WADE 2021

The WADE 2021 Virtual Conference is a Wrap!

Thank you for attending the WADE 2021 Virtual Conference! We had a blast and hope you enjoyed the sessions.

If you missed it, or couldn't be in two places at once, you can catch the conference session videos HERE (link coming soon).

We would love your feedback on this years virtual WADE Conference and ideas for next year. Please fill out the CONFERENCE EVALUATION SURVEY HERE

WADE Agenda At-A-Glance

Printable full agenda version HERE


WADE Track and Session Descriptions

General and Keynote Sessions (Room 1)

Monday, June 14

9:00-10:00 - Opening Session – Join us for an all-State opening session of the WADE conference. Get tips of navigating the conference of the three days, hear update for key partner organization, and get a few highlights from the WADE Board including WADE Office Elections.

10:00-11:00Keynote Presentation with Dean Longrie – This is a unique opportunity to hear Dean Longrie, Chair of the WA Conservation Commission, share words of wisdom and answer all your questions about the Commission.

Administration and Finance (Room 3)

Monday, June 14

11:00-12:00 - Updates to the Grant Manual (Sarah Groth, WSCC) - Grants staff will review the new FY22-23 grants manual.

1:00-2:00 - The Commission Speaks (Sarah Groth, WSCC) - Timely information from the SCC grants staff.

2:00-3:00 - Elections Update (Bill Eller, SCC) - Bill Eller will present the current changes to district elections.

Wednesday, June 16 (Room 2)

11:00-12:00 - SAO Update (Ginny Waltman, SAO) - Updates from the State Auditors Office.

Ginny Waltman has been with the State Auditor’s Office for over 20 years. She is the Audit Manager for Team Tri-Cities and the Program Manager for Conservation Districts.

Leadership and Management (Room 2)

Monday, June 14

11:00-12:00 - Governance & CDs: Roles & Responsibilities (Shana Joy, WSCC) - What is "governance" and why is it important for conservation district staff?

1:00-2:00 - Management & Manager Training Resources (Shana Joy, WSCC)

2:00-3:00 - Managers' Lessons Learned Panel (District Manager Panel) - Here from fellow District managers about their perspectives and experiences in this important role.

Tuesday, June 15

9:00-10:00 - Rates & Charges 101 (Stu Trefry, Vicki Carter, Linda Lyshall, Zorah Oppenheimer) - Learn the basics about rates and charges and hear from 3 district leaders about their experiences.

10:00-11:00 - Intro to CD Funding Resources (Jean Fike, WSCC) - An overview of various funding sources that may be available to your conservation district.

11:00-12:00 - NRCS Funding Programs (Nick Vira, NRCS and Keith Griswold, NRCS) - An overview of the financial assistance programs available to producers under the Farm Bill.

1:00-2:00 - HR/Supervision 101 w/Enduris (Joe Davis, Enduris)

2:00-3:00 - HR/Supervision 101 w/Enduris (Joe Davis, Enduris)

Wednesday, June 16

9:00-10:00 - Dept of Veterans Affairs Presentation & Working with Vets (Jason Alves, WA Dept of Veterans Affairs)

10:00-11:00 - Knowing Your CD Community: Data Resources Overview (Levi Keeseecker and Brian Cochrane, WSCC) - Learn about available data resources you may choose to draw upon for long range strategic planning for your district and how to evaluate the quality of those data sources.

1:00-2:00 - The Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP): What Every CD Staff Person Should Know (Bill Eller, WSCC) - 27 counties protect critical areas while maintaining agricultural viability through the VSP by implementing voluntary, incentive-based plans and practices. CDs are at the forefront of that implementation. This session will give CD staff the essentials to successfully implement VSP in their county.

2:00-3:00 - There Are No Dumb Questions! (Shana Joy, WSCC with WSCC Regional Managers) - Your opportunity to bring your questions no matter how large or small to the Regional Manager team and other session attendees. We'll answer as many as we can live and follow up with you on any that require more research.

Riparian Restoration (Room 3)

Tuesday, June 15

9:00-10:00 - Hillslope Hydrology to Landscape Patterns (Ames Fowler, WSU; Ryan Boylan, Palouse CD) - Years of watershed studies and model show us runoff and the associated erosion under a unique set of landscape features. Understanding the mechanism of runoff in space and time helps us select the right conservation practices in the right locations. Watershed models help us use publically available data to visualize physical processes and identify locations that produce disproportionate erosion for these particular landscape features. This framework is actively being evaluated in the Palouse in a collaboration between WSU and the Palouse Conservation District with potential value to conservation statewide.

