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Posts tagged: Dave White

Scouting for Conservation – NRCS Shares Its Conservation Know-How at the National Boy Scout Jamboree

By Brad Fisher, Public Affairs Specialist

Right now, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is sharing the agency’s conservation expertise with more than 42,000 scouts at the National Boy Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia.  Scout jamborees are always jammed with excitement, but this one is extra special – a celebration of BSA’s 100th anniversary. Congratulations BSA from everyone at NRCS on your century of service and adventure! Read more »

Ceremony Welcomes Return of Spring Chinook Salmon

Thanks to years of stream restoration efforts on Omak Creek and a recent infusion of $625,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, the Confederated Colville Tribes (CCT) celebrated the return of migrating spring chinook salmon during its annual First Salmon Ceremony on June 18 at the Omak Longhouse. Read more »

NRCS Chief Dave White Attends USET Semi-Annual Meeting

Written by Fay Garner, Public Affairs Assistant, NRCS, Alabama

NRCS Chief Dave White joined members of the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET), Inc. and other agency leaders at the USET semi-annual meeting in Mobile, Alabama, June 14-17, 2010. USET’s 25 Tribal members are dedicated to enhancing the development of Indian Tribes and improving the capabilities of Tribal governments. They also assist the member Tribes and their governments in dealing effectively with public policy issues and in serving the broad needs of Indian people.

On Tuesday, June 15, a number of people, including Chief White, toured the PBCI reservation to view practices installed using NRCS financial assistance programs. The group also included Chairman Buford Rolin of the Atmore, Alabama Federally recognized Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PBCI); NRCS Assistant Chief Walt Douglas; and Alabama NRCS State Conservationist Bill Puckett. The group saw diverse projects such as cross-fencing, watering facilities and livestock shade structures. They also viewed improvements on the Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve timber property and recreational facilities.

On Wednesday, June 16, Chief White will speak to the USET Board of Directors to inform them about the technical and financial assistance available to implement conservation activities on Tribal lands that conserve soil, water, air and wildlife resources.

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians installed 41 watering facilities. The watering facilities improve plant health by allowing forage plants to rest, making it easier to manage animal waste and improving water quality.
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians installed 41 watering facilities. The watering facilities improve plant health by
allowing forage plants to rest, making it easier to manage animal waste and improving water quality.

USDA Breaks Ground on People’s Garden in Delaware

Brad Fisher, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

On May 20, 2010, the USDA State Office in Dover, Delaware broke ground on its People’s Garden, answering Secretary Vilsack’s call to plant such gardens at Department offices around the globe. The Secretary established the People’s Garden project in February 2009 to commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday.  (See the groundbreaking on YouTube.)  Since then, more than 300 People’s Garden have blossomed across the country.

The office has 80 Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Rural Development and Information Technology Services employees. The employees will volunteer their time to help care for and harvest the garden. The garden’s bounty will help needy families in the area and provide a hands-on learning experience for second graders at North Dover Elementary School.

And not only does the Delaware garden grow food, it grows partnerships, as well. At the ceremony, NRCS Chief Dave White pointed to the cooperative efforts by federal and state agencies, schools, and private conservation groups to make the garden a reality.

Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Cheryl Cook told the crowd that this and other People’s Garden’s are important to making people aware of where their food comes from and encouraging smart eating.

Michael Scuse, Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, affirmed that People’s Gardens educate the public about the work that farmers do every day to provide food, fiber, and fuel. 

NRCS Delaware State Conservationist Russell Morgan said that he sees People’s Gardens as ways to teach lessons in taking better care of natural resources.

One phase of the People’s Garden at the USDA office in Dover is the expansion of a rain garden. Storm water runoff and flooding are top concerns in the Delaware Estuary because of the damage that can occur when large volumes of rainwater occur.

Learn more about the People’s Garden movement at www.usda.gov/peoplesgarden.

NRCS employees dig out paths and install borders and landscape fabric.

NRCS employees dig out paths and install borders and landscape fabric.

The garden is in the final construction stages. Only a few more steps to complete before the ground is ready for spring planting.

The garden is in the final construction stages. Only a few more steps to complete before the ground is ready for spring planting.

Become a Conservationist!

   

By Dave White, Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service

I just spoke to a great group of folks celebrating Earth Day here at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It was a pleasure having a chat with so many people, including Congressional Representatives, who are excited about conserving and protecting our country’s natural resources.

At USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service we’ve been helping people become good stewards of soil, water, air, and wildlife habitat for 75 years, and never any time in our history have we seen so many people stepping up and making a commitment to conservation.

We do most of our work with folks in agriculture, but even if you’re not a farmer or a rancher we’ve got you covered. If you have a backyard or just a couple of flower pots in your kitchen window, we can help turn you into a conservationist. Our Backyard Conservation Web page is absolutely alive with great information that I know you’ll enjoy.

Come on down and visit us on the Mall (we’re at the end closest to the Washington Monument), and check out our special demonstrations on soils.

Make Earth Day every day!

NRCS Chief Dave speaks at Earth Day, National Mall, Washington, DC.
NRCS Chief Dave speaks at Earth Day, National Mall, Washington, DC.

Innovative Sage-Grouse Protection Agreement Takes Flight

By Brad Fisher, Natural Resources Conservation Service Public Affairs Division

Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Dave White and Rowan Gould, acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, signed on April 13 a first-of-its-kind agreement that combines protection of sage grouse and sagebrush habitats with the business interests of ranchers in 11 Western states.

What makes this agreement unique?

“It lets NRCS and the Fish and Wildlife Service work together to provide certainty to ranchers,” said White. “By certainty, I mean that it lets them address threats to sage grouse and sage grouse habitat in ways that benefit the natural resources on their operations while allowing them to operate at the same time.  This is a win-win for ranchers and for sage grouse.”

The technical assistance that NRCS is going to provide is absolutely vital to the success of this effort, White said. “Ranchers who work with us will have access to our rangeland conservationists, soil scientists and biologists. Our Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program will be there to help them install practices.”

For its part, the Fish and Wildlife Service will use the authorities of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to provide participants with reasonable assurances that what they do to protect sage grouse and sage grouse habitat will be consistent with the ESA should the sage grouse later be listed as a threatened or endangered species.

Nearly 44 percent of sage grouse habitat has in recent years been lost due to agriculture, urban development, energy production and transmission, invasive weeds and wildfire. The human footprint across the area where greater sage-grouse live is becoming larger as the country strives for energy independence, agriculture, development and other, often competing uses.

“I want to thank the Fish and Wildlife Service for taking this step in working with agriculture,” White said. “It’s going to give ranchers opportunities to protect the sage grouse and, at the same time, let them raise their cattle, pay their rent, send their kids to school, buy their groceries, while letting them be ranchers.”

This year represents the 75th year of NRCS helping people help the land.

Dave White (left), Chief, Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Servce and Rowan Gould (right), Acting Director, Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service sign a partnership agreement to promote and preserve greater sage-grouse habitat and sagebrush ecosystems in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 13.
NRCS Chief Dave White (left) and Acting U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Rowan Gould. USDA image.