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
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
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
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,
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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