10:00-11:00 - Developing practical remote sensing workflows for ecosystem monitoring (Amanda Stahl, WSU) - Recent advances in drone-based imaging techniques and freely available satellite imagery with medium resolution (10-20m pixel size) offer potential opportunities to make monitoring of riparian and other natural or semi-natural areas more feasible and effective. Each approach has advantages and limitations, depending on the scale (grain and extent) of interest, site characteristics, and capacity to implement image collection and analysis. Examples and lessons learned from an exploratory study in eastern WA will be shared to show potential uses and caveats of these tools for VSP reporting, restoration monitoring, or habitat mapping.

1:00-2:00 - Riparian Round Table - GoToMeeting LINK – Join your peers for a group discussion of hot topics, needs, resources, and sharing.

2:00-3:00 - Extending the bareroot planting window: fall planting trials and other topics (John Knox, PMC) - Bareroot plants can be available for fall plantings after they are heeled into irrigated gravel beds. Learn how this low impact design can be setup for different scales, increase the number of native plants in the landscape, and how it can be situated within community conservation. If dandelions can grow in gravel, then so can salmonberries and thimbleberries and osoberries.

John Knox is a grower at the Bow Plant Materials Center. His conservation background includes growing native grasses and forbs, monitoring vegetation in the sagesteppe, instructing veterans in organic farming, and serving in AmeriCorps positions with the US Fish & Wildlife service and Student Conservation Association. He is a Marine Corps veteran, and he graduated from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Outside of the PMC, he owns and operates Holy Basil Farm.

Wednesday, June 16

10:00-11:00 – Intro to Bio-engineering: Creating a Planting Plan (Chris Hoag)

11:00-12:00 – Advanced Bio-engineering: How to Use Plants om Bio-Engineering Project and Working with Engineers (Chris Hoag)

1:00-2:00 - Which crew is right for you? Pros and cons of field crews (CD Panel) - GoToMeeting Link - Join us for a series of presentations by Conservation Districts who use field crews. They will discuss the pros and cons of using WCC, VCC, and other crew arrangements.

Farms & Fields (Room 1)

Tuesday, June 15

10:00-11:00 - Farm Stress/Suicide Prevention (Don McMoran, WSU Skagit County Extension) - Agriculture is known to be both a difficult and dangerous occupation. Washington State University Skagit County Extension recognizes there are various dimensions of Total Farmer Health® , including physical, mental, emotional, and social, and seeks to address related needs through three programs. The Washington State AgrAbility Project (WSAP) supports farmers with injuries and ailments in adopting tools, techniques and equipment to return to work safely. The Western Regional Agricultural Stress Assistance Program (WRASAP) identifies the stress management resources available for farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers and seeks to reduce stigma around behavioral health concerns in rural communities. Additionally, the WSU Agricultural Suicide Prevention Pilot Program provides education on the farmer health crisis, suicide risk factors and warning signs, and evidence-based suicide prevention approaches.

1:00-2:00 - Update on WA Snowpack, Climate, and Water Conditions (Robes Parrish, WFWS) - The winter 2020-2021 generally brought abundant snowpack to much of the state, however, this was followed by an extremely dry spring. This has important considerations for water and natural resource managers, particularly as we move into the drier summer months when consumption is greatest. This talk will provide a statewide perspective on the snowpack and climatic conditions we’ve experienced since last fall with information about current hydrology and drought expectations for 2021.

Robes Parrish is a hydrologist with the US Fish & Wildlife Service Mid-Columbia FWCO office in Leavenworth. For over 16 years, Robes has worked primarily on habitat restoration project design, analysis and implementation throughout all the sub-basins of central Washington. He enjoys trying to unravel the complex and often unseen interactions between surface water, groundwater, and the species that depend on them. Although more commonly found doing the useless sport of rock climbing, he is really looking forward to fulfilling his bucket list trip paddling down the Grand Canyon this fall!

2:00-3:00 - Sustainable Farms and Fields Program: Overview, Resources, Carbon Planning (Alison Halpern, WSCC) - The Sustainable Farms and Fields (SFF) program is an exciting new grant program administered by the SCC to incentivize farmers, ranchers, and shellfish producers to increase carbon sequestration and reduce GHG emissions. Although State funding has not been appropriated for grants at this time, the program is still being developed in anticipation of rolling it out once funding has been secured. Come learn about the program basics, what we hope to accomplish with it, and how you can get ready to participate.

