King Conservation District
(KCD) in Renton, Wash., has long worked with landowners on forest stewardship planning. Recently, within the past three years, KCD has expanded its work to cover wildfire resiliency and preparedness.
When word spread that KCD covered wildfire resiliency and preparedness, many landowners began requesting the district’s services. The increase in public interest led to contacts with homeowners’ associations and other small communities who had wildfire concerns and green space that the members were responsible for.
“There were no resources for [these small communities] beyond having to hire a contractor,” KCD Program Manager for Urban and Rural Forest Stewardship
Mike Lasecki said
. “So, we saw the most impact on the ground with working with those communities. We identified this need in the local county to provide this service at the community scale.”
U.S. Forest Service
Chief Vicki Christiansen
leads a workforce of more than 25,000 employees who steward 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands. Prior to joining the Forest Service, she served as the state forester in both Arizona and Washington.
The National Association of State Foresters recently organized a roundtable for Shared Stewardship. What are the keys to making Shared Stewardship a success?
First and foremost, it’s building on some really good collaboration work that the whole round of partners has been working on for over a decade. We have some really great play space collaboratives with conservation districts, NRCS, Department of Interior, Forest Service, state forestry agencies, state fish and wildlife agencies–you name it. There’s a mix of folks along with NGO and play space citizenry that are valuing the multiple benefits that come from healthy, productive, working landscapes. That’s a critical foundation. Meanwhile, we have threats to our natural resources that are accelerating. Wildfire gets most of the headline space and that certainly is a major threat, but there are many others – invasives, insects and disease, water quality – and so what we’ve always done isn’t necessarily going to get us to where we need to be.
Shared Stewardship is a call to action and it’s an invitation. There is not a lot of structure around it. It’s to say the conservation challenges and opportunities of our time are bigger than any one organization, than any one government entity – local, state, tribal, federal – and we need to think about the way we convene, and the way we make choices and tradeoffs about the priorities.
LaPorte County Soil and Water Conservation District
(SWCD) is partnering with Women4theLand to focus on female landowner needs through periodic Women’s Conservation Learning Circles.
“The American Farmland Trust did some research that found when women find themselves in a position where they’ve inherited property or have lost their husbands, they are more likely to hang on to the property and manage it in a more consistent way with their values when they have direct access to resources,” SWCD Education Coordinator
Nicole Messacar said
“We have a lot of forests and a lot of female landowners, so we wanted to have a stronger connection with them,”
. “This has been very successful, and we will be doing it again.”
The first gathering took place in June at Cummings Lodge in LaPorte and included about 20 female landowners, as well as representatives from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the County Surveyor’s Office and other local resource professionals.
Morning discussions examined how female landowners can connect with local resource professionals. After lunch, there was a guided hike that included invasive species identification and forest management practices. The hike also included information on efforts to promote healthy soil and water quality and information on financial assistance programs.
“They’re all concerned about maintaining the quality of their forest,”
. “Everyone had a different reason for participating – one landowner was a birder, another was concerned about invasive species – but forest health was at the top.”
Woodland contest tests students' tree knowledge
Panola Soil and Water Conservation District
(SWCD) recently sponsored the
annual Woodland Clinic with FFA teams
from Carthage and Harrison County. The top two teams from each county advanced to the Regional Woodland Clinic at the Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest.
Students are tested on hardwood tree ID, wildlife browse plants, pine ID, rate of growth, selective thinning, tree volume measurement, wood products, wood ID from blocks of wood, site index, cull tree removal, site management concerns, pine regeneration, and a compass and pacing course. The clinic is set up with five stations having multiple questions to be completed at each station, creating an intense non-stop competition.
The Texas Forest Service and Texas Soil & Water Conservation Board assisted Panola SWCD with the event.
Forest field day brings farmers and bluebird enthusiasts together
eighth annual Fillmore County Forestry Field Day
was held July 24 at the conservation award-winning Bailey Brothers Farm in Chatfield, Minn. This year’s theme, ‘
Create Your Forest, Create Your Legacy
,’ illustrated examples of conservation-minded practices and featured parts of the Lost Creek Hiking Trail, which has a bluebird trail.
“This year, we will be hiking a short trail through several different examples of forest management practices and their long-term effects,"
Fillmore County Soil and Water Conservation District representative
Aaren Mathison told the Bluff Country Newspaper Group. Through observing these different examples, attendees will be able to develop ideas for their own properties and decide what legacy they want to leave on the land.
District among partners to assist in community fire drill
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources
to four Frederick County groups, including the
Frederick Soil Conservation District
, for work on tree planting and water cleanliness. The grants are funded by the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, the Coastal Resiliency Program, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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