Declines in farmland birds. Here is the new report on the State of the UK’s Birds.
Some excellent images of agricultural landscapes from space from Wired magazine. The contrast between anthropogenic and natural parts is striking.
A little off topic, I know, but I thought it was funny.
How *Not* to Use a Field Guide, Part II. Yip yips still can’t get it right.
I just thought it looked cool. Make your own at wordle.net.
Here is a great 3-part series from Terra about agriculture, aquaculture, land development and sustainability in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Another article about the Slow Food movement in Detroit and elsewhere. Having lived in Michigan for a long time, I think this has exciting promise for revitalizing the state’s hurting urban areas. As a wildlife biologist, I can’t help thinking about the potential for urban farming for conserving wildlife diversity. Can it alleviate the pressure to convert natural habitats to farmland? Can it help support biodiveristy in urban areas? Pollinators? Birds even? My research (and lifestyle) are outside the urban farming realm, but I hope someone answers these questions.
Premonition of the Farm Bill’s conservation programs ?
“Most of what needs doing must be done by the farmer himself. There is no conceivable way by which the general public can legislate crabapples, or grape tangles, or plum thickets to grow up on these barren fencerows, roadsides, and slopes, nor will the resolutions or prayers of a city change the depth of next winter’s snow nor cause cornshocks to be left in the fields to feed the birds. All the non-farming public can do is to provide information and build incentives on which farmers may act. “
- Aldo Leopold, 1993 as cited by C. Meine in The Farmer as Conservationist: Leopold on Agriculture.
June 22-27, 2009 is National Pollinator Week to recognize the importance of pollinators to our food system. The Pollinator Partnership and US Fish & Wildlife Service both have lots of resources about pollinators in recognition of this week.
Here are two videos for this week.
One about the problems pollinators face:
And one about what NRCS is doing and can do to help:
USDA’s Conservation Assessment Effects Project has just released two extensive reviews of the effects of agricultural conservation practices – like those used in CRP and other conservation programs (public announcement here). Part A addresses terrestrial habitats and Part B addresses aquatic habitats. Even better is the dynamic bibliography.
I have added the following updates to the Grassland Management Manuals page:
Native Warm-season Perennial Grasses for Forage in Kentucky by the UK Cooperative Extension Service via www.wildlifemanagement.info.