2017 - 01

CTD Newsletter - January 2017

Happy New Year's Resolutions for More Productive and Happy Work in 2017!

Here are 6 tips from the CTD on how you can be happier and more productive this year. Get started right and enjoy your new year with a new perspective. Happy New Year!

1) Just get it done!

We don’t all have the luxury of delegating tasks, so that means we need to be more efficient with our time when our to-do list is a mile long. If you can get something done in 2 minutes or less, just do it! Don’t put off that Doodle Poll for later, answer that quick email right away, review that memo, or return that call you have put aside. All those little things add up to feel like a weight on your shoulders. Just get it done and weightlessly move on!

2) Learn something new.

Learning something new will add value to your job, improve your output, and make you a more valuable employee. Commit to a training event this year, schedule a webinar series, or take an on-line class. Find a way to improve and enrich your skills so that you can deliver a better service to your landowners or staff. Check out our Training Calendar to find something today!

3) Put time for you on your calendar.

It is important to take time to recharge and refresh yourself for a healthy work-life balance. All work and no play is a recipe for mental and physical disaster. Make sure you schedule mental health days and personal/family vacations so that you keep touch with what is important in your personal life. If you won't invest in yourself, who will?

4) Set realistic goals.

Goal setting is a valuable habit - if the goals lead to success rather than distress. Resolve that the goals you set will be goals that are achievable, rather than unrealistic pipe dreams that are so far out of reach they only lead to frustration. If you have trouble setting realistic goals, work with a manager or other staff to find balance.

5) Drop what's not working for you and move on.

Sometimes we spend 90% of our time trying to please 10% of the population. If a technique, tool, or relationship isn't working for you, stop using it! Don't invest a lot of energy into trying to make the unworkable workable. Move on or find a new way to work things out. This may be hard, but it will pay off in the long run.

6) Get enrolled!

We all work harder and more willingly when we feel part of the success of our organization. Review the mission statement of your District, ask landowners what your work means to them, and share annual success stories at your next staff meeting. Feel like a bigger part of your District and work happier in 2017!

Certification Deadline Extended by Two Weeks!

Our first round of applications for the Planner Certification (Riparian, Dairy, and Farm Planner) program were due on December 31. However, due to the crazy holiday season, we are extending the deadline two weeks to January 13! The next application opportunity deadline will be June 30, 2017.

Check out our website for more information on the Certification Program.

CTD Database Update

The Center for Technical Development needs your help! With the New Year come new initiatives and this year we are busy populating a database with the more than 200 technical staff members from all the conservation districts in the state. The goal of this database is to assist with mentoring opportunities, training events, and more. You may have recently received a call from someone helping populate this database – if so, thank you for your time. If you haven’t, you can expect to receive a phone call in the coming weeks. These calls typically take a few minutes and focus on your specialties as a technical professional in your district. Your help during this effort is greatly appreciated. If you have questions about this database and its use, contact Robin Buckingham at (360)7450-3588 ext. 109 or by email at rbuckingham@thurstoncd.com.

Thanks and happy New Year!

National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool (NAQSAT) Training

A special training event is being offered on the NAQSAT tool in March 2017. This tool is your best asset when conducting any type of air quality assessment on livestock operations. It is easy to use and provides guidance on NRCS practice selection on the report form. If you are writing CNMPs, conducting a full SWAPAH assessment for RMS plans, writing for NRCS National Air Quality Initiative program funds, or want to know more about how to conduct a livestock air quality assessment, this is a must attend training. This training will have a classroom and field component brought to you by national experts. Space is limited so register today to secure your spot!

What: National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool (NAQSAT) Training

When: March 9th & 10th

Where: Yakima, WA

Register: HERE

Link to the NAQSAT tools used in this training can be found HERE.

This event is sponsored by the CTD & NRCS.

BioEarth Webinar Series

Reporting on five years of climate impacts and nutrient dynamics research in the Northwest United States.

Registration is FREE.

January 10th, 10:00 AM - Projected Climate Change Impacts for Croplands and Rangelands of the Northwest US

January 31st, 10:00 AM - What Models Can Tell us about how Climate Change Will Affect Regional Agriculture

February 7th, 10:00 AM - Tracking Nitrogen Sources and Transport in the Environment

February 16th - The BioEarth research team will host a final culminating stakeholder workshop at the WSU Tri-Cities campus on to delve deeper into questions about interactions between global environmental change and regional agricultural decisions. To register for the in-person workshop please visit HERE.

Webinar series and in-person workshop sponsored by WSU. For more information please visit HERE.

Cultural Resources Training: Olympia, WA November 28 - 29

By: Angie Shepard, San Juan Islands Conservation District

“Draw a place that is especially meaningful to you,” Heather Walker DOH employee and Chehalis Tribal member said to the more than fifty professionals gathered in Olympia November 28-29th for a Cultural Resources training. The markers and crayons worked as she described the concept of cultural resources as diverse and non-renewable. She gathered the drawings and we listened as participants described their cabins, farms, sacred places of worship, fishing holes and grandparent’s house. “See this little house?” Heather said holding up the drawing a participant had just described as her only safe place growing up. “It’s not really old enough to be an antique. We can just throw this away.” she said as she tore it off the paper, crumpled it and threw it in the trash. The entire room gasped. “The decorations around the gate are pretty though. Would you be able to use these?” she said trying to give the corner of the picture to another participant. In the awkward silence, she explained that this picture had not been a real representation of a special place and the artist had been forewarned that this was a demonstration. “No one person knows everything about a place. What is precious to one person may look like trash to another. Communication is essential.” We went on through the rest of the training with heightened awareness of our own special places and people in the back of our minds.

