Ariel in Shelter belt
October 20, 2022

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) is the nonprofit organization that represents America’s 3,000 conservation districts, their state and territory associations, and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. The association was founded on the philosophy that conservation decisions should be made voluntarily at the local level with technical and funding assistance from federal, state, and local governments, as well as the private sector.

The Lewis & Clark Natural Resources District (LCNRD) has worked with the NACD since 2018 to provide a Soil Conservationist to increase staffing capacity and technical assistance to local producers. The position is partially funded by NACD and has been a great addition in the LCNRD. NACD recently announced that they will continue funding for the position through June 2023,

Through the grant awards, Ariel Fiedler has served as the Soil Conservationist stationed in the Bloomfield, NE Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office. Ariel has assisted numerous farmers, ranchers, and landowners with conservation planning and practice implementation. The primary conservation practices implemented include cover crops, irrigation water management, nutrient management, planned grazing systems, cross fencing, livestock water systems, and brush management. She has assisted with more than 500 Farm Bill related practices since the initial funding was awarded in 2018. One highlight of this collaboration between NACD, LCNRD, and NRCS is that 20,000 acres of crops have been planted throughout the NRD since 2018, resulting in positive impacts on soil and water quality in the area.

This position also assists with NRD related programs including the establishment of nearly 100 tree belt plantings. These trees are planted to protect farmsteads and livestock operations while also providing wildlife habitat. Practices that pertain to water quality are also supported by collaboration with the Bow Creek Watershed Project which focuses on the implantation of best management practices supported by state and federal funding programs to address E. Coli contamination in the Bow Creek. The Soil Conservationist position has allowed increased time for monitoring water quality in the impacted stream sections and the facilitated practice implementation for producers.

This opportunity provided by NACD funding ensures that knowledgeable staff are available to best serve producers and natural resources within our natural resources district. To view an interactive map of NACD funding throughout the entire U.S. and for more information regarding NACD, follow the link:

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