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eNotes: Weekly News Briefs from the National Association of Conservation Districts

February 23, 2011

Subcommittees Hold Pesticide Regulation Hearing

Last week, a House Agriculture Subcommittee and a House Transportation Subcommittee held a joint hearing to consider draft legislation on pesticides. The proposal targets a 6th Circuit Court ruling requiring pesticide users to obtain an additional permit under the Clean Water Act (CWA) for the use of pesticides.

Pesticide application is already highly-regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The draft legislation would eliminate the costly and duplicative permitting requirement.

Last year -- during the 111th Congress -- NACD supported similar legislation by Reps. Collin Peterson and Frank Lucas that would block EPA from requiring permits for pesticide application when pesticides are applied consistent with the FIFRA. NACD will continue to be closely engaged in this issue as it moves through Congress.

Houses Passes FY11 Continuing Resolution

Early Saturday morning, the House passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011. The CR cuts government spending by over $60 billion, with over $5 billion coming from agriculture appropriations. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) sustained $152.5 million in cuts.

The most critical decrease is a $51.6 million cut to the NRCS Conservation Technical Assistance account. Funding for Resource Conservation and Development was eliminated, as was funding for the Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations. In addition, the Watershed Rehabilitation Program was cut by $20 million.

The CR also cut mandatory Farm Bill programs such as the Wetlands Reserve Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program.

The Senate does not plan to take up the House CR, and will instead consider a 30-day extension of current government funding. The current CR expires March 4.

The House and Senate must reach agreement to avert a government shutdown.

America’s Great Outdoors Report Unveiled

Last week, NACD Past President Steve Robinson and NACD Board Member from Indiana Ray McCormick attended a White House event where President Barack Obama unveiled the America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) Report.

The report includes a number of recommendations, supported by President Obama, addressing public and private lands. One emphasis was the desire to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), with a portion of those funds focusing on innovative projects that support urban parks, community green spaces and landscape scale conservation.

The report was released during a tough budgetary climate, as Congress looks to make cuts. To fully fund the LWCF, the President’s FY 2012 budget, which was also released last week, proposes a landmark investment of $5.5 billion for Interior programs included within the AGO initiative, and an increase of $63.5 million to the Forest Service easement acquisition programs.

Thanks to all the conservation district representatives who participated in the America’s Great Outdoors listening sessions and to those who submitted comments to the website.

To download the AGO report and review the recommendations, visit www.americasgreatoutdoors.gov. To view President Obama’s remarks on AGO, click here.

Community Forestry Conference, Call for Presentations

The Arbor Day Foundation is calling for presentation proposals for the 5th Annual Partners in Community Forestry National Conference. Special consideration will be given to creative presentations incorporating and highlighting partnerships and collaboration, as well as those providing time for audience engagement and small group work.

Proposals are due April 1st. Presentation opportunities are available in general and breakout sessions, as well as technology trainings and panel discussions.

NACD is once again serving as a cooperator for this annual conference, designed to foster learning and sharing across traditional urban forestry groups, including conservation districts, in addition to new organizations and audiences with an interest in urban and forestry health. This unique conference serves as a platform for sharing:

  • Best practices in urban forest management
  • Sustainable partnership models
  • Innovations in community tree programs and projects
  • Recent developments in regulation

This year’s conference is scheduled for November 15-17 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World. To learn more about the conference or the proposal submission process, click here.

National Ground Water Awareness Week Scheduled for March

Everyone can be a good ground water steward: that’s the message of the 2011 National Ground Water Awareness Week, March 6-12.

How people store, use and dispose of hazardous household substances can affect ground water quality. Regular maintenance of a water well or septic system, as well as the proper decommission of an abandoned well are important components of a safe water supply.

According to the National Ground Water Association (NGWA), in addition to privately-owned wells, many public water systems use ground water – meaning everyone has a stake in ground water protection and awareness.

NGWA’s Ground Water Awareness Week web page provides action steps for ground water protection and conservation.

To learn more about National Ground Water Awareness Week or to obtain an Awareness Week logo for use in print or online, contact Cliff Treyens at ctreyens@ngwa.org.

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In this Issue

Subcommittees Hold Pesticide Regulation Hearing (read more...)

Houses Passes FY11 Continuing Resolution (read more...)

America’s Great Outdoors Report Unveiled (read more...)

Community Forestry Conference, Call for Presentations (read more...)

National Ground Water Awareness Week Scheduled for March (read more...)

Scroll down for additional
news briefs:

590 Comments Deadline

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590 Comments Deadline

The deadline to comment on the revised NRCS 590 nutrient management standard is fast approaching. The new standard would establish minimum nutrient management requirements for producers.

The comment period ends Friday, February 25.

For more information on the revised standard and how to comment click here.

NACD Events Calendar

For additional details regarding the meetings listed below, click here.

  • July 16-17, NACD Summer Board Meeting, Washington, D.C.
  • July 17-19, NACD Summer Legislative Conference, Washington, D.C.
  • July 31-August 2, Southeast Region Meeting, Alabama
  • August 7-9, South Central Region Meeting, Oklahoma City, OK

NACD | 509 Capitol Court, NE | Washington, D.C. 20002 | (202) 547-6223 | www.nacdnet.org

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