Newsletter‎ > ‎Past Newsletters‎ > ‎2017 Newsletters‎ > ‎

2017 - 02

CTD Newsletter - February 2017


Attention Planners! Information about 2017 Core Courses

The CTD is working with NRCS to finalize the 2017 Training Task Order. Core courses that will be offered include: Basic Conservation Planning, NMP and CNMP. Dates will be released in a special announcement once the Task Order is finalized. For those who are interested in attending Basic Conservation Planning the CTD recommends getting started on course prerequisites ASAP. Click HERE to set up an AgLearn account to begin the process of completing course prerequisites.


A National Conservation Planning Opportunity

Conservation Planning via NRCS's National Boot Camp is available for one of two CD employees in Washington State. If interested please contact James Weatherford JWeatherford@thurstoncd.com or Jess Davenport jdavenport@scc.wa.gov. This year boot camps will be held in Lincoln, Nebraska. The 13 day long boot camps (not counting the two weekends) will occur monthly from March to September. 

Applicants must have E-authorization Level 2 and a USDA Linc Pass from NRCS to attend.

In addition, there are several AgLearn course prerequisites for the boot camp.

NRCS suggests an applicant to have 6 to 18 months of experience with NRCS and/or a district.

It seems that most of the expenses may be subsidized, but not wages.  CTD is still checking on what expenses are covered.

More information about the boot camp can be found at HERE and HERE. 


Training Available to Become a Better Mentor!

As we “up” our game in technical proficiency for the work that districts provide to their landowners, we are realizing the importance of continued learning.  That learning comes from various types of training like formal classes or internet based courses and in our business part of the learning comes from OJT (On the Job Training).  In fact, the training and much of the OJT is supported by the efforts of professional conservationists mentors.  The bottom line is that mentoring is critical to the teaching of our technical work and many of you professional district technical staff do that mentoring. 

Seeing that a mentor is of such importance to the training of new employees or current employees learning one of our many technical specialties, the CTD decided to offer a mentor training class this Spring on April 12 and 13 in Ellensburg.  If you are interested in becoming a better mentor, plan on attending this class and contact James Weatherford at JWeatherford@thurstoncd.com or Jess Davenport at  jdavenport@scc.wa.gov


Final Draft of CAFO Permit Released

The final draft of the Department of Ecology's CAFO permit has been released. There are two different permits available: a State permit (groundwater only) and a Combined, or national, permit (surface and groundwater). Permits become effective on May 3, 2017.

 Some of the components may be contrary to current planning guidance and will require a review before you begin to write one. The CTD is working with planning experts across the state to compare the different plan types that the CAFO plan may integrate with and creating guidelines for planners to assist them in negotiating the different requirements. To get involved, contact: nembertson@whatcomcd.org 

 Link to CAFO permit and supporting information: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/permits/cafo/permit.html


Upcoming Events & Webinars

Workshop: Agricultural Management Scenarios for the Future Workshop                                               

Date: February 16th                                     

Location: Richland, WA                                

Registration: HERE

Training: National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool (NAQSAT) training                                            

Date: March 9th & 10th                   

Location: Yakima, WA                

Registration: HERE

Conference: Agricultural Biodiversity on Western Farms Conservation Practices Working for Farmers 

Date: March 15th                                       

Location: Troutdale, OR                        

Registration: HERE

Webinar: BioEarth Series                                   

Date & Time: February 7th @ 10:00 AM         

Registration: HERE

Webinar: Bee Health Series                                 

Date & Time: February 28th @ 11:00 AM, March 21st @ 11:00 AM & March 28th @ 11:00 AM          

Registration: HERE


A Giant World War One Discovery at Camp Lewis

-By Duane Denfeld, Architectural Historian, Joint Base Lewis

 McChord Cultural Resources Program Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) initiated a program to celebrate its 100th anniversary, including the identification of significant features from its construction in 1917. One of the most significant camp objects was the world’s tallest flagpole and largest flag. While the flagpole is no longer there, JBLM personnel believed the 50-ton concrete block that held the flagpole could be located. Photographic evidence suggested that the massive block would be located in the backyard area of the senior officer homes on flag circle. Before the Cultural Resources Program could develop a strategy to locate the flagpole base, it was found during the widening of a roundabout at JBLM headquarters and the senior officer homes. In order to complete the road construction, the flagpole base had to be either destroyed or relocated. To preserve the history, it was moved a short distance to a new site so it could be interpreted.

