2015 - 05

WA Technical and Professional Development Workgroup Newsletter

May 2015

For the betterment of Washington Conservation District Employees

Welcome to the 1st monthly newsletter put out by the Technical and Professional Development Workgroup.

The Technical and Professional Development Workgroup (TPDW) has been created for the purpose of ensuring that Conservation Districts have the proper tools and expertise to consistently plan and implement conservation programs in collaboration with the Washington State Conservation Commission (WSCC), conservation districts in Washington State, the Washington Association of Conservation Districts (WACD), and other key conservation partners.


  • Provide resources for District employees to utilize to improve their skills and knowledge

  • Identify opportunities for streamlined systems that all Districts can take advantage of

  • Establish priorities and identify where state conservation districts can grow to ensure they remain a well-informed resource for landowners

Who We Are: We are a small group of District staff from around the state that participate in this workgroup because we have passion and interest in the betterment of Districts and employee opportunities. We are always looking for new and seasoned CD folks who would like to participate in the group. If you’re interested in learning more about the TPDW or participating, please contact James Weatherford at (360) 754-3588 x 138.

This Newsletter: This is our 1st of many monthly newsletters to come! Our goal is that you will be able to use this newsletter as a resource to discover new and existing opportunities and tools for your professional and technical development. We are always on the hunt for new training events, tools, tips, stories, and resources to share; if you have something you value in your job, please let us know so we can share with the rest of your District family. Enjoy!

New Planner Certifications Coming Soon

The Technical and Professional Development Workgroup (TPDW) has been diligently working to provide new ways to enhance and support your hard work. One of those is with a new planner certification program aimed at verifying your expertise in planning and providing continuing education and mentorship opportunities to advance your skills. The TPDW is launching the first two certifications in 2015 with Dairy Nutrient Management and Riparian Planning.

The purpose of the Certification Program is to certify individuals as having the necessary skills and abilities to plan to the requirements set forth in the individual Certification guidelines, as well as recognize those planners that have demonstrated an advanced level of knowledge, skills and planning. In addition, the program provides a pathway for new and advancing planners to achieve the knowledge and mentor support needed to advance from beginning to expert planner.

For more information on the individual certification requirements, please visit the Certification page at: https://sites.google.com/site/wadistrictemployees/technical-capacity/training-certs/planner-certs

There will also be special introductory meetings at WADE 2015 to outline the Dairy and Riparian Certifications and answer all the questions you may have.

· Dairy Certification Meeting: Tuesday, June 16 5:00-6:00pm in the Farms and Fields Track room.

· Riparian Certification Meeting: Wednesday, June 17 9:00am in the Riparian Track room.

Not sure what training opportunities are out there? Wonder no more. Click on "Training Calendar" tab on the top of the page for upcoming training events and webinars.

New Training Opportunities Calendar

District Highlight

District: Okanogan Conservation District (home of the 2nd fastest outhouse racing team in Conconully)

District Size: 5300 sq/miles (largest in the state)

District Population: 42,000

# Of Employees: 11 full time staff celebrating their 75th anniversary as a District

Main Programs:

· Firewise and fire recovery

· Fish habitat restoration and fish screens

· Upland habitat restoration and preservation (the District is the furthest south migratory pathway for ungulates and other keystone species between the Cascade and Rocky Mountain Ranges)

· Water conservation and irrigation efficiency improvement

· Water quality improvement: fencing livestock out of creeks, off-stream watering

Key Partners: Colville Confederated Tribes, Department of Ecology, Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Fish and Wildlife, The National Fish & Wildlife Foundation

Project/Program Most Proud of: Our response to the Carleton Complex Fire – how the staff here instantly stepped up and went to work helping landowners recover, and how Conservation Districts across the state came together as a family and dropped everything to help out a fellow District in an emergency. Our combined response to the fire truly demonstrated the value of Districts working together to make a difference.

Fun Facts: only 4 traffic lights in the county, home of ½ of the world’s largest concrete structure, and home of the tributary that is the last and only tributary east of the Cascade Mountains that Steelhead and other salmon use to get into interior B.C.

Current Events

The 2015 WADE Training will be packed with interesting and informative sessions, so hurry up and register!!

NRCS will be holding the following in-class facilitated courses this spring and summer and has offered CD’s limited seating for these courses. Space is limited so please register ASAP and ensure the prerequisite courses have been completed. These courses are not offered every year so this is a great opportunity.

These prerequisite courses are extensive so please do not procrastinate. Particularly for the Pest Management course in May.

Please contact James Weatherford, jweatherford@thurstoncd.com 360.304.9714, or Larry Brewer, lbrewer@scc.wa.gov360.701.7859 for more information and to register.

Pest Management (595) course

May 19-21 in Ellensburg.

Prerequisites; AgLearn

NRCS NEDC: 000085

Pest Management Track 2 Part 1,

NEDC 000033 Intro to Water Quality; Conservation Planning Workshop, basic conservation planner 3

Basic Nutrient Management Course (NMP)

June 22-25 in Ephrata

Prerequisites; AgLearn

NRCS NEDC: 000083 Nutrient Management Track 1 Part 1,

NECD 000033 Intro to Water Quality;

Conservation Planning Workshop, basic conservation planner 3

Grants and Funding Opportunities

We all have great ideas, but often times lack the funds to get them into reality. Luckily, there are always opportunities out there to fund research/demonstration projects, educational efforts, and events.

To keep yourself plugged into national grants, go to: www.grants.gov. You can browse available grants by categories, agency, or eligibility. Some ideas of annual grants that come up related to resource conservation are NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG), SARE grants, AFRI grants, and EPA grants.

For grants specific within the State of Washington, individual grant Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are put out by WSDA, EPA, DOE, and local partners throughout the year. It is best to check their individual webpages for RFPs and due dates, as often times these are short turnaround times from announcement to due date. You can also check the under development "Grant Announcement Calendar" for available grants. We will post relevant RFPs as released, or you can post one up if you don’t see it on the calendar. The more we can all work together, the more successful we will be!

For more information on grant opportunities, partnership ideas, and current CD research being conducted around the State, check out the new Grants page at: https://sites.google.com/site/wadistrictemployees/technical-capacity/grants

Coming Soon

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