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20 Indiana Counties Eligible for Emergency Farm Loans
As a result of a major disaster in Indiana due to severe storms and flooding that started on Sept. 12, 2008, President Bush gave six Indiana counties primary disaster designation and 14 counties contiguous designation. The disaster designation makes farmers eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA).

The following six counties received primary disaster designation: Harrison, Jefferson, Jennings, LaPorte, Lake and Porter. The following 14 counties received contiguous disaster designations: Bartholomew, Clark, Crawford, Decatur, Floyd, Jackson, Jasper, Newton, Ripley, St. Joseph, Scott, Starke, Switzerland and Washington.

Farmers in primary and contiguous disaster areas may contact their local FSA office for further information on emergency loan programs. FSA will consider each application on its own merit by taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. The Indiana FSA office can also be reached by calling 317-290-3030.

Grazing Management Guide Offers a Lot to Chew on
There's more to grazing livestock than just turning animals loose on acres of grass. Successful graziers carefully plan where, when and how long their livestock feed themselves, and a Purdue University Extension publication shows the way. Management-Intensive Grazing in Indiana (Purdue Extension publication AY-328) covers the decision-making processes and physical components of grazing systems, as well as providing firsthand experiences from livestock producers. The publication is $7.50 plus tax and shipping, and can be ordered by calling (888) EXT-INFO (398-4636), visiting the Purdue Extension Education Store; also available for download.


USDA Assists with West Michigan Flood Damage Repairs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide nearly $650,000 in funds to repair damage in select counties caused in June by severe flooding in west Michigan.

Funding from the NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection program can pay up to 75% of the cost of removing debris from stream channels, road culverts and bridges, protecting eroded streambanks and reseeding damaged areas.

“Many of the roads and stream crossings have already been repaired using other Federal and State funds,” said NRCS State Conservationist Garry Lee. “The assistance from NRCS will be used to repair damaged areas, not in road right-of-ways, that are badly eroded and clogged with debris.”

For more information, visit: NRCS Media Advisory


Ohio Lake Erie Commission Unveils 2008 Plan to Protect Lake Erie
The Ohio Lake Erie Commission released its Lake Erie Protection & Restoration Plan 2008 (LEPR) that outlines actions the Ohio Lake Erie Commission and its member agencies will take towards restoration of Lake Erie and its watershed.   The plan has been significantly updated to reflect newly emerging issues, the changing Lake Erie ecosystem, as well as the unified Great Lakes approach embodied in the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration and should provide a road map for Ohio's efforts related to Lake Erie until 2014. 

For more information, see: Ohio DNR website


A Question of Roads
Pennsylvania is experiencing a new flurry of activity in gas exploration and drilling. Much of this is due to the renewed interest in extracting gas from the deep Marcellus Shale layer. There were over 7,000 drilling permits issued statewide in 2006-07 alone.

Concerns generally fall into two categories: the effect of heavy hauling on existing public roads; and the environmental effect of poorly planned or constructed private access roads. In order to begin to understand the scope of the problems, and to identify potential solutions, the Center Dirt and Gravel Roads organized a Roundtable meeting “Oil and Gas Road Issues” in State College on July 16, 2008.

Source: Dirt and Gravel Gazette


Milwaukee River Watershed Enrolls 50 in CSP
50 farmers in the Milwaukee River Watershed have received contracts in the Conservation Security Program (CSP) in the 2008 signup. Wisconsin now has nearly 700 farms in CSP, covering 229,000 acres. Unlike most federal farm conservation programs that are designed to address resource problems, CSP is intended to recognize those farmers who have already applied good conservation systems to address soil health and water quality.

This is the fourth year agricultural producers in selected watersheds were given an opportunity to participate in the program. The new 2008 Farm Bill re-authorized this program with some revisions, including opening the program to all farmers in all watersheds, not just selected watersheds each year.

Source: NCRS Wisconsin Website


EPA Regulatory News
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the enactment of a new rule to determine how and where contaminated sediment will be cleaned up in the Great Lakes. The agency has outlined how projects will be identified, selected and evaluated to clean up sediment.

"The Great Lakes Legacy Rule is our roadmap for selecting the best, priority cleanup projects and leveraging public and private dollars to accelerate environmental progress," said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Benjamin H. Grumbles.

For more information, visit: EPA Water Headlines

New No-Till Resource Online
The University of Nebraska's new Soil and Water Management website features a primer on no-till as well as a wealth of more in-depth exploration of key benefits such as soil structure, the soil ecosystem, residue management, water conservation and water quality.

How-to documents, profiles of successful no-tillers and introductory materials allow readers to explore no-till and conservation layer-by-layer.


New Guidance Manual for Post-Construction Stormwater Management

Managing Stormwater Cover
The Center for Watershed Protection has been working with TetraTech, Inc. on a guidance manual for post-construction stormwater management. Managing Stormwater in Your Community: A Guide for Building an Effective Post-Construction Program is now ready to download from the Center's website

The guide covers topics ranging from program planning, integrating stormwater with land use planning, developing locally-appropriate stormwater criteria, stormwater inspection and maintenance programs, and program evaluation and tracking.  The tools include a program self-assessment; model post-construction stormwater ordinance; plan review, inspection, and maintenance checklists; and more.  The guide and tools can be downloaded by visiting

International Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP) Database
The International Stormwater BMP Database project website features a database of over 300 BMP studies, performance analysis results, tools for use in BMP performance studies, monitoring guidance and other study-related publications. The overall purpose of the project is to provide scientifically sound information to improve the design, selection and performance of BMPs.

The project, which began in 1996 under a cooperative agreement between the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), now has support and funding from a broad coalition of partners including the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), ASCE Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI), USEPA, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Public Works Association (APWA).

Visit for more information.


Great Lakes Commission des Grands Lacs.  2805 S. Industrial Highway, Suite 100.  Ann Arbor, MI  48104-6791.  phone: 734/971.9135.  fax: 734/971-9150. GLIN Partner