2016 - 06


CD Farm Planning Summit Kicks Off

The TPDW facilitated a 'Small Acreage Summit' of farm planners from Snohomish, King, Whatcom, San Juan Island, Whidbey, Kittitas and Okanogan in May. The intent of this group, and subsequent meetings, is to develop uniform planning templates and processes for Farm Planning as well as a Small Acreage Planning Certification process following the existing Dairy and upcoming Riparian certification processes.

Due to the variety (and abundance) of small acreages, many Districts do not have the funding, time or staff to write full-blown plans for every operation. Instead, many do a lot of face to face technical assistance and in-field risk assessments, and determine the needs of the landowner based on these assessment (and landowner goals and needs) in order to choose the appropriate follow-up and documentation.

The group discussed tools and definitions of plan types being used by Districts for non-dairy operations, along with looking at shared examples of farm plans, landowner agreements, fact sheets, job sheets, mapping info, risk assessment tools, resource documents, templates, technical letters and layout and design.

Most importantly, the group discussed the definitions of the subsequent types of documentation being used (general correspondence, Practice Plan, TA letter, Risk Assessment Tool, Comprehensive Plan, NRCS plan, plan update, and adaptive management/followup), and what is the criteria or "triggers" being used to decide what type of documentation is most important or should be used.

The group is committed to not only come up with a standard plan that meets NRCS standards, but also developing a place to house all the tools and examples of planning options, fact sheets, job sheets and photos of BMPs that anyone can pull from and use at any District!

The creation of a uniform documentation process and messaging will allow for clarity, and most importantly, efficiency and the ability for all districts to work effectively with this ever growing cooperator group.

There are more meetings to follow that will include the development of a small acreage certification process. We encourage everyone to follow the TPDW website for more information, or you can contact Bobbi Lindemulder at Snohomish CD for more information. More planning groups are forming and coming soon! Stay tuned!

Find the TPDW at WADE

I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to WADEthis year! WADE is a great opportunity to network, connect, and learn new ideas and information. The TPDW will be providing an update on current programs and exciting upcoming activities at the opening session. Plus, back by popular demand, the TPDW will be hosting Lawn Games again this year! Find us Monday night at the Meadow. There will even be a special bean-bag toss (aka, cornhole) competition to benefit Envirothon, so find your partner, bring $5, and come on down! TPDW representatives will be on hand at WADE to chat, answer questions and maybe even recruit you! Look for the TPDW badges and/or the following folks to learn more about the TPDW, provide feedback, and ask for new opportunities in the next year.

  • Nichole Embertson (Whatcom CD) – General Information and Science/Monitoring

  • James Weatherford (Thurston CD) – Training Events

  • Bobbi Lindemulder (Snohomish CD) – Planning Groups

  • Josh Monahan (King CD) – Technical Expertise and Management

  • Ray Ledgerwood (WSCC) – General Information

  • Jess Davenport (WSCC) – General Information

See you there soon!

Help! We Need Bean-Bag Sets for WADE!

The TPDW is paring up with Envirothon this year at WADE to have a bean-bag toss (aka, cornhole) match-up to raise money for Envirothon (I hear people have been practicing!). However, we need more bean-bag toss sets! If you have one, and would be willing to bring it to WADE (or pass off to a colleague to bring), please contact Nichole Embertson (nembertson@whatcomcd.org) and let her know. Thank you District family!

WADE TEDx Sign-up Extended!

We need more folks for this fun event! This year, WADE is going to do something new and unique and dedicate the first session on Monday to TEDx style talks in the Farms & Fields and Riparian Tracks! These talks will provide quick, fun updates on new programs, projects and ideas, and are a great opportunity to share and meet new people. Participating Tracks will give each speaker 7 minutes for presentation followed by 3 minutes for questions. Please consider signing up and sharing new ideas! Submissions received until June 6!

Find the sign-up form HERE (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1l7iYrNaBnHvwVXPtjU8UCaqp-wAJxKVhcMg_4nTfEHk/viewform)

Greetings from the Training Room!

The Conservation Planning Certification (Basic Planner 3)

We are happy to announce two Basic Conservation Planner trainings were completed during the month of May in Ellensburg, WA. Both of these training sessions were full classes with attendees from Conservation Districts, Counties, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).Ernie Holt, instructor for the course with NRCS said “It is very exciting to see Conservation Districts and NRCS partnering together for these trainings. I look forward to seeing continued partnership that will get conservation on the ground.”

