Bird-bots, black rhinos and more in this month's newsletter
July 2014
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Black Rhino & Barefoot Conservation

South African black rhino being relocated to Botswana.
Photo credit: Wilderness Safaris.

Our international partner, Wilderness Safaris, is heavily involved in the conservation of African wildlife. They recently announced a successful capture of 10 black rhinos in collaboration with the Botswana and South African governments as part of a conservation effort to establish a core population of this critically endangered species in Botswana. Want to learn more? Read the article here (PDF).

Additionally, Wilderness' exemplary work to rehabilitate the flora and fauna of the Seychelles' North Island, which were decimated by rats and other invasive species, recently received praise in this article from the Property and Environmental Research Center.

Botswana's Okavango Delta, into which these rhinos will be relocated, last week was named UNESCO's 1,000th World Heritage site. The listing is the result of 3 years of work by Karen Ross, author of Okavango: Jewel of the Kalahari, Wilderness Safaris, the WILD Foundation, Deustche Umwelthlife and the Government of Botswana.

Unprecedented Effort For LPC Habitat

Photo credit: Kristin Mozel.
It is hard to think of an adjective strong enough to explain how extraordinary WAFWA's Lesser Prairie Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan is. The Plan has enrolled 160 oil, gas, wind, electric and pipeline companies with over 9 million acres producing $43 million for habitat conservation over the next three years.

While the LPC was listed as a threatened species on May 12th, landowners can still enroll in the plan and receive regulatory assurances under an accompanying Certificate of Participation.
Visit the Conservation Habitat Management Portal to learn more!

Sage-Grouse Fembot Aids Scientists

Photo credit: Gail Patricelli.
Gail Patricelli, a biology professor from the University of California Davis, has deployed Snooki, the remote controlled Sage-Grouse robot, to study Sage-Grouse in their natural state. The robot has a built in camera and microphone that allows Patricelli and her team to track male courtship displays and behavior. You can watch a video of the Fembot 2.0 in action here.

The Soil that Feeds Us

Inspecting soil health. Photo credit: USDA NRCS Kansas.

"Cultivating healthier food and a healthier environment on the farm" is the subject of this week's webinar from Healthy Food Action and the Izaak Walton League of America. It will bring together perspectives from farming, soil science and public health to discuss steps farmers can take to improve soil health, and how healthy soils lead to healthier food and healthier people.

They will also discuss how these factors can influence implementation of federal conservation programs for conventional and non-conventional growers.

The webinar is on Thursday, June 26, 12pm - 1pm EDT. Register here.

Boston Urban Agriculture Law:
Old News is Good News

Veggies grown in a Boston greenhouse. Photo credit: crfsproject.

Adopted into law in December 2013, Article 89, the newest Article to the Boston Zoning Code addresses the growing popularity of urban agriculture. Whether you are interested in starting a farm, adding a greenhouse, or raising chickens in your back yard, this new zoning code is designed to facilitate the development of diverse urban agriculture activities.

Article 89 is available in full on PLN, as is the recently released Article 89 Made Easy, a comprehensive guide to the new article for those of us less experienced in deciphering the language of zoning code.

Now that summer is in full swing, there are many opportunities to find fresh, local produce. Farmers' markets are springing up across the country and community supported agriculture (CSA), in which customers buy shares in a farm in exchange for fresh, locally grown produce, is becoming increasingly popular.

Head to the PLN Conservation Yellow Pages to find a farmers market or CSA in your area.

We want to hear from you!

On our Keep Working Lands Working blog we bring you informative incite from conservation professionals, such as GreenTrees' Chandler Van Voorhis, and stories of successful conservation efforts by private landowners like the O'Toole family.

We are looking for new blog ideas and guest bloggers. Do you have a topic you want us to cover, or a story of your own to share? Email us at:

Help preserve vital resources and rural communities today!
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A film by James Moll, Farmland takes an intimate look at the lives of young farmers and ranchers from across the country.

Click here to see the trailer(s) and find a theater near you.
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Honoring Bush's Work for Conservation on His 90th
Lone fisherman in Scarborough, ME.
Photo: robposse
Bass Pro Shops and conservation leaders celebrate President George H.W. Bush's 90th birthday and lifetime commitment to conservation with a fishing trip off the coast of Maine.

Read more here.
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