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Posts tagged: Guam

Brown Tree Snake Research Wins DoD’s 2015 Resource Conservation Project of the Year

Brown tree snake in grass

USDA Wildlife Services research has led to the development of an aerial bait to control invasive brown tree snakes on Guam. The effort was awarded the Department of Defense’s 2015 Project of the Year Award for Resource Conservation and Climate Change.

This month USDA highlights some of the important partnerships that work with us to care for our land, air and water.  The work stretches into areas and takes USDA employees to places you wouldn’t suspect.

For example, the damage wreaked by invasive brown tree snakes on Guam is hard to imagine.

Infestations of the snake have led to the loss of all but two of the twelve native forest birds on the island, millions of dollars in damages to the island’s electrical power grid, and physical injuries to residents from snake bites. Read more »

Ancient Pacific Creation Legend Promotes Soil Health

Ancient Palauans feeding the giant child, Chuab. This painting is common on traditional meeting houses. Photo courtesy of NRCS.

Ancient Palauans feeding the giant child, Chuab. This painting is common on traditional meeting houses. Photo courtesy of NRCS.

Imagine talking about soil management to 50 farmers from Palau with a collective 1,500 years of experience. The Ngetkip Community’s minister of community and cultural affairs requested me, a resource conservationist with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Palau, to talk about soil.

These farmers mostly have no formal education or training. They still farm mostly with hand tools and as their parents and grandparents taught them. They know what to do, what works well and how to do it. But they don’t necessarily know why. Read more »

SNAP Remains a Safety Net for Veterans and Families in Need

Cross posted from the blog:

Today, I was thinking about the last entry I wrote for’s blog just about a year ago and considering our accomplishments in 2012 and the opportunities that are ahead for 2013.

The need for food assistance remained high in 2012, with an average of 47 million people participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) every month. Program participation increased in response to natural disasters, such as Hurricane Isaac in Louisiana and Hurricane Sandy in the New England states. However, overall the program grew at a slower rate and even flattened toward the end of the year. SNAP continues to be the cornerstone of the national hunger safety net by helping those in need put healthy food on the table. Read more »

Secretary Asks USDA State Offices to Seek Ideas on Ways to Create Jobs Throughout the Country

This week, at my request, USDA Rural Development and Farm Service Agency staff kicked off a series of meetings intended to gather ideas about ways to spark job creation and economic growth in rural America. This request is a direct result of the Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth that President Obama hosted at the White House earlier this month. Read more »