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The Montana Conservationist V14 I6

Greetings, readers! This week we’ve got a hearty TMC for your Memorial Day Weekend reading pleasure. Behold:

  • A recent study modeled shrub encroachment on a sloping landscape and found that contrary to popular opinion, shrubs actually increase groundwater recharge.
  • With the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing food security, a new movement is growing on the Great Plains. Farmers are planting “chaos gardens” (that sounds right up my alley) – a few acres of cover crops full of veggie seeds like squash, beans, and turnips – and then letting locals harvest for themselves or for local food banks.
  • The Guardian reports that due to global warming, drought conditions similar to those during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s are now more than twice as likely to happen. That means Conservation Districts – which started as a response to the dust bowl – may be more important now than ever.
  • A study shows that a pattern of drought followed by extreme rainfall is occurring in regional hotspots.
  • A new nonprofit is aiming to close Montana’s abandoned oil and gas wells.
  • A Park County rancher is leading an effort to donate locally raised and processed beef for local food banks.
  • Two new conservation easements, one near Miles City and one in the Flathead, are adding to Montana’s preserved open space.
  • NRCS delivers most recent snowpack information and streamflow forecasts
  • And bumblebees have a clever trick to fool plants into flowering early. You’ll have to read TMC to find out what it is!

All of that, plus TWO pages of Opportunities. It’s The Montana Conservationist, and you can read it here: TMC 2020-05-21

Kate is the Communications and Technology Manager for Soil & Water Conservation Districts of Montana. She manages the website, puts out The Montana Conservationist every other week, and assists conservation districts with technology, websites, and communications.

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