Morrison Soil and Water Conservation District
(SWCD) is using federal and state programming and a partnership with the military to secure easements and establish and maintain buffers. The effort aims to protect and improve water quality and wildlife habitat around the National Guard’s Camp Ripley.
“We know if we can protect 75 percent of a watershed, our water quality is going to stay in good condition,” District Manager
Shannon Wettsein said.
“That’s a goal for the district, but for the military, the habitat fragmentation and wildlife entering the camp was the concern.”
Located near the Nokasippi Wildlife Management Area, Camp Ripley operates 24 hours a day, training about 30,000 military personnel and civilians each year, including firefighters, emergency responders, law enforcement officers and snowplow operators.
Development migrated toward the camp, affecting the National Guard’s ability to conduct its training. The state of Minnesota Board of Soil and Water Resources reworked the state’s Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Reserve program, and the legislature modified it to work within the military’s Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program.
DISTRICT WORKING TO IMPROVE CLEVELAND'S
Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District
(SWCD) is in the early stages of work on a Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project that would expand tree planting and landowner education on larger properties. It’s part of a broader effort by the district, with help from government entities, to increase tree canopy in urban areas.
“If we can utilize this money to encourage people to plant trees because of the benefits of planting and growing trees, I think it can be done in many, many places,” Cuyahoga SWCD
Director Janine Rybka said
. “The devil is in the details, and that’s where we’ve got to get down to the root of how can we really get this growing, not just the trees, but the program.”
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) awarded the district $78,000 in 2018 for the three-year Greater Cleveland Reforestation Project. The RCPP project dovetails nicely with Cuyahoga SWCD’s goals, the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County’s urban forestry goals.
Last year, Cuyahoga SWCD planted about 500 trees, Rybka said. The district hosts tree planting events and educates landowners on proper ways to plant trees, best practices for mulching, the correct type of tree to plant for the specific urban location, and future care for the trees.
FORESTRY NOTES Q&A:
is the President and C
nation’s oldest forest conservation organization founded in 1875. Daley has a long record of leadership in the forest community, including co-founding the Forest-Climate Working Group, which he continues to co-chair, and leading the 22-state Eastern Forest Partnership. Recently, he sat down with NACD Forestry Notes to discuss a number of topics.
The conservation districts in many parts of the country, particularly those in northeastern states, are heavily engaged in reforestation efforts. What advice would you give to NACD and conservation districts in providing assistance to broader reforestation efforts?
We are fully committed to “Reforest America.” This is a no regrets climate investment, from wildfire-prone forests to areas impacted by pests to former agricultural lands ready to come out of production.
This is a total partnership effort, and conservation districts have a huge role to play through technical assistance, facilitating cost-share and even just helping to identify suitable areas. One of American Forests’ most key partners in reforestation is the
Mojave Desert Resource Conservation District
in California, where we are replanting burned over areas in the San Bernadino Mountains.
U&C WEBINAR FOCUSES ON ENGAGING YOUR STATE FORESTRY AGENCY
During the webinar, National Association of State Foresters Communications Director
Whitney Forman-Cook discussed how conservation districts are able to interact with state forestry agencies across the nation on community forestry issues, including through state forest action plans.
Rachel Ormseth from the South Dakota Department of Agriculture Resource Conservation and Forestry Division and
Cindy Zenk from the
South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts shared their experiences on working together to address urban and community forestry concerns and support educational outreach.
Workshop engages all levels of woodland owners
In late September, West Virginia landowners gathered for a forest field day at
Eastern Panhandle Conservation District Supervisor
Floyd Kursey's farm in Berkeley County.
The day-long event focused on forest health, management and safety. Special sessions focused on the installation and maintenance of riparian buffers and the use of drones to manage woodlots. Participants ranged from lifelong woodland owners to those who were just getting started.
“We were excited to have over 60 people attend, some as far as two-and-a-half hours away,”
said Heather Duncan, Education and Outreach Specialist with the
Eastern Panhandle Conservation District. “We’re hoping this leads to more active management of woodlots here in West Virginia, and for those who attended to connect with our Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Department of Forestry partners to learn about available programs.”
This workshop was held in partnership with the West Virginia Department of Forestry, the
Eastern Panhandle Conservation District, the West Virginia Conservation Agency, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, Berkeley County Council, NRCS, USDA-APHIS, Timberland Consulting, Agronomy Air and Shenandoah Services, LLC.
Workshop focuses on making bigleaf
Al Craney, a former forester with the
Skagit Conservation District who assisted with the Nov. 9 workshop, said one company—Neil’s Bigleaf Maple Syrup in Acme (north of Sedro-Woolley)—has started commercial production of bigleaf maple syrup in Washington.
Volunteer tree planting effort helps
The aim of the event was to enhance the ecological value and habitat for amphibians and other local wildlife by linking a vernal pool in an open field to the mature forest on the property, according to conservancy officials.
This project was sponsored by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy with assistance from Loudoun County, the
Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District, Lucketts Ruritan Club; and made possible by the help of volunteers from CarMax Cares, Leesburg Daybreak Rotary Club, Lucketts Elementary School Rudy Youth Service Club, Lucketts Ruritan Club, Northwest Federal Credit Union, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy members and the general public.
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