2016 - 05

New Addition to the TPDW Family!

The Washington State Conservation Commission is pleased to announce the hiring of Jess Davenport as the South Central Regional Manager. Ms. Davenport comes to the Commission staff with experience in technical assistance with land owners, coordination with partner agencies and organizations, and district operations as an interim district manager and resource technician for the Central Klickitat and Eastern Klickitat Conservation Districts.

Jess will provide district operations assistance and service with nine conservation districts in South Central and Southeast Washington and will be the Commission staff lead in coordinating with the Technical Professional Development Workgroup on technical training, mentoring, and certification activities. She will begin her duties on April 18, 2016 and be located in a Goldendale office site.

For more information, contact Ray Ledgerwood, Regional Manager Coordinator at rledgerwood@scc.wa.gov.

WADE TEDx Sign-up Closes May 27th!

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 a dynamic presentation followed by 3 minutes for questions. Please consider signing up and sharing new ideas! Submissions must be received by May 27th! Find the sign-up form HERE

SEPA and CPA52

Have you looked at a SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) checklist lately? A SEPA provides a way to identify possible environmental impacts that may result from governmental decisions, such as conservation plans. You can find Ecology’s 2014 version HERE.

As good planners we should be considering environmental issues when developing conservation alternatives for a landowner to consider - even when we do not have to fill out a SEPA checklist. Considering environmental issues can help protect us, our clients, and the environment, and fulfills our responsibilities as local or state governmental employees.

Reviewing the SEPA checklist (or the federal environmental evaluation form, CPA-52) occasionally can help us to maintain our environmental awareness as we help landowners to plan and implement conservation.

If you would like to review the federal CPA-52, “Documenting the Environmental Evaluation on the NRCS CPA-52 Environmental Evaluation Worksheet” is an easy access webinar available to you HERE.

Training Needs Survey for 2017

You might have noticed that the TPDW has been working hard the last year to bring you special training events on topics that you told us you wanted to know more about to increase your technical skills. We listened and delivered! We are now working on creating our next round of training events and want to hear from you again on what should be on the list. Please take a few minutes and tell us what you would like to learn more about for your discipline. Think outside the box, or be specific to an assessment tool. The sky (and budget) are the limit J!

Click HERE to start the Training survey

Considering doing your own training events for your staff? Need funding to make a training idea come to fruition? Let us know! It is our job to help you design and coordinate training efforts to benefit all CD’s. Your idea may be bigger than you think!

Contact: training@tpdw.org

Greetings from the Training Room!

The week of April 11th we hosted our first truly joint core training event with NRCS: Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning (CNMP) Development. The session was a huge success, thanks in large part to Tracy Hanger, NRCS Washington State Conservation Agronomist, and Jeff Porter, NRCS National Animal Manure and Nutrient Management Team Leader. His presentations were great, and made the training engaging and interesting. Dr. Nichole Embertson, Nutrient Management Specialist from Whatcom CD, gave excellent presentations on air quality and manure management that were educational and engaging. We had representatives from Derek Rockett at Department of Ecology, Chery Sullivan from WSDA, and Karma Anderson at NRCS (formerly EPA) who gave a presentation on the EPA AFO/CAFO rule proposal. Other presenters included Dr. Joe Harrison, WSU, and Sally Bredeweg, NRCS Engineer.

A total of 13 conservation planners from CD’s and NRCS attended the course, and it was very well received. The class size allowed great discussion, interaction, and collaboration and folks went away with a deeper understanding of the material and planning purpose. In my opinion, it was one of the best events I have attended in my 12 years at the district. All-in-all, the great presenters, the fantastic attendee’s, and all the interaction with the class and the landowner we visited made this an excellent beginning in our new training partnership.

The Conservation Planning Certification (Basic Planner 3)

Next on the docket are two Basic Conservation Planner trainings to be held at the Quality Inn in Ellensburg in May. The first session begins on May 9th, with the second session set for the week of the 23rd. Both sessions will be full classes, with attendees from NRCS, WDFW, and even a County Planner. Both sessions promise to be a repeat of the CNMP course energy, with great presenters, a full field of attendees, and a great site for the field trip day.

The Riparian and Stream Considerations in Planning

Additionally, a new course has been developed with this NRCS partnership: 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 Riparian and Stream Considerations in Conservation Planning courses are planned; the first session in Olympia for West Side considerations August 8-12, and a second session to be in Spokane the week of September 19-23. Information and applications for this course will be on the TPDW website and be sent out soon.

For more information please contact James Weatherford | TPDW Training Coordinator | JWeatherford@thurstoncd.com | (360) 754-3588 x 138

Training Event Updates

Last ArcGIS Training Course for 2016!

Southeast WA - May 10-11 – Hosted at Palouse CD

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.

Register HERE

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

Grant RFPs Open

The Western SARE grant RFP is open! Pre-proposals for the Research & Education grant are due June 1, 2016. This is a great opportunity for Districts to conduct projects along with landowners to conduct novel research and outreach projects to obtain data, develop conclusions, demonstrate new technologies, and lead educational programs that support sustainable agricultural practices.

Find more information and grant materials at: www.westernsare.org

Be a Part of New Statewide Planning Groups

There is a recognized need for better uniformity and accessibility to tools and templates for all disciplines of planning across WA. The TPDW is currently organizing the development of work groups for the different disciplines in an effort to get this going. We need seasoned, new, and excited individuals to lead this charge!

Goals of the planning groups:

  1. Design planning templates

  2. Develop uniform plan content

  3. Outline Certification criteria

  4. Create web page to house information and tools

If you are interested, please let us know which group you would like to be involved in. The following groups are being assembled now.

Planning groups currently being assembled:

  • Dairy

  • Small Farm/Acreage

  • Riparian

  • LID

  • Forestry (urban and rural)

  • Shoreline (marine and fresh)

  • Irrigation

Please send an email to planning@tpdw.org with your workgroup of interest. We will keep you in the loop!

Getting to Know You: District Highlight

District Name: Pine Creek Conservation District (est. 1942)

District Size: 227,000 acres District Population: Approx. 3,500

Number of Employees: 1

Main Programs: Technical Assistance, Conservation Planning, Farm Inventories, Mediate water quality complaints/referrals, Ag Burn Permitting, GIS/GPS Services, Public Outreach.

Key Partners: WSCC, NRCS, FSA, WA DOE, PNDSA, Palouse-Rock Lake CD, Palouse CD, Whitman CD, Spokane CD, Whitman County

Project/Program Most Proud of: A yearly goal of the district is to personally contact 100% of the cooperators in our district each year.

Fun Facts: Lentils were first introduced into the United States in our district in about 1914, and since then, the district is in the “Lentil Capital” of the world.

Fun Fact

A diverse and abundance plant community within the flight range for native pollinators is very important. Larger species, such as bumble bees, can cover more than 2 km while smaller bees fly 200 meters or less in their search for pollen and nectar. Consider incorporating pollinator friendly plants when developing your planting plans this year.