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Secretary’s Tribal Advisor Chalks up Long Hours Working on Behalf of Tribes

Members of the Tribes already know this, but President Obama, Secretary Vilsack and members of this Administration take very seriously the need to work with Tribes on a government to government basis, and to provide the Tribes with the technical and economic support they need not just to survive, but to grow, prosper and thrive. This commitment from the Administration provides me and this department with the opportunity to do great things in concert with First Americans. Read more »

The Rules Don’t Change for Ice Fishing

Arctic weather in the Midwest may mean an earlier start for ice fishing this year.  “Early ice fishing can be some of the best fishing for walleye, bigger game fish, and for a lot of species,” says Steve Avelallemant, fisheries supervisor for northern Wisconsin with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Whether anglers start early in the season or later, they need to take the same steps in winter that they do in the summer to prevent spreading viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS).  VHS is a virus that can infect more than two dozen fish species and can cause bleeding and bulging eyes.  VHS has been found in all the Great Lakes and some inland waterways. Read more »

Get Involved with the Summer Food Service Program in your Community

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

The two most direct ways to get involved in the Summer Food Service Program in your community are to either become a sponsor or a feeding site.  What’s the difference you may ask?  Being a sponsor means acting as the organizer for Summer Food Service sites.  Sponsors manage, train, supervise and monitor all food service activities and locations where children can eat.  They also maintain paperwork and submit claims for reimbursement. Read more »

Continuing Engagement to Collaboratively Develop the Forest Service Planning Rule

The wait is over! The U.S. Forest Service unveiled its proposed Forest Planning Rule today. This proposed rule is the outcome of the most participatory planning rule development process in Forest Service history. Based on your feedback gathered online and during more than 40 public meetings hosted across the nation, we think we’ve crafted a proposed rule that reflects the public and Tribal input received so far, our expertise, current science, and regulatory requirements.  The proposed rule would establish a new national framework to develop land management plans that protect water and wildlife and promote vibrant communities. Now, we are seeking your comments on the proposed rule to help us develop a final rule that will have broad support and endure over time. Read more »

With USDA Help, a Nebraska Mom gets a House

Katie Bowens and her family had been renting an apartment for five years. They wanted a chance to have a home of their own. The Norfolk Housing Agency (NHA) directed Katie to USDA Rural Development in an on-going partnership effort.

The City of Norfolk, acting through NHA, notified the local USDA Rural Development office of a Community Revitalization program they were working on.  They thought Katie would be a perfect fit. The City had received funding from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) in 2007 and 2008. These grants, written and administered by the Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District (NENEDD), are available to demolish dilapidated properties within the city limits. They also allow funds to be allocated to low-to-moderate income families in the form of construction subsidies and down payment assistance. Read more »

USDA Rural Development Makes New Library Dream a Reality for a Small Kentucky Community

Despite below-freezing temperatures and high-wind advisories, more than 50 residents of Hardinsburg and Breckinridge County, Kentucky, turned out recently to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new public library. The crowd included local high school students, city and county officials, library board trustees and members and local law enforcement. Read more »