NACD Participates in Washington
NCPP Listening Session

On May 10 – 11, NACD Second Vice President Michael Crowder participated in the National Conservation Planning Partnership (NCPP)’s fourth listening session in Leavenworth, Wash. Crowder presented results from a survey conducted by NACD and the partnership.

During Wednesday’s group presentations and discussion, the partnership, which consists of the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the National Conservation District Employees Association (NCDEA), the National Association of State Conservation Agencies (NASCA) and the National Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils (NARC&DC), heard local concerns about nationwide staffing shortages and identified trainings that need to happen to better prioritize conservation planning. Staff from nearly every NRCS field office in Washington state participated in the listening session.

On Thursday, tour participants learned about local water savings projects, as well as lamprey and sturgeon restoration efforts by the Yakama tribe. The final stop of the day was held at Crowder’s Barker Ranch, where he discussed his ongoing wetland and wildlife habitat restoration projects. Crowder (pictured at right with NRCS Acting Chief Leonard Jordan), who serves as chair of NACD’s Tribal Outreach and Partnership Resource Policy Group (RPG), described the RPG’s work and emphasized the significance of partnership.

Summer Meeting Boasts Four Distinct Tour Tracks

Have you completed your registration for NACD’s 2018 Summer Conservation Forum and Tour and Southeast Region Meeting? Held Aug. 3 -7 in Williamsburg, Va., the summer meeting boasts four different tour themes on a variety of topics. Complete your registration today to secure your spot on one of the following Tuesday, Aug. 7 tours:

Agriculture: The agriculture tour will visit east central Virginia farms that have successfully implemented conservation practices while remaining profitable. The first stop will be at Upper Shirley Vineyards, next door to the historic Shirley Plantation, the oldest family-owned business in North America. Participants will also stop at Renwood Fields, the current world record holder for corn yield, which uses innovative precision technology. Attendees will also participate in a drone demonstration and tour a tractor museum.

Education and coastal: Tour attendees will visit the Virginia Watermen’s Museum in Yorktown, Va., where they’ll learn how the Chesapeake Bay Watermen have played a part in shaping our nation since pre-colonial times. The tour also includes a stop at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), one of the largest marine research and education centers in the United States. Participants will visit the VIMS teaching marsh to learn how wetlands can improve water quality in nearby waterways.

Urban and forestry: The urban and forestry tour will feature a variety of speakers from the Department of Forestry, the Virginia Forestry Association and the New Kent Forestry Center. Attendees will learn about forest biotechnology, including genetic research, as well as urban issues and the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program.

Historical: The historical tour will feature stops in historic Jamestown and the National Park Service’s Glasshouse. Meeting-goers will have a guided tour of the first successful English colony in North America, view archaeological investigations and the archaeology museum, and witness glassblowing utilizing the same techniques and tools employed in 1608.

To read the full tour descriptions, please click here. Information on summer meeting speakers, transportation, the agenda, accommodations and more is available on our Summer Meeting webpage.

NACD Government affairs update

On Friday, May 11, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue named Richard Fordyce as administrator of the Farm Service Agency (FSA). FSA, which has jurisdiction over the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), is part of USDA’s farm production and conservation (FPAC) mission area led by Under Secretary Bill Northey.

Later this week, the U.S. House of Representatives is anticipated to take up the House version of the 2018 Farm Bill (H.R. 2). NACD is monitoring potential amendments and will send out grassroots alerts if needed so you can reach out to your Members of Congress. Click here to sign up for NACD’s grassroots alerts, and click here to view NACD’s recently launched farm bill webpage.

The House Appropriations Committee is also taking action on two appropriations bills which fund the USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The full House Committee is expected to vote on its Fiscal Year 2019 Agriculture Appropriations Bill tomorrow. The bill includes $890 million for Conservation Operations, which is above NACD’s request, $150 million for the Watershed Program, and does not include any reductions in funding for farm bill programs. The Interior and Environment Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee is also considering its bill, which funds the U.S. Forest Service and EPA’s 319 grant program. Click here to view NACD’s appropriations requests.

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