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Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Aldo Leopold

Aldo Leopold seated on rimrock above the Rio Gavilan in northern Mexico while on a bow hunting trip in 1938. (Photo courtesy Aldo Leopold Foundation)

Aldo Leopold seated on rimrock above the Rio Gavilan in northern Mexico while on a bow hunting trip in 1938. (Photo courtesy Aldo Leopold Foundation)

Over his 40-year career as a forester, scientist, teacher, and writer, Aldo Leopold brought a greater understanding of our relationship with the natural world at a time when the technological advances of the 20th century increasingly shut people off from their surroundings. Read more »

NRCS Staff Brings Mississippi Needles to Oregon Native Americans

NRCS Soil Conservation Technician Allen Hughes mails longleaf pine needles from the forest in his Miss. backyard to Oregon to be used to make baskets, a Native American tradition across the U.S.

NRCS Soil Conservation Technician Allen Hughes mails longleaf pine needles from the forest in his Miss. backyard to Oregon to be used to make baskets, a Native American tradition across the U.S.

Members of the Puget Salish Tribe in the Northwest are now using Southeastern longleaf pine needles from Mississippi to build baskets, all because of a connection made between two employees of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)—from the Gulf Coast to the West Coast. Read more »

USDA Rural Development Honors the Memory of a Crew Member During Martin Luther King Day of Service

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.”

Those words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. seem particularly prophetic for staff at USDA Rural Development in Arizona.

As staff was planning for the federal Martin Luther King Day of Service, we received news that our friend on the USDA Phoenix building cleaning crew, Elia Zepeda, was ill and in the hospital. Within days she slipped into a coma and died.

Elia’s cheerful personality greeted many USDA Rural Development employees at the Arizona State Office as they entered or exited the building each day. Although we never saw her in anything but her blue Goodwill uniform, it was clear that, although she loved her job, she was much more than a “cleaning lady.” Read more »