SUMMER MEETING REGISTRATION HAS LAUNCHED! Here’s why you should join us in Iowa:
NACD and the Conservation Districts of Iowa (CDI) will be jointly hosting the 2017 Conservation Forum and Tour from July 15 to 18 at the Prairie Meadows Hotel in Altoona, Iowa.
We have an action-packed agenda planned for you that you can take a look through on our website. You’ll see that some activities and meetings are labeled as “NACD,” “Iowa,” or “Joint.” These event classifications will make drafting your personal itinerary for the meeting a cinch! If you have any questions though, we can help you. Simply email email@example.com.
Attendees will have the choice of two tours on Tuesday; you can find descriptions if you scroll down to the bottom of NACD’s Summer Meeting webpage. If you wish to attend, make sure to reserve your seat when you fill out the meeting's electronic registration form.
Registering to attend the meeting is easy – just click here – and head to our website to find information on how to book your hotel room at the Prairie Meadows Conference Center with NACD’s special discount price of $107 a night.
Stay tuned to eResource for more information on the summer meeting, including speaker updates and much, much more.
AG SEC. PERDUE SPEAKS TO CONSERVATION ISSUES ON IOWA TRIP; NACD MAKES AN ASK
In his first major policy speech given at the Couser Cattle Company in Nevada, Iowa, last Friday, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told a farmer worried about reporting requirements and paperwork that he’s “on it.”
“I understand, when you go into the NRCS office… we shouldn’t put you under an interrogation,” Perdue said.
To keep the conversation going, NACD sent Sec. Perdue a letter on how costly and time-consuming SAM and DUNS reporting requirements are. You can read the letter – and the press release we wrote about the letter – here in our Newsroom.
To another question from the audience on the importance of working lands, Perdue said “whether we own this land or whether we rent it, we want to leave it a better than we found it… That’s what we want to do from USDA, that’s what we want to do for our land. It’s God’s bestowment upon us, and we are all stewards.”
NACD sent out a press release on last week’s appropriations bill (now law), praising Congress’ work to provide robust funding for federal conservation programs – particularly those housed under USDA – through the remainder of this fiscal year. Have questions? Contact NACD Director of Government Affairs Coleman Garrison.
DOI ISSUES LIST OF NATIONAL MONUMENTS UNDER REVIEW
Late last Friday, the Department of the Interior (DOI) released a list of 27 national monuments to be reviewed as directed by a recent executive order. The DOI is holding a public comment period to ensure local input in the review process. Comments may be submitted online after May 12 at http://www.regulations.gov (search “DOI-2017-0002”) or by mail to Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.
The deadline for comments on national monuments other than Bears Ears is 60 days after the notice is posted on the federal register. The deadline for Bears Ears is 15 days after the notice is posted.
FOR YOUR CALENDAR: NACD U&C Webinar
Tune in from noon to 1:00pm Eastern time on May 18 to learn how two conservation districts are reaching out to urban and community audiences. The Rockland County SWCD in New York is offering several citizen science-based environmental programs throughout the year. The Cuyahoga SWCD in Ohio publishes Stormwater Technical Tips and offers Toolbox Talks and other educational opportunities to small businesses in the area.
This webinar, sponsored by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, is free – just make sure to register by emailing NACD’s Deb Bogar at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, title, district or business name, and state.
CRP REACHES ITS CAP AT 24 MILLION ACRES; CREP TO HELP FILL VOID IN SOME STATES
Last week, USDA notified county offices that it will be suspending enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for the rest of Fiscal Year 2017. CRP is currently capped at 24 million acres, and USDA has determined that current enrollment is too close to the cap to allow for additional contracts. Continuous CRP enrollment will begin again in October, once existing contracts expire and the total number of acres in the program falls.
While continuous CRP enrollment will be suspended, the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), which is administered in partnership with the states, will not. In Minnesota, CREP continuous sign-up starts May 15.
“Minnesota is at a crossroads in conservation,” said John Jaschke, executive director of the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), in a recent press release. “The state is facing serious water quality challenges, and we’re losing hundreds of thousands of acres of grassland through expiring CRP. MN CREP isn’t the whole answer, but it plays an important role in addressing both of these issues.”
MN CREP is funded with approximately $350 million from USDA and $150 million from state sources. For more information, visit www.bwsr.state.mn.us/crep.
DOD’s REPI ANNOUNCES THE SENTINEL LANDSCAPE PARTNERSHIP OF THE YEAR
The Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program is pleased to announce the Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape Partnership as the recipient of the 2017 REPI Challenge award.
The winning partnership is a joint effort between the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, and other government and non-government organizations, including the North Carolina Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation, to protect rural and natural lands around a number of military installations in North Carolina.
The total award of $9.2 million in REPI funds will leverage $10.1 million in partner contributions to protect more than 17,600 acres in the eastern portion of the state. Since the REPI Challenge was started in 2012, $37 million (plus $117 million in partner contributions) have gone to protecting nearly 110,000 acres of working lands, habitat, and open spaces at 12 locations nationwide.
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