Today, NACD launched registration for the 73rd Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, held Feb. 2-6, 2019. With the theme “Mission Focused: Fulfilling Our Legacy,” the 2019 NACD Annual Meeting will celebrate the history of the tricentennial city, the conservation movement and the leaders who make natural resource conservation possible on every acre.

Join us in Mission City! Registering online saves you $15 – just sign in to your NACD account to complete your registration (click “Forgot Password” to reset your password or check if you have an account). While you register online, you can also become a Friend of NACD and order a commemorative 2019 Annual Meeting t-shirt.

The 2019 NACD Annual Meeting will be hosted in partnership with the Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts (ASWCD) at the Marriott Rivercenter in downtown San Antonio, next to the Riverwalk. The room rate is $214 per night, plus tax. Make your reservations before Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, online or by calling 1-800-648-4462 and saying you are with the NACD Annual Meeting.

Visit NACD’s Annual Meeting website to learn more about the upcoming meeting, including the meeting agenda, opportunities to increase exposure for your business or organization by becoming a meeting sponsor or exhibitor, and the nine different excursions and tours offered during your week in San Antonio.


On Aug. 6, the NACD Tribal Outreach and Partnership Resource Policy Group (RPG) held its first concurrent session at the 2018 NACD Summer Conservation Forum and Tour and Southeast Region meeting in Williamsburg, Va. Nearly thirty attendees heard a presentation by Jerry Pardilla (pictured above, right), director of the Office of Environmental Resource Management for the United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. (USET). Pardilla described USET’s role in supporting tribes and tribal communities in Native American agriculture, conservation and tribal infrastructure related to natural resources. The presentation provided descriptions of opportunities for tribes and conservation districts to work together to protect and manage shared natural resources concerns. Attendees heard how Native American agriculture and tribal conservation priorities, initiatives and resources can serve as a basis for conservation districts and tribes to collaborate on watershed management, water quality and agricultural conservation projects.

Pardilla described how USET helped the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama receive approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set their own water quality standards and designate impaired waters. This approval was an important step for the tribe to identify a water quality problem, and seek funding to improve water quality in an impaired watershed affecting the tribe. This example, which was highlighted in the spring edition of The Resource, illustrates the potential for a conservation district to partner with a tribe to focus improvements on an impaired watershed where boundaries may overlap and where they share water quality goals.

Chip Jones, vice president of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, shared information about new, federally-recognized tribes in Virginia and how conservation and education partners in the state are working to support the tribes in their development of conservation strategies. Jerry Smith, vice president of the Mississippi Association of Conservation Districts, discussed the importance of diet and food resources to the Choctaw tribal community and how his local conservation district collaborated with the tribe on food resources and production issues.

Attendees also heard from NACD Tribal Outreach and Partnership RPG Chair and NACD Second Vice President Michael Crowder (pictured above, second from left), Tribal RPG Vice-Chair Sadie Lister of the Arizona Association of Conservation Districts (pictured above, second from right), and David Vogel (pictured above, left), NACD Tribal Outreach and Partnership RPG advisor, about the work of the RPG and the importance of sharing information about opportunities for tribes and conservation districts to partner in conservation. Attendees heard about RPG success stories published during 2017 and 2018 in NACD’s weekly e-Resource and quarterly The Resource, sharing tribal issues and examples of successful partnerships between tribes and conservation districts.

As one of NACD’s Soil Health Champions, Dick Went owns and operates a 50-acre American Tree Farm where he manages for soil health, forestry health and wildlife conservation. Went is currently enrolled in the NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and participates in the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) as well. Both programs build on the conservation practices Went has established on his land, including timber stand improvement, the creation of forest trails and landings, and wildlife habitat cuts. These programs also allow him to commit to and invest in further improvements.

As a conservation-minded tree farmer and woodlot owner, Went has offered up his property as the subject of tree farm tours, conservation district tours and deer browse impact research activities, showcasing a variety of woodlot and wildlife habitat management projects. In addition, Went frequently attends tours of other properties around his district, sharing his forestry expertise and the assistance available to landowners and operators through their local conservation district and NRCS conservation programs.

Went is a local, state and national leader in a variety of conservation organizations, serving as vice chairman of the Northern Rhode Island Conservation District board, president of the Rhode Island Forest Conservators Organization (RIFCO), a COVERTS cooperator, former NACD second vice president and secretary-treasurer and president of the Rhode Island Association of Conservation Districts for the past ten years. Involvement in such capacities has allowed Went to be an advisor to local conservationists on national initiatives, but also the local voice on a national stage for conservation issues directly effecting landowners. Additionally, Went has become involved with the National Conservation Planning Partnership, serving as co-chair of the Performance, Outcomes and Accountability workgroup.

To read more about Dick Went and his operation in Rhode Island, be sure to visit his Soil Health Champion Profile. If you or someone you know would like to be a part of the NACD Soil Health Champions Network, contact NACD North Central Region Representative Beth Mason for more information at or 317-946-4463.

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