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Family farmers call for tougher CAFO regulations in Farm Bill; The Midwest and Northeast brace for record high temperature in heatwave; Financial-justice advocates criticize crypto regulation bill; Ohio advocates: New rules strengthen protections for sexual-assault victims.

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The RNC kicks off its election integrity effort, Democrats sound a warning bell about conservatives' Project 2025, and Republicans suggest funding cuts to jurisdictions with legal cases against Trump.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

ND Shares in Wetland Restoration Funds for 'Prairie Pothole' Region

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Friday, March 17, 2023   

Funding priorities under the federal Inflation Reduction Act continue to roll out, and they include a new effort for North Dakota and surrounding states to restore and rebuild wetland areas.

The Interior Department has announced $120 million in investments for key segments of America's wildlife management systems. For the Northern Plains, it means protecting Prairie Potholes, which are shallow wetlands where duck populations and other wildlife have been threatened.

Ben Romans, Great Plains region communications coordinator for Ducks Unlimited, said it goes beyond trying to help a single species.

"We're looking to protect waterfowl and keep 'em in the sky," Romans acknowledged. "We're also in the business of preserving natural grasslands. A lot of these places around wetlands are nesting habitats for birds, deer."

He pointed out the areas have faced threats from development, as more farmers sell their land. Some $23 million has been earmarked for landscape conservation and restoration in parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Montana. The investment comes at the same time the Endangered Species Act turns 50.

Christy Plumer, chief conservation officer for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, said much of the investment will quickly go to landowners who want to protect sensitive, low-lying wetlands on their property, but still use the upland sections for growing crops, ranching and other needs.

"So, you know, I think a program like this provides that blend of opportunities for willing landowners to do great conservation work, while also thinking long term about the economic vitality of their farms and their ranches," Plumer noted.

In addition to restoring habitat and increasing land resilience, Plumer emphasized the Prairie Potholes project will also mean environmental justice for historically disadvantaged communities. Nationwide, the money aims to address climate adaptation for species and provide more data collection in making landscapes more resilient.

Disclosure: The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Environment, and Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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