Food Systems (Room 4)

Monday, June 14

11:00-12:00 - The State Food System and Your Role in It (Ron Shultz, WSCC)

1:00-2:00 - Planting seeds – for food security, dignity and equity - Kitsap CD GRACE Project (Diane Fish, Kitsap CD)

2:00-3:00 - Building successful partnerships to expand farmland access and improve farm business viability (Mary Embleton, Kind CD) - Explore successful public, private, and NGO partnerships and opportunities expanding farmland access for the diversity of farmers across Washington, and look at ways these opportunities support farm viability.

Wednesday, June 16

9:00-10:00 - Top ways CDs can Support Food Access in Your Communities (Nora White, Thurston CD)

10:00-11:00 - Food Systems Communications Hub (Joe Crumbley, Snohomish CD)

11:00-12:00 - The Inextricable Link Between Sustainable Farm Economies, Flood Reduction, and Habitat Restoration (Mike Peroni, NW Ag Business Center)

1:00-2:00 - New farmer training program and future farm incubator (Kristen McIvor, Pierce CD)

Stormwater (Room 4)

Tuesday, June 15

9:00-10:00 - Using a Constructed Wetland for Treatment, Storage and Habitat (Mike Wolanek City of Arlington)

10:00-11:00 - Heritage Gardens: Water-Smart Landscaping (Heather Wendt, Benton CD) - The Benton Conservation District in partnership with the Columbia Basin Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society has developed a program designed to honor the cultural and natural heritage of the Columbia River Basin while utilizing sustainable gardening practices. Heritage Gardens are landscaped areas designed to promote the use of native plants, especially those of cultural significance; promote low-water-use landscaping and efficient irrigation methods. Join us to learn about the program, how it has grown and take a virtual tour of established gardens.

11:00-12:00 - Roadside Gardens as a Solution to Toxics in Fish (David Jackson, Snohomish CD)

1:00-2:00 - When the rubber meets the road: Tire chemicals in the toxicology of Stormwater (video with Q&A) - A presentation the describes how they identified the additive in tires that is causing pre-spawning mortality in salmon.

Education, Communication, and Outreach (ECO) (Room 1)

Monday, June 14

11:00-12:00 - Technical Assistance Taboo - Talking about "TA" in Terms that Resonate (Laura Meyer WSCC) - Want to learn how to describe one of the most critical and underfunded aspects of CD work without using jargon and lackluster terms? Come ready to share and learn new ways of talking about technical assistance using language that engages your audience.

1:00-2:00 - Adapting Education Programming to a Virtual Setting (Chris Towe Pierce CD, Kara Kaelber Franklin CD)

2:00-3:00 - Transitioning out of COVID - Discussion for Education Programming (Facilitated Discussion) GoToMeeting LINK

Tuesday, June 15

9:00-10:00 - Your County is Multi-Lingual, is Your Programming? (Rene Skaggs, Camila Matamala-Ost, & Renee Meschi, Pierce CD) - Learn how Pierce CD works with Cultural Ambassadors to co-create and bring CD programs to non-English speaking audiences. By building reciprocal relationships, Pierce CD has been able to move beyond language translation and navigate within different cultural communities. Learn common mistakes, lessons learned, and ways to get started in your own CD.

11:00-12:00 - Increasing Event Attendance through Targeted Advertising (Mark Dostal, King CD) - Learn ways to improve event attendance and stretch your marketing dollar using social media, advertising, and other forms of outreach.

Information and Technology (IT) (Room 1)

Wednesday, June 16

9:00-10:00 - Smartsheets Show & Tell (Andrew Phay, Whatcom CD; Ryan WIlliams, Cascadia CD; Sarah Jones, Snohomish CD) - We will show how multiple districts are using SmartSheets around the state. Maybe you will get a new idea you can implement for your district.

10:00-11:00 - Microsoft 365 Migration (Andrew Phay, Whatcom CD) - What you need to know when migrating to Microsoft 365. Is it worth it. What are the benefits. How to do it. Cost?

11:00-12:00 - Blended In-Person and Remote Working Options (Andrew Phay, Whatcom CD) - We've all had over a year of working remotely, so I'd like to discuss some of the successes and failures of the past 15 months that your district has had.

1:00-2:00 - Online Database Options: Farm Plans, Project Management, etc. (Andrew Phay, Whatcom CD) - What are some of the options for Databases online and managing your projects with them.

2:00-3:00 - What’s New in ArcGIS (Andrew Phay, Whatcom CD) - We will discuss new things in ArcGIS. Talk about using ArcGIS Online, Pro, Survey123. Bring your questions or solutions for the group to hear.