December 2019


Please visit our website for more training opportunities:

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CTD Conservation Planner Applications are now being accepted for Riparian, Farm, and Dairy planners.

The CTD, in response to District and partner agency demand, has created the opportunity for District technical staff to achieve planner certification in the disciplines of Riparian, Farm, and Dairy Planning. Our certification program has been vetted with partners and experts to ensure it provide both verification of your skills and a pathway to help you advance. Whether you a new or veteran planner, you are encouraged to start your certification process today.

Even if you are still working on completing your training, please get yourself enrolled at the Level 1 certification for your discipline! This way you can start earning your Continuing Education Units and be a part of the planning community hubs, a resource for accessing and sharing planning tools and information. You can always work up from there!

For more information, and to start your application process today, go to: The first round of applications are due by March 6, 2020 for special acknowledgement at the WADE 2020 conference.

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."

--John Muir

CTD Website Improvements!

We've made some great updates to the CTD website to help you navigate and find content faster and easier! Check it out!

What makes good practice implementation?

Communication! Both verbal and written, communication is key.

Most districts use NRCS conservation practices to provide the necessary guidance to select appropriate practices for the resource concerns we identify, and also to properly install those practices. Practice specifications, job sheets, and other information help us decide what is relevant and appropriate on a site.

One of our most important jobs as planners is to take all of that technical guidance and communicate it accurately to our cooperators. We, as trained planners, develop the site-specific practice requirements for a site that will address the identified concerns; and then we describe those practice requirements to the landowner for implementation. Just as important as the verbal explanation of requirements at a site visit, we must also document our expectations in the form of some type of written guidance that we provide to a landowner.

Written documents, including pictures and practice specifications, provide the needed level of detail for a landowner to be successful in implementing a practice correctly. And successful implementation is good for everyone.

Without that written guidance, the door is left open for potential issues. Written guidance can significantly help reduce misunderstandings that can lead to noncompliance, withholding of payments, hurt feelings, distrust of the district (and/or you as a district staff), extra work or extra cost, and even lawsuits. It not only helps a landowner to properly install a practice, but it helps the district staff person who checks the completed practice to determine that the practice was installed as expected.

So next time you are preparing information for a cost-share or other BMP program, consider the importance of effective communication with both clear written guidance as well as a chance to talk it through in the field.

Marketing Toolkit

As you plan your 2020 education and outreach efforts, make sure you check out the WSCC's Marketing Toolkit. This comprehensive toolkit has an icon library, color palette, infographics, messaging, and more to help CDs strengthen our 'brand' through consistent marketing. WSCC also has an invaluable source of high-quality photographs from around the state; submitted by your fellow conservation district employees, these photos are free for CD use! Check out the WSCC Flickr account HERE.

And In Other News...

By Sarah Webber from the University of Melbourne and Marcus Carter from the University of Sydney, Australia

by Rob Jordan, Stanford University

By Robert F. Service, for

If you have an idea for the newsletter, a project or photo you'd like featured, or just want to say hello, email We'd love to hear from you!