From a successful summer meeting in Santa Fe, N.M. to the launch of the National Conservation Foundation's (NCF) Next Generation Leadership Institute (NGLI) program, it's been a busy summer for the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD).
This summer's edition of
The Resource, which you can access by clicking on the cover below, is packed with exciting updates and stories from districts and conservation leaders across the nation.
This edition highlights the work America’s conservation districts are accomplishing nationwide, boosting technical capacity to help deliver locally-led conservation on a variety of landscapes. Learn more about how Puerto Rico’s
Suroeste Soil and Water Conservation District is partnering with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others to promote shade-grown coffee and protect the Guanica-Rio Loco watershed. Find out how
Sharon Bradshaw and
Dr. Charles “Chip” Schultz work with the
Ellis Conservation District in Arnett, Okla., and
Lipscomb SWCD in Follett, Texas, to unite their ranch across tradition and science to maintain their way of life and their bottom line.
In this edition, you’ll also find a recap of the 2019 National Conservation Foundation (NCF)-Envirothon held in July in North Carolina; an update on NACD’s government affairs activities, including
NACD Secretary-Treasurer Ian Cunningham’s Congressional testimony; an overview of the NCF Next Generation Leadership Institute and more.
REGISTER NOW FOR NACD'S 74TH
Last week, NACD launched registration for its 74th Annual Meeting. Hosted in partnership with the
Nevada Association of Conservation Districts
(NVACD), this year's annual meeting will be held in Las Vegas, Nev., from
Feb. 8-12, 2020,
at the Bally's Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.
This year's meeting theme, “
Conservation Innovation: Working from the Roots Up
,” will explore innovative techniques and how they help deliver conservation on the ground. In addition, the meeting will offer
seven different excursions and tours
, including visits to the Eldorado Gold Mine and Hoover Dam.
Register online and save $15! Just sign in to your NACD account to complete your registration (click “Forgot Password” to reset your password).
Complete your hotel reservation by
Friday, Jan. 17
! The group hotel room rate is $159 for single or double rooms, not including taxes or resort fees. To reserve your room, click
, or call 702-967-4111 and say you’re with NACD.
NACD, AACD JOIN ATCA AT TRAINING SUMMIT
A person can learn many lessons from Canada geese, according to
Alaska Association of Conservation Districts
. For example, if you want to go short distances, travel alone. If you want to go far, travel together.
This lesson set the stage for recent partnership meetings in Alaska, which brought together many groups from across the state and region to discuss collaborative efforts in addressing natural resource concerns in Alaska.
First Vice President
and former chair of the association's
Tribal Outreach and Partnership Resource Policy Group
was also in attendance.
On Monday, Aug. 26, AACD board members met in Homer, Alaska, with staff and partners from local soil and water conservation districts, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and additional local and state conservation organizations. The group toured local conservation projects in the Fox River area and discussed resource concerns related to grazing. The group plans to work together to update the Coordinated Resource Management Plan for the area.
The following day, AACD joined the
Alaska Tribal Conservation Alliance
(ATCA) and additional partners at the first Partnership Summit and the First Nations Development Institute Technical Assistance Training. Over 40 attendees participated from tribal conservation districts, soil and water conservation districts, NRCS and the Farm Service Agency (FSA), as well as local, regional and cross-boundary conservation organizations. The training helped facilitate dialogue for establishing successful partnerships and ensuring the long-term viability of those relationships. Following the summit, the
First Nations Development Institute
led a two-day food sovereignty workshop.
Both Crowder and Rainwater stated that the meetings were a huge success and will help forward conservation work across the state.
“The Partnership Summit was a great day for networking, sharing histories and visions, and creating the connections that will help all the organizations involved to better understand the mutual goals and opportunities for future partnerships,"
said Homer Soil and Water Conservation District
Kyra Wagner. "There is no better way to collaborate than with a shared vision!”
In 2017, NACD, in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) awarded funding to the
Nevada Tahoe Conservation District (CD) to help establish a district-wide school garden committee.
Previously, the four elementary schools in the district had worked separately with minimal interactions. The committee created a cohesive effort to promote the garden program throughout the district, where it is now able to rank individual and district garden needs, discuss opportunities to work together, and share educational resources.
The committee's work includes meeting with the school board to discuss needed support and funding, discussing the potential to bring two FoodCorps members or additional classroom aides to work in the elementary schools in the district, and securing grants to continue improving the garden spaces.
