Happy Halloween: A phantom of the north woods silently glides over giant pumpkins.

About the Private Landowner Network

Maine Conservation Districts Highlighted

In the past month, Maine Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) received recognition for their important from officials at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, and Governor Paul LePage.

Maine SWCDs promote wise use of land, forest and water resources, which is why we are proud to host all 16 county SWCDs on the Maine Conservation Center!

Phantom of the North Woods

The great grey owl is a spectacular bird that can be spotted in part of Washington state.

"There is something hauntingly wild and untamed about that country...

"This is a big, daunting hunter of the northern woods...Their habit of perching motionless, then gliding in grey silence over the quiet marshes has given them a ghostly reputation."

Read the story here.

Conservation Grows Giant Pumpkins

Farmer David Brown poses next to on of his giant pumpkins. Photo: NRCS.

"Oregon farmer David Brown didn't start off growing 400-ound pumpkins, but every fall they hold a prominent place on Brown's Mustard Seed Farms."

Brown has worked closely with the NRCS' organics program to improve the soils that grow his massive pumpkins.

Read the story here.

Giffen Sees Untapped Potential in New England Forests

Alec Giffen of the New England Forestry Foundation will be speaking at Porter Town Hall at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2.

Alec Giffen sees potential when he travels through the wooded landscape of New England. Giffen, now the senior advisor at New England Forestry Foundation, sees potential for a more sustainable way of life for New England.

Author of the new report "New England Forests: The Path to Sustainability," will speak at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2. The event is open to the public and free of charge.

Read the full article and get more info on the event.

Across the West Ranchers and Birds Benefit from Conservation

A male sage grouse struts his stuff. Photo: NRCS.

In Idaho, Tom Page sees ranching with endangered and candidate species such as the sage grouse "as an opportunity to increases profits," rather than a burden.

And in Oregon, "What's good for the bird is also good for the herd," as ranchers work toward a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on sage grouse Community Cooperation Agreements with Assurances (CCAAs).

Similarly, nine Wyoming ranchers were recently honored for being the first to sign up for the state's own CCAA.

Family Farms Dominate U.S. Agriculture

Family represent 97.6 of all U.S. farms and are responsible for 85 percent of U.S. farm production. They have localized on-farm expertise, often passed down through generations, and carry the banner of stewardship on private lands.

Learn more here.

Quail Restoration in the Pine Barrens

Cranberries in the foreground, quail habitat in the forest. Photo: Pine Island Cranberry Co.

Two weeks ago, our favorite cranberry growers, New Jersey's Pine Island Cranberry Co. welcomed members and staff of New Jersey Audubon for a tour of the cranberry harvest and their work for the quail restoration initiative.

Bobwhite quail have all but disappeared from the New Jersey countryside; with the help of Bob Williams and NJ Audubon, Pine Island is trying to bring them back.

Read the story here, and see our past blog on Pine Islands' work with Bob Williams to sustainably manage their land.
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EQIP Funding Deadline Nears in Most States
NRCS staff review dairy contract with a farmer. Photo: NRCS.
In most states, the deadline for FY 2015 applications to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)is November 21, 2014.

Visit your local NRCS office to learn more and apply.
Ag Census Web Maps
Sifting through USDA's Census of Agriculture can be a slog. Now you can view the most important stats on an interactive Ag Census Web Map.
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