For two days in the classroom and the field, a diverse group of trainers provided us with an excellent overview of the importance of effectively addressing cultural resource concerns while completing essential projects and empowered us with resources and pragmatic strategies. Conservation districts take cultural resources and their protection seriously! Each district has their own procedures and local contacts and we are always learning. I left the two days of training with renewed appreciation of the resources we can draw on in the state and the following insights. 1) Cultural resources and projects are complex and unique and because there is no one size fits all answer, communication is essential. 2) Effective project implementation must always be balanced with an appropriate level of care for cultural resources or we may place our organizations at risk for being liable for very expensive mitigation of disturbed cultural resources. 3) Each of us should know the cultural resource process for our district and how to implement it and be trained on it regularly.

Some workshop highlights included the following topics. Heather Walker presented her five tips for success: identify project scope and area, identify all funders and their cultural resource leads, determine your regulatory context and establish the lead agency and communicate early and often. Mo Major (DNR) walked us through a case study where the City of Olympia did a much-needed salmon restoration culvert project and provided excellent archeological mitigation for areas of concern during the project only to have sea level rise and extreme weather events reveal new areas of cultural resource concern. There was a lively discussion of the challenges encountered when working in the intersection of implementing time sensitive restoration projects while being respectful of cultural resources with the added urgency of climate change revealing more artifacts.

Craig Holstine of WA DOT gave an overview of the National Historic Preservation Act and provided a link to an excellent inadvertent discovery plan that can be implemented when an activity is cleared to proceed and then unexpectedly uncovers items of concern. This can be downloaded at https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Environment/CulRes/Compliance.htm and filled in with your own local contact numbers for medical examiners and archeologists. Another presenter Dr. Guy Tasa, state physical anthropologist for Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) also provided an overview of the discovery of human remains. He reminded us that finding human remains is not all that uncommon. Until 1974 you could bury your loved one anywhere on your property and areas currently inhabited likely have been human dwelling places throughout time. Since early identification is essential he offered his e- mail and cell phone for folks to e mail and text pictures for identification 360-790-1633 guy.tasa@dahp.wa.gov.

A cautionary tale from the City of Oak Harbor’s archeologist described an additional year and a half of work and a doubling of project costs from 6-12 million dollars when the city had to mitigate for disturbing known cultural resources. The city chose to disregarded the DAHP’s warning that the site of their sidewalk restoration on Main street was a known cultural resource site. The project uncovered more than 17 human remains and 4,000 artifacts. There is still a pending settlement of $9 million to damaged tribes and the city now employs a full-time archeologist.

We ended in the field viewing artifacts and shaking soil through an archeological frame and weaving cedar bark into small roses. I left feeling that I could better navigate the process of respectfully completing projects while doing my due diligence to assess the cultural resource concerns. If conservation districts balance caution with common sense and follow and document their cultural resource processes, we can complete useful projects and build relationships with our community members. Most importantly, I left knowing if I needed more information I knew who to reach out to.

Getting to Know You: District Highlight

District Name: Grays Harbor Conservation DistrictPopulation: 71,122

# of Employees: 6 full time

Main Programs: Forest Stewardship Planning, CREP, Farm Planning, Chehalis Basin Partnership and Family Forest Fish Passage Program.

Key Partners: Washington State Recreation Office/Salmon Recovery Funding Board, Washington State Conservation Commission, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Chehalis Basin Flood Authority, Chehalis Basin Lead Entity, Chehalis Basin Fisheries Task Force, Lewis County Conservation District and Thurston Conservation District.

Most Proud of: Chehalis Basin Partnership

The Chehalis Basin Partnership is multi-agency partnership that formed to reduce flood risk to communities, property, and infrastructure, while improving aquatic habitat in the Chehalis Basin. The project seeks to achieve this by restoring natural river processes that slow river velocity, increasing natural flood storage, improving riverbank conditions, and restoring aquatic habitat. The Grays Harbor CD is working directly with landowners to design projects that help landowners as well as the Chehalis River.

The Forest Stewardship Program is a service GHCD provides technical assistance to local non-industrial forest landowners based on their goals and objectives with written management recommendations, as well as Tree Farm Certification.

Fun Fact

Did you know...

Over 88% of Gray's Harbor land is forest land.

Featured Program: Ferry Conservation District - Free Garden Soil Analysis

If you are looking for a program to develop and implement this spring, the Ferry Conservation District has a great program to learn more about. They offer free analysis of garden soil. Learning about pH, nitrogen and potassium levels will help cooperators determine how to adjust soil chemistry to help improve a garden’s growth. For more information and contact information please visit HERE.

Featured Photo

District: Whatcom Conservation District

Description: Fireworks over Sandy Point