We want to extend a big thank you to everyone who was involved with facilitating these trainings. Course instructors include members from Conservation Districts, NRCS, and the Washington State Conservation Commission (WSCC).

Riparian and Instream Considerations in Conservation Planning Course

Coming up next is the Riparian and Instream Considerations in Conservation Planning Course which will include two sessions. The first session will be August 8 – 12 and will be held in Olympia, WA. The second session will be September 19 – 23 and will be held in Spokane, WA. This is an advanced conservation planning training event geared to riparian and stream ecology and the specific resource concerns in that discipline. Rachel Maggi with NRCS and Brian Cochrane with WSCC will be assisting in developing curriculum for this course, along with members from the TPDW and others.

Information and applications for these sessions will be posted in June so please check back in.

For more information please contact: James Weatherford | TPDW Training Coordinator | JWeatherford@thurstoncd.com | (360) 754-3588 x 138 | or Jess Davenport | jdavenport@scc.wa.gov | (360) 548-3015

Training Event Updates

The Riparian and Stream Considerations in Planning

A new course has been developed in partnership with NRCS: Riparian and Stream Considerations in Conservation Planning. This is an advanced conservation planning training event geared to riparian and stream ecology and the specific resource concerns in that discipline. The course content and curriculum are being developed by Brian Cochrane, WSCC, and Rachel Maggi, NRCS.

Two sessions are planned:

  • Olympia for West Side considerations August 8-12

  • Spokane the week of September 19-23.

Information and applications for this course coming soon.

For more information, or to register, contact:

James Weatherford

JWeatherford@thurstoncd.com | (360) 754-3588 x 138

Notes from the Field

I have worked with Conservation Districts since 2012 where I started as a Water Quality Technician with the Central and Eastern Klickitat Conservation Districts. I then transitioned into the Resource Technician position that allowed me to work with landowners and organizations to implement cost-share projects. I was the facilitator of a steering committee that development of an Integrated Aquatic Vegetation Management Plan (IAVMP) to address the presence of invasive weeds in a waterbody. Also, I worked frequently with GIS for almost all of our programs and projects. And now I am the Eastern Regional manager which requires coordination of nine different Districts.

If some of you are like me, you may have been assigned projects and programs that you weren’t familiar with and that intimidated you at first. If you had asked me a few months ago for advice about this, I would have said “do a lot of research and reading, contact the experts, and seek out training”. If you ask me today I would give you the same advice; and in addition, I would suggest contacting the Technical and Professional Development Workgroup (TPDW). The TPDW is a valuable resource and I hope that soon all of you add this to your list of resources.

I am very excited to be part of the TPDW. The TPDW provides Districts and other entities with technical assistance, programs, guidance and certification for their professional staff members. I look forward to seeing many District employees becoming certified in their professional fields. Please contact me if you have any questions about training opportunities and certification. I look forward to connection with you all!

Take care,


Jess Davenport works with the Technical and Professional Development Workgroup (TPDW) and serves as a Regional Manager for the following conservation districts: Benton, Central Klickitat, Eastern Klickitat, Franklin, Kittitas, North Yakima, South Yakima, Underwood, and Walla Walla.

Getting to Know You: District Highlight

Eastern Klickitat CD

Main Programs: Farmland preservation, water quality

Project/Program Most Proud of: EKCD is one of three inaugural recipients of funding from WSCC's Office of Farmland Preservation and will hold two of the first Agricultural Conservation Easement contracts funded by OFP. These easements will protect approximately 18,000 acres of prime wildlife habitat and local ranching heritage.

NRCS Tech Note Updates

A new Forestry Technical Note 30 has been added to the NRCS eFOTG.

Forestry Technical Note 30: GUIDANCE FOR AFFORESTATION AND AGROFORESTRY ON AGRICULTURAL LANDS: “Reforestation vs Afforestation vs Agroforestry: These terms are closely related and there are many ways natural resource professionals around the world define and separate them. For the purposes of this guidance, we will distinguish them based on a shift in land use and/or the length of time a piece of ground that could grow trees has not grown trees (agriculture land use to forest for afforestation; and forest to forest for reforestation and active agriculture to active agriculture for agroforestry).”

Fun Fact

Washington designated bluebunch wheatgrass (Agropyron spicatum) as the official state grass in 1989. Found in eastern Washington, bluebunch wheatgrass was a benefit to Washington’s pioneer farmers and continues to play a major role in the state’s agriculture industry. It is palatable to all classes of livestock and wildlife, drought resistant, and a great for reclamation areas.