2016 - 03

The TPDW Goes to NACD

A large contingent of Washington State CD folks attended the NACD annual meeting held in Reno Jan. 30 – Feb 3, and gave numerous presentations. Among them were Nichole Embertson (Whatcom CD) and James Weatherford (Thurston CD) of the TPDW, giving a presentation of the work that has been done over the last years to build CD capacity and the work of the Tech Group (TPDW).

Nichole gave a great presentation on our work and accomplishments to date, and James handled a few questions. That started a conversation (that’s what we do, you know) about what other states are doing. In particular, representatives of the California contingent were quite interested in inviting us down to help them start the same type of work, and they plan to take the program to the Regional annual meeting next fall. What a complement! A common tread in presentations and discussions at the annual meeting was training, capacity building, and retention of conservation district technical staff. It would appear our work is coming to fruition lately at this time, and our presentation was timely. The feedback was a great reinforcement that we are on the right track in Washington.

The best is yet to come.

WADE 2016 Schedule Announced

We may be in the midst of winter, but summer is incrementally approaching and with it comes the annual WADE conference! Held this June 13-15, 2016 at the Sleeping Lady in Leavenworth, this conference brings the opportunity to learn, connect, and network with colleagues.

In addition to your favorite sessions, there will be two new full tracks this year on Forestry and Water & Climate, with a bonus track on Shorelines Tuesday morning. You will also be treated to a choice of special opening sessions on Tribal Relations with Phil Harju or Climate 101 with Chad Kruger. You won’t want to miss this!

You can find the entire schedule and registration details, as well as the scholarship application, on the WADE website.

And back by popular demand, the TPDW will be hosting Lawn Games again this year on Monday night! If you have ideas for new games, or would like to help plan the fun, let us know at: communications@tpdw.org subject line "Lawn Games".

TEDx is coming to WADE

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 updates on new programs, projects, and ideas, as well an opportunity to share and meet new people. Participating Tracks will give each speaker 7 minutes for a dynamic presentation followed by 3 minutes for questions.

If you are interested in sharing something from your District, an idea you have, or a program or project you think is valuable, click HERE to access the signup form. Submissions must be received by May 19th!

Districts Lead the Way in Nutrient Management Training for Producers

The Whatcom Conservation District in partnership with Snohomish and King CDs, and with grant funding from WSDA, put on three Manure Nutrient Management Training Workshops across Puget Sound in February. The four hour events attracted over 200 participants including dairy, livestock, horse, small acreage, berry, crop, custom applicators, consultants, and more. Topics included local issues, manure rules and regulations, recordkeeping, agronomics, composing, and manure risk management. Videos of the event can be found at www.wadairyplan.org/special-events.

The event was focused on providing information and education to landowners so that they can understand their actions and make better decisions in the future. New Manure Application Risk Management tools developed for Western Washington were also highlighted and demonstrated to landowners.

Follow up Soils Discovery Field Days are planned in each of the three areas in April/May. The events will offer free soils tests and help land owners interpret their nutrient soil tests, have hands on demonstrations to help folks understand the properties of their soils, teach people how to take a soils test, and discuss manure application strategies based on soil type.

Events like these highlight the positive and profound impact that District knowledge and educational events can have on landowner decisions.

Districts all over the State are doing great things! If you have a project or event to share, send us your story and we will publish it in the next issue: communications@tpdw.org

Update from the Training Room

Hello again from the Training Development Folks at the TPDW,

2016 is shaping up to be a banner year for training for Washington CD planners. We have 2 sessions of the Basic Planner Certification course coming up in Ellensburg the weeks of May 9th and May 23rd. Both sessions are expected to be packed with CD and NRCS folks. Both training sessions will be held at the Quality Inn, just off the freeway. Our goal is to seat all comers, but names are still coming in so we’ll see how that goes. There will not be another opportunity until 2018, so if you want that course, let us know ASAP. As a side note, there will be 3 US fish & Wildlife attendees as well as CD and NRCS.

There is a CNMP course being held in Tumwater at the La Quinta Inn & suites the week of April 11th. There is still room for this course but the prerequisites are substantial so if you wish to attend we should talk soon.

A Conservation Planning course for Riparian planners is in the development stage as we speak and will be held in the summer, probably August on the west side. At this time Lewis County is looking pretty good, but that is not set yet. This will be an advanced course for riparian planning for planners with Basic Planner Certification. There will be additional prerequisites, so stay tuned for that information.

Originally, we had planned to hold 2 riparian courses, one east and one west, but due to budget cuts that is down to one session. Environmental considerations applicable to both sides will be presented.

All of the preceding training sessions are week-long core training courses, and require a plan be completed and submitted for review to pass the course.

Additionally, training for potential Burn Area Emergency Response (BAER) team members was included in our Training Task Order with NRCS/SCC, but due to budget cuts that training was dropped. However, TPDW and Okanogan CD are moving forward with that training, and sessions are currently being developed. This will be a TPDW sponsored training event for inter-agency BAER Team members, with NRCS invited to attend and assist with the planning. This will be the first wholly Conservation District sponsored and led core training event.

Lastly, but popular demand, three more ArcGIS courses have been added statewide to help planners develop and hone their mapping skills. See below for more details.

We will keep up the good work if you keep up the interest!

More ArcGIS Training Courses Announced!

Back by popular demand, Andrew Phay will be leading three ArcGIS courses (https://sites.google.com/site/tpdworg/training) across WA this spring. To help him determine the exact location of the training event for each region, please register by March 10 for the course of interest:

  • North Central WA - March 16-17

  • Northwest WA - April 19-20

  • Southeast WA - May 10-11

Register HERE

The beginner/intermediate level course will go over the steps to create site/farm plan maps for multiple types of projects in a hands-on training session. Additionally, you will learn how to create a site map in ArcMap using geodatabases and templates to make your data consistent throughout your organization. The course is free, but you must cover your own travel if necessary.

For more information please contact: Andrew Phay | Whatcom Conservation District | 360-526-2381 x 129 | aphay@whatcomcd.org

Getting to Know You: District Highlight

District Name: Clark Conservation District (www.ClarkCD.org)

District Size: 419,840 acres, of which 17,920 are water

District Population: 451,000 +

Number of Employees: 3 full time

Main Programs: Water quality planning and practice implementation with rural and urban landowners; small farm and backyard livestock management; fish habitat and passage projects.

Key Partners: NRCS, Clark County, and Clark Public Utilities

Project/Program Most Proud of: We recently completed a very complex fish passage project involving multiple agencies and utilities which served 32 homeowners. Combining several utilities and numerous home-owners is challenging to a successful project. It was difficult at times but everyone was pleased in the end, especially the salmon who were moving upstream and spawning below the new bridge.

Fun Facts: Clark County is the 2nd fastest-growing county in the state and has the 2nd highest population density in the state. Clark County also has many prime agricultural lands (it is the upper end of the Willamette Valley) and has the 3rd highest number of small farms in the state (behind Spokane and Yakima).

Fun Fact

We all know that Washington State has an extremely diverse set of ecosystems and Biomes, each with their own unique flora and fauna, weather conditions, and precipitation rates ranging from 7 inches annually to more than 60 inches. But did you know that in Whitman Conservation district the rainfall rate ranges from 10 inches to 30 inches, east to west, and at a rate of 1 inch per mile? Talk about a feast or famine for farming!