At the beginning of the project, the Bijou Elementary greenhouse was built (pictured below). This was a hands-on community effort that took hundreds of volunteer hours to complete. Thanks to a garden committee created by the Bijou Elementary Parent-Teacher Association, there were many active participants. While building the greenhouse, the whole garden space was improved.
In addition, five new and more durable planting beds were installed, drainage was improved, a teaching area was graded, and natural seating was added. A full new underground irrigation system was also added to the entire space, which significantly reduced the need for weekly weekly maintenance.
The committee also raised over $30,000 to erect a fourth outdoor garden space at the Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School. Contributions came from the Parent-Teacher Association, Raley’s Giving, Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grant, Lake Tahoe Education Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Lake Tahoe, as well as many more public and private donors. With the installation of a fourth greenhouse, all four of the elementary schools in the Lake Tahoe Unified School District currently have greenhouses and outdoor garden spaces.
In addition to the school garden committee, a second committee was formed, where members worked on bringing more local produce to South Lake Tahoe by partnering with the Tahoe Food Hub. Last year, a four-week pilot program was held from October to November to assess viability of expanding the Food Hub. Six restaurants and 14 individuals participated in the pilot. Currently, work is still being done to facilitate the full roll-out of the South Shore program.
Harford SCD Celebrates 75th Anniversary
On Sunday, Sept. 8, the
Harford Soil Conservation District (SCD) celebrated its 75th anniversary with a banquet at Swan Harbor Farm in Havre de Grace, Md.
NACD CEO Jeremy Peters attended the event and spoke about the significance of the district's history, as well as the importance of their current programs to educate youth and connect with both urban and rural constituents.
Other speakers at the event included NACD Past President and Harford SCD Chairman
Dr. Terron Hillsman, NRCS Maryland State Conservationist; and
Hans Schmidt, Assistant Secretary of the Maryland State Department of Agriculture.
Pictured from left to right are Harford SCD District Manager
Bill Tharpe, Peters and McDaniel.
Focuses on Diversity
Local landowners, nonprofits and agencies were in attendance, as well as NACD Montana Board Member
and Northern Plains Region Representative
A special feature this year included the announcement of the top three finalists for Montana’s first
Leopold Conservation Award
and the latest stewardship video from the Western Landowners Alliance (WLA).
Are You Prepared?
September is National Preparedness Month
Did you know September is National Preparedness Month?
This week’s Emergency Preparedness theme is "
Make a Plan.
" Before a natural disaster hits, make sure you are prepared for unforeseen power outages and resource shortages by having enough food, water and medication to last for at least 72 hours.
Learn more about the steps you can take to prepare for disasters and emergencies at
District Jobs Available
Submit Your Nomination: Hugh Hammond
Do you know a farmer or rancher who has worked with a conservation planner to develop and carry out a conservation plan that has made a long-term difference in soil health, productivity and sustainability? Do you know a farmer who
has successfully used and maintained conservation practices to deal with serious resource issues on their land? Do you know a conservation planner who
goes above and beyond the call of duty on a regular basis to help landowners improve their land and protect their natural resources?
It’s time to recognize those
are making a difference on the land each and every day. Nominate a producer or planner today for the
National Conservation Planning Partnership's (NCPP)
2019 Hugh Hammond Bennett Award for Conservation Excellence
This award honors the legacy of Hugh Hammond Bennett by recognizing those who are dedicated to conservation planning and implementation.
The deadline for nominations is approaching.
Nominations must be received using
NCPP's nomination packet
, outlining how the producer or individual has met the award criteria.
Notify your respective NCPP State conservation partner leader and submit your nominations electronically to
Register for the Shared Stewardship Peer Learning Session
The National Forest Foundation, National Association of State Foresters and Western Forest Leadership Coalition are hosting a Shared Stewardship Peer Learning Session on
Wednesday, September 11
2-3:30 p.m. Eastern
to discuss the concept of Shared Stewardship and how it is being approached in different regions.
Speakers will include USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment
and Montana State Forester
. This session is
USDA Forest Service Employees, state and local governments, tribes
and anyone interested in Shared Stewardship.
NACD Seeks Nominations for
Hall of Distinction
Do you know a conservation district official who has made a lasting impact on his or her community?
Hall of Distinction
, state and territory associations can recognize current and past conservation leaders for their extraordinary work to advance conservation at the national level.
Promote your conservation district or state association's tree sale, annual meeting, webinar, field day or more on NACD's
Calendar of Events