Your news on Pennsylvania's Conservation Districts is here! 

Front Page: Your Weekly News & Updates
Director training, register for the PACD/SCC Winter Meeting, Farm Show wrap-up, Growing Greener projects funded, technical assistance grants, riparian forest buffer summit, PSU Extension videos, flock defender, and call for presentations.
Register now for Respect in the Workplace: 2019 Director Training

Recent news coverage of sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement has left many wondering what they can do to ensure that their organizations are prepared to handle these kinds of issues when they arise.
 
In addition to matters of legal compliance and liability, understanding how to prevent workplace harassment and discrimination is important in maintaining a respectful organizational culture that allows all team members to thrive professionally. District organizational culture can affect staff recruitment, retention, and team cohesiveness, as well as community and partner relations. Effective policies are a crucial requirement for harassment-free workplaces, but focusing on the board's role in communicating and modeling respect and appreciation for diversity is also vitally important for your district.
 
Respect in the Workplace, our 2019 Building for Tomorrow Director Training Program, features an interactive workshop facilitated by Mary Kay Williams of MindShift Consulting.
 
The program will include topics such as:
  • Understanding workplace diversity and inclusion issues
  • Defining discrimination & harassment
  • "What if" scenarios
  • Effective policy & training authorization documents
  • Steps to create awareness and lessen liability
All conservation district directors and associate directors are encouraged to attend. These sessions are free of charge and lunch will be provided.
 
Please click on one of the following links to register (all workshops are 10am - 3pm):
Help us spread the word and please encourage your fellow directors to participate. Contact Matt Miller mmiller@pacd.org with questions.
Last Chance to Pre-register for the PACD/SCC Winter Meeting

This Friday, January 18, is the last day to pre-register for the PACD/SCC Winter Meeting. On-site registration will be available at the conference on a space-available basis, but why wait? Click here for more information or to register. 
Thank You to All the Farm Show Volunteers!
 
Thank you to all the PA Farm Show volunteers for giving their time to promote the work conservation districts are doing throughout the state!
 
The following districts staffed the conservation district booth at the PA Farm Show:
  • Berks
  • Chester
  • Cumberland
  • Franklin
  • Lancaster
  • Lebanon
  • Schuylkill
  • Union
Photo caption: Nick Biondi and Brittany Smith from Lancaster County Conservation District staff the Farm Show booth on Sunday, January 6, 2019.
Growing Greener Projects Funded for Bradford, Erie, and Schuylkill County Conservation Districts

The Wolf Administration announced that projects submitted by Bradford, Erie, and Schuylkill Conservation Districts will be funded through Growing Greener.

Bradford County Conservation District will receive $177,250 for the Satterlee Creek Stream Corridor Rehabilitation project for stream stabilization on five sites in the Satterlee Creek watershed.
 
Erie County Conservation District will receive a $244,522 grant to continue the successful PA VinES program to reduce runoff pollution from Erie County's vineyards. A second grant for $200,000 will fund projects to reduce sediment runoff from Erie County farms and other agricultural operations. These projects will include streambank fencing, riparian buffers, and other practices that reduce soil erosion.
 
Schuylkill Conservation District will receive $154,970 to fund various projects to restore the agriculturally impaired Mahantango Watershed, improving water quality and helping achieve compliance with Pennsylvania's Chesapeake Bay goals.
 
Click here to read more about Growing Greener.
NACD Announces $9 Million for Second Round of Technical Assistance Grants

Like the first round of technical assistance (TA) grants, this funding will help conservation districts build capacity and enhance their ability to provide conservation planning and technical assistance to customers. These funds, provided in cooperation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), will be administered by the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) to conservation districts in high-priority workload locations across the nation. The highest priority locations will be identified by state/territory conservation partnership leaders based on three criteria:
  • The conservation districts' natural resource concerns;
  • Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and conservation planning workloads; and
  • Staffing requirements given these workloads.
Click here to read more. 
Save the Date: 2019 Riparian Forest Buffer Summit

Save the date! The Pennsylvania Riparian Forest Buffer Summit, hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, will be held February 20-21, 2019, at the Best Western Premier, The Central Hotel & Conference Center, 800 East Park Drive, Harrisburg, PA.
 
