn money for student loans or future coursework. For many of these volunteers, this will be their first large scale reforestation project.
In fall 2011, the BLM and Alpine County developed an agreement which allowed for consistent reforestation of the fire area across the two ownerships. The BLM will use federal funds to plant 30 acres of BLM-managed land, while the planting of the Alpine County portion of the fire (51 acres) will be funded from a Global ReLeaf grant from American Forests.
American Forests is the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country and is a strong advocate for the protection and expansion of America’s forests. Since 1990, they have planted more than 43 million trees. The Global ReLeaf program selects lands where additional funding can help create a new forest that would not be possible under existing programs and budgets.
This unique project leverages funds and partners to insure the reforestation of this highly visible, economically important, and ecologically challenging site. An interpretive sign will be installed at the site this summer describing the efforts between these partners in creating this future forest for all to enjoy.
The public is invited to assist with the planting and/or the installation of protective mats around each seedling on March 13 and 14, starting at 10:00 am. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Coreen Francis, District Forester, at 775-885-6161 or email@example.com.
CALIENTE, Nev. ─ The State Historic Preservation Office, Nevada Site Stewardship Program, is
pleased to announce a Stewardship training workshop to be held at the BLM Caliente Field Office
(US HWY 93, Bldg. 1, Caliente, NV) on February 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This workshop is
free of charge and is open to all who are interested in volunteering to help protect Nevada’s
Increased visitation to public lands has overwhelmed archaeologists and law enforcement officers.
The Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife
Service and the National Park Service have joined with the Nevada State Historic Preservation
Office to create a statewide volunteer site stewardship program that trains site stewards to become
vital “eyes and ears” for public land management agencies.
The workshop includes an introduction to archaeological sites in Nevada and provides insight into
how Nevada’s heritage is at risk. Stewards are educated on the latest laws related to historic
preservation so they can work with their local authorities to prevent further damage by reporting
vandalism and other activities that could harm archaeological and paleontological sites. Volunteers
who attend this workshop will receive a 2015 certification for stewarding in Nevada.
“Anyone who enjoys being outdoors, likes to hike, is willing to collaborate with both state and
federal agencies and has a love for the past should consider attending this workshop,” said Rebecca
Palmer, state historic preservation officer. “Site Stewards play an essential role in maintaining the
integrity of Nevada’s archaeological, paleontological and historical sites for generations to come.”
To reserve a seat, please RSVP by January 28 to Rayette Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or at
Carson City - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District-Sierra Front Field Office, and the Kiwanis Club of Carson City invite local residents to join them in Carson City on Saturday, October 11, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. for an annual cleanup of public land along the banks of the Carson River, Brunswick Canyon, and Prison Hill Recreation Area.
Participants should meet at the BLM-Carson City District Office's west parking lot, located at 5665 Morgan Mill Road at Deer Run Road (three blocks south of U.S. Highway 50 on the east side of Carson City along the Carson River).
This is one of the many events that will be held around the country as part of the 21th annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD). NPLD is the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the public lands American’s enjoy.
Who's Invited? The Carson River Cleanup is an annual event that has been popular for conservation-minded groups, families & individuals, as well as local groups like the Kiwanis Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H Club, Junior ROTC, and Key Club. Groups are asked to register in advance by calling Lisa Ross at 775-885-6107 to ensure enough tools, event t-shirts, food and supplies are available for all volunteers. Come on out, get your hands dirty, and enjoy a great BBQ lunch provided by the Kiwanis Club of Carson City.
What will Volunteers be Doing? This year's projects include picking up trash along the Carson River, Sedge Road, Brunswick Canyon, and in side-canyons of the Pine Nut Mountains and Prison Hill. BLM will provide all of the needed hand tools, trash bags, and trash bins – volunteers just need help to load up the dumpster!
What Should Volunteers Bring? Volunteers are asked to wear long pants, heavy shoes or boots (no sandals, please), a hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes, and bring some heavy gloves to protect your hands from broken glass, metal and thorns. Yard rakes and boxes are also requested to gather and dispose of broken glass and shell casings. Also be prepared for either cool, windy weather, or hot, sunny conditions (the weather in mid-October in Carson City is quite unpredictable).
For more information & to pre-register: e-mail Lisa Ross, BLM Public Affairs Specialist at email@example.com or call 775-885-6107 by October 10.
Carson City, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District, Sierra Front Field Office has launched the “Adopt-a-Space” Program to combat illegal dumping on public lands. A workshop about the new program will be held on Thursday, September 25, from 5 - 7 p.m., at the Carson City District Office, 5665 Morgan Mill Road in Carson City. RSVPs for the open house are requested.
“This program facilitates creating public land stewards who will assist the BLM with keeping the public land free of litter so that all may enjoy,” said Leon Thomas, Field Manager. “We are looking for individuals, groups, schools, businesses, organizations and anyone who is interested in participating in this program.”
BLM staff will work closely with volunteer groups to guide them through the process of adopting a space. Pre-determined spots have been designated for the program. However, if there is an area in need of clean-up, BLM will work with individuals and groups to get it nominated and adopted.
For additional information please call 775-885-6000, email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Las Vegas, NV - Saturday September 27th volunteers from the Las Vegas valley will spend National Public Lands Day working in one of southern Nevada’s most loved places, the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. There are two projects taking place in the Spring Mountains to help expedite recovery after the Carpenter 1 fire of 2013. They will be hosted by two local partners, Go Mt. Charleston and Friends of Nevada Wilderness.
Part of the Humbolt-Toiyabe National Forest, the Spring Mountains provide an escape from the summer heat, opportunities for winter snow play, and a sanctuary for biodiversity found nowhere else on Earth. This important and delicate ecosystem sees 1 million visitors each year, and can always benefit from volunteer’s attention.
In July 2013 almost 28,000 acres of the southern Spring Mountains burned in the Carpenter 1 fire. The U.S. Forest Service was required to keep some recreation areas closed to the public until the resulting hazards could be mitigated. One impacted site is the Mt. Charleston National Recreation Trail (NRT), formerly known as the South Loop Trail. Much work remains until this trail and other areas will be ready for visitors. However, Friends of Nevada Wilderness and volunteers have been granted access to improve lower sections. Volunteers from the local Spring Mountain Youth Camp and local REI employees will learn about natural fire ecology and trail maintenance techniques through hands on practice.
GO Mt. Charleston will work with volunteers in Kyle Canyon collecting native seeds for germination and re-seeding last year’s burned areas. The Great Basin Institute works closely with the US Forest Service on plant restoration in the Spring Mountains and will help volunteers learn about Mojave Desert plant species. This family friendly event focuses on natural fire ecology and our part in the process. Volunteer efforts like these are instrumental in the recovery process.
Founded in 1984, Friends of Nevada has helped protect over 3 million acres of Nevada’s wild lands by leading efforts in the expansion or designation of all 68 wildernesses in the state, including the creation of Mt. Charleston Wilderness. Over the past thirty years, Friends of Nevada Wilderness has also grown a nationally recognized and award-winning Wilderness Stewardship Volunteer Program, generating over $1 million of in-kind services to benefit Nevada’s public lands.
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