Skip to main content

Conservation

Working Lands for Wildlife Launches Literature Gateway

USDA just launched a new research and visualization tool that summarizes published scientific research on bird species-vegetation relationships in the Eastern and Boreal Forests of North America. The tool, Literature Gateway: A Systematic Map of Bird-Vegetation Relationships in Eastern and Boreal Forests, can be used to identify science-need gaps and guide habitat restoration and forest management practices on the ground.

Give a Dam

This year marks the 133rd anniversary of the dam breach that took the lives of more than 2,200 people and galvanized the nation to ensure such a tragic event could not happen again. On May 31, 1889, torrential rain and subsequent flooding caused the South Fork Dam to fail near Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Changes in ownership, lack of oversight, and unsound improvements increased the probability of a dam failure rather than prevent one. When the dam gave way, over 20 million tons of water caused a catastrophic torrent downstream. A 40-foot wave traveling 40 miles per hour crashed into Johnstown demolishing the town.

Worms at Work, Recycling Food Waste

Did you know that worms can recycle your food scraps? Vermicomposting, or worm composting, turns food scraps into a beneficial soil amendment that can be used in home gardens, landscaping, turfgrass, farms and more. Over one-third of all available food goes uneaten through loss or waste. Composting keeps food waste out of landfills where it decomposes and releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

New Snowpack and Precipitation Normals Now Available

Recently, the Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting (SSWSF) Program published new 30-year hydroclimatic normal values or “normals” for snowpack and precipitation at western U.S. monitoring stations. This information serves as a benchmark for assessing water supply conditions and is used by producers, natural resource managers and the research community.

Virginia Schools Pilot Offers Food Waste Education

Through a unique collaboration with USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, food leftovers from six district schools in Prince William County, Virginia, are now being sorted, bagged, and collected before being mixed with organic yard waste and processed into compost at the county’s recycling center. In the first six weeks of the program, almost eight tons of food scraps have been recycled rather than buried in the county landfill.