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USDA Helps Tribal Student on Her Way to Realizing Goal of Working in Natural Resources

Twentysomething Native American Angellisa Hoffman was born and raised in the White Mountain Apache tribe in Arizona. Her long-term goal is to have a job related to environmental or natural resources. For that vision to become a reality, she sees a university degree as a necessary part of her career path.

Voluntary Conservation Works to Improve Water Quality

Working in partnership with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), farmers are using proven conservation practices to help improve water quality downstream. Our customers are stewards of our nation’s farmland, voluntarily stepping up to the plate to make an impact. They are improving the natural resources in their communities while at the same time boosting the health of their operations for the future.

This Fall, Leave the Leaves!

It’s the time of year to do your fall garden cleanup. Rather than the tedious task of raking and bagging leaves and taking them to the landfill, the best way to reduce greenhouse gases and benefit your garden is to leave the leaves!

Welcome to the People’s Garden

Abraham Lincoln described the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as “The People’s Department” and it’s fitting that our garden is named the People’s Garden. The garden was created by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on February 12, 2009 – Lincoln’s 200th birthday. The initiative was renewed in May 2022.

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.

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.