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Conservation News-December 4, 2023

 

 

In Their Range Tour Era

The Jack County Soil and Water Conservation District recently host their annual Range Tour with a focus on grazing management. The large group in attendance met at the Jack County Fair Barn for presentations from USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service staff before heading out to Brad Campsey’s ranch for a tour. Rafael Aldrich, NRCS Zone 5 rangeland management specialist, kicked the day off discussing the importance of grazing management, rotational grazing, and the correct stocking rate. Haden Hargus, NRCS grazing land specialist, followed with a demonstration how the Rangeland Analysis Platform (RAP) program can be used to make decisions regarding setting stocking rates. RAP is an online application that provides users direct access to geospatial vegetation data for rangeland in the United States. RAP is intended to support users in monitoring rangeland and evaluating current or past management strategies to ultimately strengthen land management planning.

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Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund 2024 Request for Proposals

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals to voluntarily restore, enhance and conserve longleaf pine and bottomland hardwood forests within the historical longleaf pine range. The Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund is a funding opportunity for on-the-ground conservation projects. This RFP is a public-private partnership supported with Federal funding from USDA’s Forest Service (USFS) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and private funding from Altria Group, International Paper’s Forestland Stewards Partnership and Southern Company.

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USDA Makes Producer-Friendly Change to 2023 Notice of Loss Requirements for Two Livestock Disaster Assistance Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has waived certain notice of loss requirements for 2023 for the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-raised Fish (ELAP) and Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP). In an effort to streamline assistance to support access to critical 2023 natural disaster recovery assistance, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is waiving the requirement to submit ELAP or LIP notices of loss within a pre-determined number of days for 2023. Instead, producers have the flexibility to submit 2023 notices of loss as soon as possible, once losses are realized, following a natural disaster event or no later than the established annual program application for payment deadlines for each program. FSA county committees are also being asked to re-evaluate 2023 ELAP and LIP late-filed notices of loss to determine if the waiver applies.

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US Court of Appeals Upholds Texas Drone Privacy Law

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently issued an opinion in National Press Photographers Association v. McCraw, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Texas’ drone privacy law. In 2013, the Texas Legislature passed the Texas Privacy Act, Chapter 423 of the Texas Government Code (“Chapter 423”).  The purpose of this statute was to regulate the use of drones in Texas airspace.  [To read full summary of the law, click here.]  Essentially, Chapter 423 can be divided into two sections:  the Surveillance provisions and the No-Fly provisions.  Each of these sections carry the potential of criminal penalties and civil liability.

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