As part of a six-month series on district operations, the Did You Know? monthly feature in eResource will highlight chapters of the NACD District Outlook Task Force report: “Blueprint for Locally-Led Conservation – A Strategy for District Success and Sustainability” (available here on our website). This month’s chapter tackles training.
Conservation district supervisors are local public officials that provide leadership and direction to conservation districts within their state. They serve without significant compensation and are either elected or appointed to their position depending on the state’s enabling legislation. Districts don’t just represent rural communities – they have a broad membership representing rural, suburban, and urban conservation interests.
Conservation districts also employ a diverse array of folks with different skill sets and backgrounds. To ensure and maintain uniformity and a level of competency in the conservation delivery system, it is important that all employees receive administrative, public outreach, legislative, and technical training.
Recommendations for Districts:
Every conservation district needs to develop and implement a training plan. A successful training plan should utilize existing district official training programs and checklists to provide training on:
- State enabling legislation and the history of conservation districts
- The roles, responsibilities, and structure of federal, state, and local conservation partnerships, as well as an understanding of the programs and services they provide
- Legal and fiscal requirements and responsibilities of district supervisors and staff
- Hosting and/or leading open public meetings and appropriate parliamentary procedures
- Ethics and conflicts of interest
- Financial statements, budgets, audits, and reporting requirements
- Fundraising objectives and procedures
- Annual, long-range, and strategic plan development
- Leadership and management
- Communications and outreach
- Grant writing
- Educational programming
- Conducting reviews and evaluations