Conservation district officials, employees and partners gathered Jan. 22-23, 2020 in Jackson, Miss., for the
Mississippi Association of Conservation Districts
' (MACD) 75th Annual Meeting.
The meeting kicked off with an award luncheon celebrating the achievements of conservationists from around the state, presided over by MACD President
. Mississippi’s 2019 Envirothon winning team, photo and essay contest winners and recipients of MACD’s endowment scholarships were also recognized.
During the first day’s opening session, the
Forrest County Conservation Districts
all shared their success stories.
NACD President Tim Palmer
(pictured above) joined the fun with the
Itawamba County Soil and Conservation District
’s presentation on teaching children about soil health, using the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS)
Mighty Mini Microbe
Palmer also shared with attendees an overview of NACD’s work, resources and services available for districts.
During the meeting's second day, NRCS Chief
and Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation President
delivered keynote addresses. NACD Southeast Executive Board Member
and National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Biologist
presented on district partnerships with NWTF. Under the
2018 agreement between NACD and NWTF
, Mississippi is a focus for partnership activities that promote natural resources conservation for wildlife.
NACD Southeast Region Representative
Candice Abinanti shared details on NACD grant programs and other opportunities for districts during the Mississippi Conservation District Employees Association’s training and business session. The event concluded with an awards banquet, including a performance by comedian
David Browning (known as the Mayberry Deputy) who performed at the 2019 Southeast Region Meeting.
AACD HOLDS ANNUAL MEETING IN LITTLE ROCK
From Jan. 16-17, 2020, the
Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts (AACD) held its annual meeting in Little Rock.
NACD President Tim Palmer (pictured above) and NACD Government Affairs Manager
Eric Hansen attended on behalf of NACD.
Palmer provided a keynote address to the meeting, highlighting NACD programs and services. Hansen presented to the AACD Board, giving an overview of NACD’s federal policy work.
Additionally, members from AACD, the Arkansas State Department of Agriculture and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) signed a new partnership agreement. Through this agreement, they have committed to continue their work together to improve the natural resources throughout the state and support voluntary conservation.
WASHINGTON STATE HOLDS SUCCESSFUL ANNUAL LEGISLATIVE DAYS
In the realm of
for natural resources policy, conservation districts are well-placed to engage with their legislators at the local and federal levels to ensure their voices are well heard.
On Jan. 21, 2020, over half of Washington’s 45 conservation districts sent delegations to the state capitol in Olympia, in order to share district success stories and advocate on behalf of conservation districts and the Washington State Conservation Commission. After almost 30 years, WACD Leg Days is a calendar event for both first-time and veteran participants.
WACD helps facilitate meetings with representatives and state senators by scheduling appointments for district board members and staff. Each attendee at Leg Days is also encouraged to represent the unified voice of conservation districts, and WACD provides handouts and key messages prior to the event to help support the advocacy efforts of attendees.
“This work was especially apropros this year because of proposed legislation that could be damaging to Washington State conservation districts,”
said WACD Executive Director Tom Salzer
Among other important issues in this year’s legislative session, this year's Leg Days focused on creating a state soil health initiative and funding for Washington’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) projects; and a proposed bill in the state that could affect how conservation districts conduct their elections, which could result in higher costs to the districts.
"Remaining politically aware and active is vital to protecting and advancing the interests of Washington’s 45 conservation districts,"
Pictured from left to right: Skagit CD District Manager
; Whidbey Island CD Supervisor
Rep. Dave Paul
; Snohomish CD Executive Director
NACD ATTENDS LACD ANNUAL MEETING
From Jan. 8-10, 2020 the
Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts
(LACD) met in Baton Rouge, La., for its annual meeting. This year's theme was "
Conservation: Preserving Humanity Now
NACD President Tim Palmer
spoke to attendees, providing an overview of NACD's activities and emphasizing the national association's message of locally-led conservation.
, the newly appointed Louisiana state conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Associate Chief of NRCS
spoke about the importance of the conservation partnership throughout Louisiana, as well as the state's unique conservation challenges.
The meeting's breakout sessions featured panel discussions of Louisiana's watershed initiative coordination with soil and water conservation districts and other local units of government. Additional informative sessions provided messages on conservation stewardship program enhancements and a presentation on the benefits of forest diversity from
, owner of Forestland Associates.
NACD South Central Region Representative
presented on the materials available through NACD's online soil and water conservation education resources.
During the Master Farmers Award luncheon, LACD and
Dr. Mike Strain
, commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, recognized all of the certified master farmers for 2020. The meeting ended with the LACD Awards Banquet presided over by outgoing LACD President
NACD Government Affairs Update:
BLM To Hold Series of Open Houses
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is holding a series of open houses to receive public comments as it prepares to amend grazing regulations on public lands.
Through this rulemaking, the BLM seeks to improve existing land use planning and grazing permitting procedures, while also promoting conservation on public lands.
NACD encourages local conservation districts and their cooperators to attend these meetings and provide local input.
James Bellamy Joins NACD's Hall of Distinction
NACD would like to recognize
(pictured above) of Shallotte, N.C.,
as the latest addition to
NACD's Hall of Distinction
Bellamy was elected to the
Brunswick Soil and Water Conservation District
(SWCD) Board in 1948, where he served for over 49 years with 34 of those years as chair until his passing in 1998. For over 20 years, he served in various capacities with NACD, where he was elected to the NACD Board of Directors in 1982, and he served as Southeast Region Chair in 1984 and 1987.
NACD created the Hall of Distinction to recognize and honor our organization's current and past leaders. State and territory associations are able to nominate conservation district officials who have worked to advance conservation at the national level.
NACD Welcomes Friend
NACD would like to welcome
Sterling Sadler as a Friend of NACD.
Sadler is an NACD board member with the
South Carolina Association of Conservation Districts in Effingham, S.C.
Interested in becoming a Friend of NACD? Learn more on
Hansen Leads Training at DACD Annual Meeting
On Jan. 21, NACD’s Government Affairs Manager
Eric Hansen (pictured above) attended the
Delaware Association of Conservation Districts’ Annual Meeting in Dover, Del.
At the meeting, Hansen led an advocacy training for district supervisors and staff. Hansen also presented on NACD’s policy priorities and reviewed best practices for meetings with legislators. At the end of the workshop, participants practiced their advocacy skills in preparation for
on March 25, 2020 in Washington, D.C.
Conservation Jobs Available
Looking for a new job in conservation? Check out these positions:
- The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in Olympia, Wash., is seeking a forester to join its DNR small forest landowner office and provide assistance to small forest landowners, such as providing assistance with the conservation easement application process.
- The Kansas Department of Agriculture in Riley County seeks an executive director to help lead the Division of Conservation's staff, programs and strategic planning.
Promote your conservation district or state association's tree sale, annual meeting, webinar, field day or more on NACD's
Calendar of Events