Two Chiefs to Speak at NACD’s Annual Meeting

NACD is excited to announce that this year’s Annual Meeting will feature Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Jason Weller and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Chief Tom Tidwell. 

Jason Weller has led NRCS since December 2012, first as acting Chief and now as the permanent position. As Chief, he oversees programs that help protect the environment, preserve our natural resources and improve agricultural sustainability through voluntary, private-lands conservation. He leads a staff of more than 10,000 employees across the country and manages a budget of about $4 billion. 

Tom Tidwell has worked for the USFA for more than 38 years. 

He has been in his current role as Chief since 2009. Under his leadership, the USFS has actively been restoring healthy, resilient forest and grassland ecosystems and has facilitated an all-lands approach to addressing the growing challenges facing America’s forests and grasslands. 

Both Chiefs will speak at Tuesday’s General Session and will present the Two Chiefs’ PartnershipAward at the event. The award will recognize successful conservation efforts made possible through partnerships among employees or officials form state forestry agencies and conservation districts, as well as USFS and NRCS, who have worked collaboratively to support conservation and forest stewardship. 

NACD Speaks at NC Annual Meeting

NACD CEO Jeremy Peters delivered opening remarks to the North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ 72nd Annual Meeting on January 4 in Durham, NC. Peters emphasized the continued importance of grassroots engagement and provided an update on NACD’s advocacy for conservation funding in the fiscal year 2016 omnibus approved by Congress in December. He also provided programmatic updates including progress on the National Soil Health Champions network, the National Conservation Planning Partnership, Envirothon and partnership memoranda of agreement (MOA). The North Carolina partnership held a signing ceremony for their MOA during the Monday general session.

Western Forest Health Workshops

NACD is working with the California, Idaho, and New Mexico state associations to conduct three forest health and wildfire listening sessions to help conservation districts share lessons learned and partnering ideas. Districts can discuss barriers and opportunities in working with state and federal agencies across jurisdictional boundaries to obtain healthy forests and watersheds. Districts can share their experience in working with private landowners and state and federal partners in pre-fire and post-fire mitigation and rehabilitation projects.

The California session will be held January 13, 2016 in Davis, CA. The Idaho and New Mexico dates are yet to be determined but the Idaho session is tentatively planned for March 1, 2016 in Boise, ID. The New Mexico event location and date will be determined soon so other western state conservation districts who want to participate will have options based on their schedules.

For more information contact Jeff Burwell, NACD Western Issues Specialist.  

NACD January U&C Webinar

The first NACD Urban and Community Conservation Webinar of 2016 will be held on January 21, from 12:00 PM-1:00 PM ET. Looking at “Urban Water Quality”, this webinar will showcase the work of two districts in Pennsylvania and Washington.  

Donna Fisher, District Manager of the Blair County Conservation District in Pennsylvania, will talk about her district’s involvement with the local MS4 Workgroup, a collaboration of 13 municipalities, the County and the County Planning Commission. Fisher will recount how these groups worked together to meet permit based outcomes, grant solicitation and BMP implementation. Teresa Brooks, Program Manager for the Kitsap Conservation District in Washington, will share strategies for successful implementation of green stormwater projects on private properties, including small commercial businesses and retrofit residential sites, using a targeted watershed model to manage stormwater quality and quantity.  

These popular events, held on the third Thursday of each month, are sponsored by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company in partnership with the NACD Urban and Community Resource Policy Group. There is no cost to participate, but space is limited. Registration will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, email Debra Bogar with your name, title, district or business name, state and email address. Information to access the webinar will be sent by email. 

National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition Launches Wild Horse Education Campaign

This week, NACD and the National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition launched its excess horse information and education campaign. The campaign consists of five short educational 

NACD and the coalition will provide updates about each topic several times a week via social media throughout the campaign.   videos, a redesigned website packed with great information, and a letter writing campaign to Congress. The five videos are “Horses & Burros,” “Native Wildlife,” “Rangeland Ecosystem,” “Western Heritage,” and “Taxpayer Dollars” and are now being aired in the Denver area and are available on the coalition’s website. For those interested in joining the letter writing campaign to Congress, you can do so here.  

Congress Reviews Bill to Limit Litigation

This week, the House of Representatives will consider HR 712, which aims to limit sue-and-settle litigation by advocacy groups. Some have criticized government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, for settling lawsuits in order to set regulation without going through normal processes. The bill that Congress is considering would require more notification and release of agreements to the public before being finalized. Click here for the full text of the bill. 


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