USDA Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Environment and Climate Change Robert Bonnie joined Twitter users Thursday, fielding questions about environmental issues, forestry and conservation.
The Q&A was the eighth in a series of USDA Twitter chats. Past chats have included topics such as school nutrition and food safety.
All USDA comments and answers are in bold. Questions and answers have not been edited, and answers directly from Bonnie are generally tagged with "^RB."
Getting set up for today's #askUSDA Twitter chat on #conservation with Robert Bonnie. What questions do you have? Will start at 11am ET!
Robert Bonnie here. I grew up on a #farm & am a #forester as well, so have lots of experience in natural resource #conservation ^RB #AskUSDA
Happy to talk today abt the work USDA is doing to conserve natural resources in partnership w/ landowners & communities. ^RB #AskUSDA
Q1 @clundeen2012: How many acres were burned in total around the Bozeman/ Paradise Valley region in MT due to fires this summer? #AskUSDA
A1: ~18,650 acres; Forest Service (FS) lands = est. 12,330 acres; Private = est. 6320 acres (1/2) #askUSDA
A1 con't: The good news is we're on track to restore 4 mln acres of NF land + million more thru private/public partnerships. ^RB #askUSDA
A1 con't: Which will reduce catastrophic fires. More restoration = cleaner H20. ^RB #askUSDA
Q2: @KatmaiKeith: Will #AskUSDA cont focus on lg ecosystems like Everglades where ag, wildlife & water can be sustained thru Farm Bill progs
A2: Yes. USDA will continue to focus resources on impt landscapes like Everglades, Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay. ^RB
A2 con't: @ForestService also focusing on landscape restoration. Incl this partnership w Denver H20 Board: http://ow.ly/fGjzA^RB
A2 con't: Important that Congress pass a Farm Bill to reauthorize #conservation programs ^RB #askUSDA
Q3: @EcoAgPartners: Will #agpolicy play a role in future #climateadaptation in the US & abroad? How will the 2 influence ea other? #askUSDA
A3: Climate certainly affects forest ecosystems & we're making our forests more reslient, too ^RB ow.ly/fGkH7 #askUSDA
Q4: RT @acadiagalandrea: Cultural treasures too! #chimneyrock MT @USDA Working to conserve natl resources w/ landowners & communities
A4: Great point. President designated #ChimneyRock National Monument this September. ^RB Story here: ow.ly/fGl0U #askUSDA
Q5: @JaX_26: @USDA #askusda #Forrest can u ID this? Lots in forrest in Ridgway,PA. pic.twitter.com/ln2xOylp
A5: The cocoon looks to be a Gypsy Moth. Don't know the other. Check out this site: ow.ly/fGloO ^RB #askUSDA
Q6: @extracellular1 What's role of consev. agencies re improving resilience to/recovering frm ntrl disasters (Sandy) on farms & wild areas?
A6 con't: @USDA_NRCS working w/ farmers to improve soil& land health for resilience. ow.ly/fGmx6 ^RB #askUSDA
Q7: @forestrynotes: @USDA ... What can private landowners do to help with the issue of forest pests #AskUSDA
A7: Manage your forests for resilience & diversity. Find more info from Forestry Professionals at ow.ly/fGmXZ ^RB #askUSDA
Any #sportsmen out there? Would love to hear from you on #conservation ^RB #askUSDA
Q8: RT @LawnCareNet: @USDA How can gardeners & #lawncare professions conserve resources through the winter months? #askUSDA #conservation
A8: I just covered my garden with straw for the winter. Check out @PeoplesGarden website ow.ly/fGo3y ^RB #askUSDA
Q9: RT @LynneSherrod: @USDA How many acres conserved by FRPP & GRP - great investment! #askUSDA
A9: In 2012, FRPP over 149k acres, GRP over 49k acres #conserved. USDA & #farmers working togethr to preserve farmland for future gens ^RB
Q10: @ProtectFlows #conservation measures like improving efficiency of ag help to solve the supply/demand problem on the #CoRiver? #AskUSDA
A11: Not sure yet. Easement tax breaks critical for #conservation of working farms, ranches and forests. ^RB #askUSDA
Q12: RT @clundeen2010: @USDA How many acres of land were burned in SW Montana this past summer from fires? #concerned #majorimpacts #askUSDA
A12: approximately 18,650 acres in Bozeman/Paradise Valley region. Check out @BLMNIFC: nifc.gov ^RB #askUSDA
Great to engage with people online & we have lots of resources avail which we'll share more of later. Look fwd to next time ^RB #askUSDA
Really great questions and discusion today. #Conservation continues to be one of the most important issues facing the US. ^RB #askUSDA