On Sept. 10-11, Conservation Districts of Iowa (CDI) held their 2018 annual meeting in Des Moines. The program focused on both policy discussions and board development, including fiscal oversight training and discussion on human resource concerns for districts. CDI’s meeting included panel discussions on the upcoming farm bill and on water quality, and provided presentations in partnership with the Iowa Attorney General’s office and Office of the Auditor of the State of Iowa.

NACD President-elect Tim Palmer and North Central Region Representative Beth Mason spoke on behalf of the national association, updating the membership on NACD’s programs, projects and resources offered to conservation districts and providing a policy update.

On the last day of the meeting, CDI President Alex Schmidt announced the hiring of new Executive Director John Whitaker. For those in the state of Iowa, Whitaker is a familiar face and partner to conservation districts, having recently held the position of Iowa State Executive Director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Whitaker expressed his appreciation for this next opportunity to work with the conservation district commissioners throughout Iowa, and NACD looks forward to working in partnership with him to advance conservation in the state.


NACD’s 73rd Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, presents the unique opportunity for associations, businesses and organizations to promote their products and services and connect with NACD members. This year, the 2019 Conservation Expo will feature targeted hours to guide traffic and participation to maximize exposure.

There are additional opportunities through sponsorship of premier Annual Meeting events, including the General Sessions, Leadership Luncheon and Appreciation Banquet to show support and showcase the work they do. Read more about sponsor and exhibitor options in the 2018-2019 Annual Prospectus and contact NACD Director of Development Laura Demmel to further discuss the opportunities available at NACD's annual meeting.

The 2019 Annual Meeting will be held Feb. 2-6, 2019 at the Marriott Rivercenter. Registering online saves attendees $15! Users can register online by signing onto their NACD account. Forgotten your password? Click “Forgot Password” to reset the password and check for an account.


The Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) of MidCoast Maine has been working in partnership with local landowners to improve the health of regional forests. Conserving forests is a major focus of the SWCD since Waldo County is more than 80 percent forested, and a forest-based economy is a significant part of many Mainers’ livelihoods. That’s why Maine has developed a new concept to address forest conservation and stewardship in its service area through a project called the Forests for Our Future (FFOF).

The FFOF program is an innovative approach that unites a wide variety of outreach and technical assistance activities in forest conservation. The project is designed to offer a coherent strategy and public face for the district’s varied programs to protect forest resources. One part of the program, now in its second year, is a monthly series on small-scale woodland stewardship that addresses many aspects of woodland management, from sugarbush maintenance to smaller-scale harvest and forestry plans. In these workshops, community members tour local woodlands with landowners who are implementing effective practices to steward their woods. In addition to workshops, staff is offering conservation assistance to forest owners wishing to implement adaptive management.

The FFOF program also aims to develop knowledge for the future through developing forest management practices that support resiliency. The district has started a partnership with a local private demonstration forest to implement forest adaptation strategies, including planting tree species that are not currently native in the area but have potential to offer ecosystem functionality, urban tree canopy and forest cover in the future.

“The FFOF program has ultimately been a great tool to unite many partners in forest conservation work,” Waldo County SWCD Technical Director Aleta McKeage said. “Through ongoing publicity of the umbrella program, Waldo County SWCD’s constituents gained an appreciation of the multi-faceted nature of addressing major conservation challenges and understanding of the role soil and water conservation districts serve in bringing people together to tackle pressing resource issues.”

Read more about Waldo County SWCD’s work in the most recent edition of Forestry Notes.

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