Through a series of breakout and plenary sessions, the summit will provide conservation professionals and decision makers with the latest information on:
  • Forest buffer science
  • Policy, outreach, and implementation strategies
  • Funding options
Conservation professionals working with forest buffers from all sectors -- from beginners to seasoned decision makers -- are encouraged to attend. Attendees have substantial opportunities to network with each other and with exhibiting sponsors throughout the two-day event.
 
Click here for more information.
Penn State Extension Offers Free Videos with Tools for Better Community Meetings

To help natural resource educators, community leaders, municipal officials and others who work in the public and nonprofit sector, Penn State Extension is offering a free video series titled, "Community Conflict: Finding Middle Ground."
 
The series offers practical strategies to facilitate and build trust in a community. The short videos are designed to be watched individually or as a series. Each video focuses on individual topics important in productive community conversations.
 
Topics include:
  • Community Conflict: Finding Middle Ground
  • Effective Engagement
  • Social License
  • The Role and Importance of Trust
  • Public Meetings
  • Understanding Risk
  • Framing the Issue
  • Anticipating Public Response
  • Difficult Audiences
  • Myths and Misinformation
  • Combating Misinformation
  • Building a Network
Penn State Extension has made this video series available at no charge for all community leaders, officials, educators and facilitators. The series can be found on the Penn State Extension website at http://pages.extension.psu.edu/community-conflict-finding-middle-ground . You will need to sign in using the box on the right of the page to gain access to the videos.
                                                                                           
Photo caption: Screenshot of the "Combating Misinformation" video.
USDA Invites You to become a Flock Defender

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is committed to helping everyone protect our poultry, from commercial enterprises that raise the poultry and eggs we consume, to individuals who raise chickens and other breeds in their backyards, to bird lovers who participate in shows and fairs.
 
You are invited to join the effort to defend our nation's flocks. APHIS offers the Defend the Flock education program to provide the tools and resources you need to make sure that you are doing everything possible to keep your birds healthy and reduce the risk that an infectious disease will spread from your property to other flocks.
 
Defend the Flock resources reflect the knowledge, insights, and experience of USDA, veterinarians, professional owners and growers, scientists, and other experts about the practice of good biosecurity. Biosecurity means using all available means and methods to keep diseases, and the pathogens that carry them, away from birds, property and people.
 
Through the Defend the Flock program, APHIS is encouraging and preparing all poultry owners, including backyard growers, to implement diligent biosecurity practices. The program offers checklists and other tools, videos, webinars, and educational resources to help you keep your flocks safe and healthy. All materials are available 24/7 at the Defend the Flock Resource Center.
SWCS Call for Oral and Symposia Presentations Deadline Extended to January 23, Posters to March 6, 2019
The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) is seeking oral presentations, poster presentations, symposia, and workshops for the 74th SWCS International Annual Conference, taking place July 28-31, 2019, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
 
Abstract submissions for the conference will continue to be accepted through Wednesday, January 23, 2019.
 
Poster submissions will be accepted through March 6, but please note that poster submissions received after the initial January 23 deadline will not be included in the Preliminary Program.
 
This year's conference features four submission tracks:
  • Adapting Landscapes to Climate Change
  • Engaging the Private Sector in Conservation
  • Watershed Conservation to Unify Urban and Rural Communities
  • 2019 General Conference Theme - Bridging the Divide: Uniting Rural and Urban Landscapes for Conservation
Visit www.swcs.org/19AC for more information and to submit your proposal.
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Conservation Districts in the News 
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Upcoming Events

January 30-31, 2019
Toftrees Golf Resort, State College, PA

February 27-28, 2019
Genetti Hotel, Williamsport, PA

PA Association of Conservation Districts | 717.238.7223 | pacd@pacd.org | www.pacd.org
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