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Creating Healthy Landscapes through the Power of Partnerships

At The Wilds, visitors learn about conservation education and creating healthy landscapes. (Photo courtesy Shannon Wise, The Wilds)

At The Wilds, visitors learn about conservation education and creating healthy landscapes. (Photo courtesy Shannon Wise, The Wilds)

One of the world’s largest wildlife conservation centers, The Wilds, is nestled among the rolling hills of southeastern Ohio’s Muskingum County. Uniquely, the safari park and conservation center is located on top of 14 square miles of reclaimed surface mined lands.

It’s on this reclaimed landscape that USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and The Wilds have partnered together on a grasslands prairie project through a 3-year Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). Read more »

US Forest Service Provides Support for Hurricane Sandy Clean-up Efforts in New York City

U.S. Forest Service staff loads relief supplies for New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy.

U.S. Forest Service staff loads relief supplies for New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy.

At the height of the hurricane response effort, approximately 1,200 interagency firefighters organized by the U.S. Forest Service were sent to the impacted areas to provide assistance to communities in need. There are many incredible stories to tell of their work, with one fine example coming from a team dispatched from Portland, Ore. Read more »

Pest v. Pest: ARS Offers Method for Combating Whiteflies

ARS studies have shown that there are effective “greener” alternatives to conventional broad-spectrum pesticides for fighting sweet potato whiteflies on cotton plants.

ARS studies have shown that there are effective alternatives to conventional broad-spectrum pesticides for fighting sweet potato whiteflies on cotton plants.

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

Some Arizona growers rely on broad-spectrum insecticides to treat whiteflies, but scientists with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are studying the option of letting nature lend a hand in combating the costly pests. Read more »

Earth Team Volunteer Loves ‘Dream Job’ with NRCS

Captain Mike P. McAdaragh II pictured on one of the construction sites where he volunteers to assist with the Wetland Reserve Program.

Captain Mike P. McAdaragh II pictured on one of the construction sites where he volunteers to assist with the Wetland Reserve Program.

U.S. Army Capt. Mike P. McAdaragh II is looking for a job that blends indoor and outdoor work. This led him to volunteering with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, an agency that works with private landowners to improve farms and forestlands across the U.S.

McAdaragh’s volunteer work with NRCS gives him the opportunity to work side-by-side with agency biologists and engineers, providing him with valuable work experience and new skills as he transitions from his 13 years in the military to a new career. Read more »

USDA’s SuperTracker Receives Award for Outstanding IT Achievement in Government

On October 24, 2012, the SuperTracker Team received the 2012 Government Computer News (GCN) Award for Outstanding IT Achievement in Government.

On October 24, 2012, the SuperTracker Team received the 2012 Government Computer News (GCN) Award for Outstanding IT Achievement in Government.

In addition to reaching over 1.4 million users, USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion now has something else to be proud of regarding its state-of-the-art SuperTracker.  On October 24, 2012, the SuperTracker Team received the 2012 Government Computer News (GCN) Award for Outstanding IT Achievement in Government, along with nine other awardees from local, state, and Federal governments.  The awards were presented to these government teams for their extraordinary accomplishments and significant contributions to the performance of their agencies. Read more »

With Some Help from USDA, a Small Oregon Town Brings Shoppers Back to Main Street

Cottage Grove residents stand under an arch welcoming visitors to the newly restored downtown area.

Cottage Grove residents stand under an arch welcoming visitors to the newly restored downtown area.

Like so many small towns these past few decades, downtown Cottage Grove, Oregon has seen its vitality as the community’s economic and social center fade as retail, building occupancy and overall traffic on Main Street have declined. The historic city center was laid out and constructed as the community’s small, but bustling hub near the turn of the last century. Over the years, changes in lifestyle, business models, traffic patterns, and overall growth diverted activity away. In addition, the small town of under 10,000 is conveniently located on an interstate just 20 miles from a major population center. As such, Cottage Gove today is home to many who prefer a quiet, small-town residential environment, but who work, shop and do business in the nearby Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area. Read more »