To help evaluate the effectiveness of conservation districts, the NACD District Operations and Member Services (DO/MS) Committee created an exercise ranking 10 desirable components of effective districts.

To begin the exercise, read each component carefully to determine how it applies to your district. Give it a score of 1 to 10, with 10 being “excellent” and 5 or 6 being considered “good enough”. Write your scores down. When you completed all 10, add up the ratings to see how you assess your district; a perfect score is 100. To get the most out of the exercise, be sure to look at more than just your total score; take some time to carefully examine each component individually.

The 10 components:

  • Dedicated, effective supervisors/directors and district leadership

  • Skilled and knowledgeable employees

  • Clear sense of direction and purpose

  • Defined, written way to do business

  • Processes to monitor and evaluate operations – internal performance audits

  • Effective collaborative partnerships

  • Informed and involved public

  • Stable resources and financial base

  • Effective involvement in political processes – local, state, national

  • Adaptability – recognize, accept, and internalize purposeful change

The DO/MS Committee advises districts to share their individual ratings with their fellow board members and to ask partners to rate your district on these 10 components. Be sure to ask why they rated each component as they did. Which components were rated high (7-10)? What does your district do to keep them at that quality? Which components were rated low (1-4)? What can your district do to improve in those areas?

“Did You Know?” recommendations and observations may not apply to all states. NACD’s DO/MS Committee requests your understanding. We also invite you to find out what your state and local laws and policies say about any particular item.


The Shiawassee Conservation District (CD) in Owosso, Mich., celebrated 70 years of putting conservation on the land on Thursday, Feb. 21. The conservation district held a banquet with over 100 in attendance, including representatives from U.S. Congressman John Moolenaar’s office, state legislators, NRCS leaders, partners and community members.

NACD CEO Jeremy Peters attended the 70-year celebration and provided a keynote address. While in Michigan, Peters also spent time meeting with the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) executive committee and partners.

Pictured above from left to right: Shiawassee CD Vice Chair Duane Leach; Treasurer Larry Lee; Board Member Amanda Martindale; Peters; Board Member Josh Crambell; Chair Tom Braid.


Colorado’s Big Thompson Conservation District is using a technical assistance grant from the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to grow its Healthy Forest Initiative program with new staff and new projects.

Designed to add capacity at the local level to provide more assistance to landowners, the grant allowed the district to hire Matthew Marshall in 2018 as a full-time forester to serve Larimer and Weld Counties. By focusing on forest management that will provide a multi-resource benefit, Marshall has identified forestry projects that can carry the district into 2023. Read more on NACD’s blog.


Dr. Eric Norland provides national leadership for forest resource management, forest sustainability and agroforestry research and extension programs; the Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA) Program, which provides funding to 73 land-grant institutions for Extension forest and rangeland resources programs; and the national network of Extension Forestry Program Leaders, Specialists, and Educators. Prior to joining NIFA, he served as the County Extension Agent, District Extension Specialist and State Extension Program Leader for Natural Resources for Ohio State University Extension Service.

Norland took the time to sit down with NACD Forestry Notes to talk more about NIFA and the role of Extension foresters.

This email was sent to sara-kangas@nacdnet.org. If you are having trouble viewing this email, you may also view it online. To opt out of all communications, click here.
Forward email. .
Email Marketing By