The recently discovered massive flagpole base recalls a remarkable story. In early September 1917 as draftees arrived at Camp Lewis, a Tacoma newspaper launched a fund raising drive to purchase the world’s largest flag to fly at Camp Lewis. During the fund raising effort Camp Jackson, South Carolina erected a 135-foot tall steel flag pole and claimed it was the tallest in the United States. Washington citizens proud of their donation of land for Camp Lewis decided to fund the world’s largest flag on the tallest flagpole. Quickly money was collected to purchase the largest flag, a 60-foot by 90-foot flag, weighing 257 pounds. However, locating a straight tall fir tree pole took several months. In Western Washington, loggers found a 346-foot fir tree and shaped it into a 314-foot flagpole. To strengthen it, two steel plates were spliced into the flagpole. A steam-powered winch was used to erect the world’s tallest flagpole in a 9-ton concrete block. On October 12, 1918 the massive flag was raised and as it unfurled a loud cracking was heard. The flagpole broke into three pieces; its status as the tallest and largest flag was short lived. From the three broken pieces, a 214-foot flagpole was created to be stronger. The second pole was placed in a 50-ton concrete block with a five dollar gold piece under the pole to thwart hoodoo. This flag was dedicated on November 12, 1918. Major General Joseph Leitch, the Camp Lewis commander, spoke as the flag unfurled and continued to speak as the sound of it ripping apart could be heard. After the second failure, a smaller flag was flown. When a new Fort Lewis headquarters building (now JBLM headquarters) was built in 1934, the 214-foot flagpole was abandoned and a 75-foot steel pole was erected in front of the new building. The original flag and flagpole disappeared.

On April 29, 2015 while widening the roundabout by the JBLM headquarters, the massive concrete block of the 214-foot flagpole was uncovered. It turned out to be 65-tons instead of the 50-tons as was originally reported. To preserve the concrete block, a heavy duty crane was brought to the site and moved it a short distance away to its new location. The five dollar gold coin remained buried deep in the block. The top portion of the base will be exposed and a ten-foot tall pole will be placed in the base. An interpretative sign will tell the story. JBLM Cultural Resources Manager, Donna Turnipseed, and Public Affairs Officer, Joe Piek, have drafted signage that will include a graphic showing that this ten-foot pole is only 1/30th of the size of the first and tallest pole.

An article with pictures in the Summer 2016, DOD “Cultural Resources Update” newsletter can be found HERE


RCO Cultural Resources Training 11/28 & 11/29, 2016

By Paul Borne, King Conservation District

A Cultural Resource training sponsored by the WA State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) was held this past November at the LOTT Wet Science Center in Olympia. Some of the presenters at the well-attended training included staff from the RCO, the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP), local tribes, WSDOT, DNR, WDFW, DOH, USACE, and local governments. Workshop attendees represented tribes, state agencies, local governments, and non-governmental organizations.

After a welcome from Kaleen Cottingham, Director of the RCO, Dr. Allyson Brooks, the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), addressed the workshop attendees about the foundation of cultural resources work – creating a relationship with local tribes before projects begin. The “relationship with local tribes” was emphasized throughout the 2-day training. Dr. Brooks stated that listening and good communicating were essential to creating a balance between moving projects forward and needing to protect cultural resources.

Tribal members spoke to the fact that the importance of cultural resources were based on tribal agreements – treaties – with the U.S. government. These are government to government relations. Heather Walker, from the WA Department of Health and a Chehalis tribal member, said that there are 30 tribes in Washington state and that each tribe is different. Tribal presence in the Northwest has been documented to over 10,000 years. Heather also stated that establishing trust and building relationships were the foundation of communication and consultation with tribes about cultural resources. Other tribal representatives emphasized that cultural resources mean “finding family” and the importance of “place” to tribal members.

Archaeological sites and historic properties are physical manifestations of tribal culture and non-native culture. These sites are protected by many federal and state regulations which include Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and the WA State Governor’s Executive Order 05-05. The training covered the basics of these regulations that pertain to cultural resources in Washington state and the importance of conducting proper reviews to identify and locate cultural resources.

Participants were instructed that the location of archaeological sites was protected information. Landowners have a right to know what is on their property, but this information is exempt from public disclosure. As most of the attendees were involved in some sort of project implementation (private construction permitting, civil improvement projects, natural habitat restoration, etc.), the importance of implementing Best Management Practices in relation to identifying and locating cultural resources was made very clear. Conducting a thorough and early cultural resource review process is a necessary step and an “insurance policy” for the implementation of any project. Taking extra steps to be careful before a project begins and practicing due diligence can minimize the chances of an inadvertent discovery during project implementation.

Other topics covered during the 2-day training included using DAHP’s WISAARD database as a start to the cultural resource review process; a presentation by Dr. Guy Tasa, State Physical Anthropologist, on procedures to follow when human remains are found; a Q & A session with agency and tribal panelists; and good information from Steven Mullen-Moses of the Snoqualmie Tribe on the importance of the cultural resource review process.

