2016 - 10

CTD Newsletter - October 2016

Upcoming 2017 Conference

Discussing the Impact of Climate on Water: Managing the Uncertainties of Water Supply and Quantity in the Pacific Northwest

Water users, water managers, researchers, educators, and innovators are meeting January 25-26, 2017 to discuss the impact of climate to waters of the Pacific Northwest. The common theme of the conference will be creating a dialogue amongst the communities that use and value the region’s water supply within the context of a changing climate. Given the increased demand for future food production in the region are expected to be challenged by water supply due to decreased snow pack, in addition to issues associated with water access, and policy and rights. Also, excess water from heavy rain events and untimely precipitation are expected to increase water quality concerns with potential flood events. These uncertainties create difficulty for agriculture producers, water managers and storm water managers when making current and future decisions.

This event will be held at the Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, WA on the Columbia River only 45 minutes from the Portland airport. The conference should be of interest to agricultural, environmental, tribal and municipal organizations, consultants, extension specialists, agricultural professionals, farmers/growers, NRCS staff, regulatory and policy staff, storm water managers, and irrigation district personnel. To register, submit and abstract, for more information or to sponsor this event, please visit HERE.

The meeting is hosted by climate associated groups within Washington State University, University of Idaho and Oregon State University with the support from Western Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education (WSARE).

Cultural Resource Review??

When assisting a landowner with a project, should we do a cultural resource review or not? That is the question!

First decide if there is a ground disturbing activity or some other activity that may possibly alter a cultural resource. If yes, then it might be wise to address the cultural resource in some fashion. And also take note that whether or not you address the possible cultural resource impact of your activity has nothing to do with the source of the funding or even if there is no funding involved.

How you address the possible cultural resource impact of a project can vary from an evaluation of the project’s possible impact (documented in your project file of course), using one of the exemptions (from either of the two exemption lists), or having a field survey by a professional archaeologist.

You can always chose to do a cultural resource review, which is merely giving DAHP (Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation) and your local tribes an opportunity to let you know if they think there might be a cultural resource that your project might impact before the project work begins.

If you need help deciding, feel free to call Larry Brewer at 360.701.7859 or email lbrewer@scc.wa.gov

Yes, it takes more time to do a cultural resource review, but it might help prevent a possible unanticipated cultural resource discovery which can take much more time. And yes unanticipated discoveries do happen.

Featured Program: Kittitas County Conservation District Irrigation Efficiencies Program

What is the Irrigation Efficiencies grant program?

The IEGP was created in the wake of the 2001 drought to cooperatively restore instream flows for endangered salmonid populations and addresses on-farm water use efficiency within the state's 16 critical basins. Conservation districts within those basins were identified as the most effective method for delivering this complex program. All landowners are eligible for this program and the best management practices that qualify for funding include: Irrigation system, irrigation water conveyance, irrigation water management, pumping plant for water control, tail water recovery, water well, and water flow measuring devices. For more information click HERE.

District Highlight: Getting to Know You

District Name: Stevens County Conservation District

District Size: 2,477 sq miles - 1,585,280 acres

District Population: 43,791 (2015 census)

Number of Employees: 4 full time, 4 part time

Main Programs:

- Conservation planning (focus on agriculture water quality) - providing technical assistance to landowners and land managers from large commercial livestock and crops, hobby farms and new landowners to wisely manage their natural resources.

- Firewise/forest health - Working with Department of Natural Resources to help landowners prevent and/or reduce the impacts of wildfire to their property and homes.

- Fire Recovery - Assisting landowners restore after the 2015 wildfires, protecting water quality, reducing soil erosion and replacing lost fence.

- Youth Environmental Education - Upper Columbia Children's Forest, Hosting State and local Forestry and Land Judging Contests, Bio Blitzes and outreach in schools. Getting Kids Outdoors and into the Environment.

- Voluntary Stewardship Program - Working with local landowners and environmentalists to develop a county specific plan to protect Critical Areas and sustain agricultural production.

Key Partners: Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, National Forest Service, Stevens County Farm Bureau, Stevens County Commissioners, WSU Stevens County Extension, Washington Farm Forestry NE Chapter, Vets on the Farm

Project/Program Most Proud of:

Fire Recovery - in 2016 we have worked with 35 landowners to help develop 26 cost share recovery projects totaling $514,000.

Fun Fact

Did you know....

Over one third (609,000 acres) of Stevens County is owned by Small Forest Landowners. There are 4 major saw mills in the county.

Featured Photo

District: South Yakima Conservation District

Description: Direct Seed

To view more photos from Conservation Districts statewide please click HERE.