2015 - 12

The happiest of holidays from all the crew at the TPDW!

This year we give thanks for being able to provide a variety of great services to you and to continue to bring new and innovative opportunities to CDs across Washington. It is because of your continued support that we continue to grow and thrive! Stay tuned for some new and exciting things coming in 2016!

Annual NRCS Information Security Awareness Training Requirements

The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance require all USDA employees, contractors, partners, and volunteers to complete annual security awareness training. The training is required by law and is an essential part of keeping our information systems secure. One of the most important information security protections NRCS can have in place is knowledgeable and security-aware users.

The FY 2016 ISA course has been assigned to all USDA employees, contractors, partners, and volunteers with an existing AgLearn account. If you do not see the course in your learning plan as of today, please contact your State training officer. For a list of NRCS state training officers, click the “Contact Us” button in the upper right corner of the AgLearn welcome page.

All USDA/NRCS employees, contractors, partners, and volunteers are required to complete the training by February 1, 2016. There are no exceptions—everyone must complete it. For agency personnel who will be absent for 120 consecutive days or more on extended leave (such as annual, medical, military, etc.) and not using agency information systems during their absence, the state training officer must deactivate the user’s AgLearn account and immediately upon their return activate their AgLearn account for them to take this mandatory training. Network access will be removed for any user who has not completed the required training by the deadline, until such time as the training is completed. Additionally, the FY 2016 ISA training completion rate requires FISMA reporting as part of USDA’s scorecard to OMB. It is imperative that training is completed as soon as possible to ensure “green” is maintained in the scorecard rating.

An alternate printable PDF version of the course is available for learners with accessibility needs and those reviewing courseware with assistive technology. The PDF version may also be used by those who do not have access to the USDA network. Please contact your supervisor and ask that the FY 2016 ISA (PDF) course be assigned to your learning plan. Your supervisor can request this action by contacting your state training officer. This version will present the course content by means of an online PDF for your review. When you are ready to take the exam, you can close the PDF course, then launch and complete the assessment with a mastery of 70 percent or greater to record completion in your learning history.

If you have any difficulty completing this course or the assessment, please send an email to AgLearn.Accessibility@usda.gov. Completing the course using the printable version must be recorded in AgLearn by your state training officer or an AgLearn coordinator before credit is given—it is not automatic.

If you experience difficulty logging in to AgLearn (the eAuthentication step) it is likely your password has expired and needs to be reset. If you created eAuthentication security questions, you can reset your password yourself by clicking the “Forgot Your Password?” link when you get to the login screen. Otherwise, you will need to contact the Client Technology Services Service Desk at eAuthHelpDesk@ftc.usda.gov or call (800) 457-3642.

More on Cultural Resources

WSCC Cultural Resource Exceptions Specifically for Districts

WSCC policy and procedures state that if other agencies are involved in a project, then the other agency’s cultural resource procedure is to be used. This includes exemptions as well.

Each state and federal agency has its own procedures and its own agreements in place which that agency, and people working on projects funded by that agency, must follow concerning cultural resources. This includes any cultural resource exemptions that may have been specifically approved for that agency.

Likewise, practices listed in the “WSCC exemptions for Districts” can only be considered for use by the district if the practice is solely funded with WSCC funds and the conservation practice meets any conditions specified for the specific exemption.

Also remember that each district should have its own cultural resource UDP (Unanticipated Discovery Plan) which should be explained to each landowner doing a project. The UDP helps to protect your landowners as well as the district. There is a nice, simple, one-page “UDP Handout for Landowner” document under the Reference Materials tab on the WSCC Cultural Resources web site that could be used.

Be aware that if a cultural resource problem ever develops when doing a project, there will be people looking to see if the district had made the landowner aware of the district’s UDP and the landowner’s cultural resource responsibilities.

If you have questions or concerns about exemptions or any cultural resource issues, feel free to contact Larry Brewer at lbrewer@scc.wa.gov or by phone at (360)701-7859.

Upcoming Training Opportunities


The following training events are tentatively scheduled for the dates listed below; please pencil them into your schedule if you are interested in attending. Also, if you wish to attend any of the training events, you must complete the prerequisites and have proof of completions prior to attending the class. Look on the Training Events & Opportunities page on the TPDW website for an upcoming link to apply, as well as the prerequisite list for each course.

Basic Conservation Planning – Certified Basic Conservation Planner 3

Two Events planned :

May 2 - May 5, 2016 in Ellensburg, WA

May 23 - May 27, 2016 in Ellensburg, WA

Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning Training (CNMP)

April 12-14, 2016 in Yakima, WA

Additionally, there will be two riparian training events, one on the west side and one on the east side. The dates and locations for these two courses have not yet been determined, but that information will be forthcoming, as well as the information on what the prerequisites will be. Check the Training Events & Opportunities page for updates.

For Additional information contact James Weatherford at jweatherford@thurstoncd.com or through the website.

Getting to Know You: District Highlight

District Name: Clallam Conservation District

District Size: Clallam CD includes all of Clallam County, which totals 1,739 square miles. Federal lands, which are technically part of the conservation district but receive very little in the way of services and would be excluded from rates and charges, make up nearly half of the county.

District Population: 72,312 Number of Employees: 4 employees (3 FTEs)

Main Programs: Water Resources Program, Habitat Restoration Program, Working Lands Support Program

Key Partners: Washington State Conservation Commission, Clallam County, Jamestown, S'Klallam Tribe, Washington Department of Ecology, Dungeness River Agricultural Water Users Association

Project/Program Most Proud of: The Dungeness River is home to four threatened salmonids. The river flows into Dungeness Bay, a once-thriving shellfish growing area that has been plagued with poor water quality since the late 1990s. Over the past 15 years we have worked with the seven irrigation districts and companies in the Dungeness Valley (Dungeness River Agricultural Water Users Association) to replace over 60 miles of open irrigation ditches with pipelines. This work contributed to water quality improvements and a recent shellfish harvesting upgrade of over 700 acres in the bay, and it has resulted in savings of over 7,500 acre-feet (25 cubic feet per second) of Dungeness River water. Irrigators now divert about half the water they did 30 years ago.

Fun Facts: Clallam CD enjoys a huge range in precipitation between the rain forest on the west side of the Olympic Mountains and the rain shadow on the northeast side. The average annual precipitation in Forks, located near the rain forest on the windward side of the mountains, is ten feet. Sequim, located in the heart of the rain shadow, receives just 17 inches.

Because of the low rainfall in Sequim, it is the only area in western Washington with organized irrigation districts and companies. The Sequim Prairie Ditch Company first diverted water from the Dungeness River in 1896, and the community held a celebration that spring. That celebration, now known as the Sequim Irrigation Festival, has been held every year since and is the longest running festival in the state of Washington.