In conclusion, important points from the training were –

·       Cultural Resources are protected by federal and state law

·       For tribal members, cultural resources are about “family” and “place”

·       Creating a relationship of trust with tribes is essential

·       Conducting a thorough and early cultural resource review is an important BMP for successful project implementation

·       DAHP, RCO, and tribal representatives are available for project assistance

The cultural resource review process is not about stopping projects, but rather doing them responsibly and respectfully

Getting to Know You: District Highlight

District Name:
Thurston Conservation District

Size: 721.96 square miles
Population: 265,851 people
# Employees:11 employees and 2 AmeriCorps positions

Main Programs: CREP (Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program), South Sound FarmLink, South Puget Sound Regional Envirothon, Clear Choices for Clean Water, Soil Testing & Equipment Rentals, Technical Assistance & Conservation Planning, Habitat Restoration & Protection, Annual Native Plan Festival, Salmon Recovery Lead Entity, South Sound GREEN, and Monthly Landowner Workshop Series.

Most Proud of:

Recently, we have been able to add a lot of energy to our South Sound FarmLink program. We have seen it grow to 14 active land listings and 39 farmers seeking land. Our land-seekers are looking for anything from 200 acres for cattle and hay production to 5 acres to expand their family’s ability to feed themselves and promote a local and sustainable lifestyle. It has been great to start to see matches made and people’s dreams realized. We are very excited about the growth of this program.

Celebrating the one year mark of hiring our CREP Coordinator this month, we are proud to say that our program has enrolled 41 acres. We have planted 3,700 trees, with another 13,100 to be planted in the coming months. These projects are providing essential habitat along 3 miles of salmon bearing rivers throughout our county!

Key Partners: 

Thurston County

Salmon Recovery Funding Board

Port of Olympia

Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration fund through the Puget Sound Partnership

WSU Thurston County Extension

Thurston County School Districts

Community Foundation of Thurston County

Nisqually Tribe

Squaxin Island Tribe

Chehalis Tribe

Thurston County Farm Bureau

Enterprise for Equity

South of the Sound Community Farmland Trust

Capitol Land Trust

South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group

Cities of Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater

LOTT Clean Water Alliance

StreamTeam

Deschutes WRIA 13 Salmon Habitat Recovery Lead Entity

Wild Fish Conservancy

Thurston Regional Planning Council

WSDA, WDFW, WDNR, WDOE, USDA, USFWS, NRCS

Economic Development Council

Numerous Local Farmer’s Market’s

Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm

Taylor Shellfish

Nisqually River Council / Nisqually River Education Project


Fun Fact

Did you know....

Thurston Conservation District, while smaller than many, holds a wide range of areas and

landowners with a variety of concerns. Our programs range from marine and freshwater shoreline technical assistance to prairie habitat restoration and protection to farmland preservation and salmon restoration.

Our district office holds the office of the director of the WACD since we’re in the state capital.  We also share our building with the South of the Sound Community Farmland Trust.


Featured Program: San Juan Islands Conservation District - Forest Plans


The San Juan Conservation District offers assistance with Forest Plans which are free to landowners. The certified USDA-NRCS Farm and Forest Planner will conduct a site visit to the landowner's property and assist in developing a roadmap to meet conservation goals of the landowner.

What is a Forest Plan? 
A Forest Plan helps the landowner meet their goals and attain a future landscape that they have in mind for forest land. All sizes of forestlands have the opportunity to participate.

What is the cost of a Forest Plan? 
San Juan Islands Conservation District services are free without obligation as we are a non-regulatory, non-enforcement subdivision of the State of Washington that administers programs to conserve natural resources.

How do landowners get a Forest Plan? 
Contact the San Juan Island's Conservation District to schedule a site visit. The technician listens to the landowner to find the best way to assist in reaching the landowners goal. 

How does the landowner carry out the Forest Plan?  
Once the initial draft of a forest plan is developed, the landowner will review suggestions made by the Forest Planner. Together, the landowner and the Forest Planner may make changes to the plan. 

Once the plan is finalized, the landowner and the planner will develop an implementation schedule that works for the landowner to accomplish the actions outlined in the forest plan. 

What are the benefits of carrying out a Forest Plan? 
Forest Plans increase the health of forests, protect the natural resources, and can improve water quality downstream. A Forest Plan helps to sustain the forest both environmentally and aesthetically. 

For more information about this program please visit the San Juan Islands Conservation District website HERE

Featured Photo 


District: Central Klickitat Conservation District

Description: Revegetation after Cougar Creek Fire, Mt Adams

Comments