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

May 10, 2011

Register Today for NACD’s 2011 Legislative Conference

Join conservation leaders from across the country on July 18-19 in Washington, D.C. at NACD’s 2011 Legislative Conference. This year, participants will receive an update on conservation and land issues from Marcilynn Burke, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), among other agency heads. The conference will also feature expert panels on TMDL and the Chesapeake Bay.

As usual, take advantage of this opportunity to meet with your members of Congress and talk about conservation policy and the work of districts at the local level. The conference is a great time to interact with Capitol Hill staff and learn about the latest 2012 Farm Bill developments. Your voice on Capitol Hill can be powerful; do not miss the chance to make your message heard!

Stick around on Wednesday, July 20, for a special grassroots advocacy workshop titled “Kicking Your Conservation Message into High Gear.” The workshop, hosted by Beekeeper Group, provides direction on strengthening your messages and communication tools.

To register for the 2011 Legislative Conference and the “Kicking Your Conservation Message into High Gear” workshop, click here.

NACD President Responds to New York Times Article on Dust, Drought

NACD President Gene Schmidt submitted the following Letter to the Editor of the New York Times in response to an article regarding the Dust Bowl and the recent drought situation in Oklahoma:

“While the Dust Bowl of the 1930s was indeed an epic disaster, the author of ‘Survivor of the Dust Bowl now Battles a Fiercer Drought,’ is correct in saying it’s unlikely to happen again. Unfortunately, the article neglects to explain why.

“It‘s not by chance that we haven’t seen 1930s-level dust storms in recent years. It’s the result of careful planning and implementation of conservation practices on the land. In direct response to the Dust Bowl, local landowners formed soil conservation districts in every state across the nation. Today, nearly 3,000 conservation districts are helping local communities conserve natural resources.

“Much of this work would not be possible without support from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency. To reduce the chances of a repeat “dirty thirties,” and to help minimize the impact of other major weather events across the nation, it’s critical Congress upholds the conservation title of the Farm Bill and provides USDA with the resources to continue providing conservation technical assistance. Without support for these programs, we’ll be gambling with our nation’s land and food security.”

EPA Launches Green Infrastructure Strategy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a new strategy to promote the use of green infrastructure by cities and towns to reduce stormwater runoff. According to EPA, green infrastructure decreases pollution to local waterways by treating rain where it falls and keeping polluted stormwater from entering sewer systems.

In addition to protecting Americans' health by decreasing water pollution, green infrastructure provides many community benefits, including increased economic activity and neighborhood revitalization, job creation, energy savings and increased recreational and green space. Examples of effective green infrastructure tools and techniques include green roofs, permeable materials, alternative designs for streets and buildings, trees, rain gardens and rain harvesting systems.

To learn more, visit www.epa.gov/greenin.

Seed Grants Awarded for Greenways Projects

The annual Kodak American Greenways Award Program offers seed grants for work in expanding America’s network of greenways, blueways, trails and natural areas.

This year, the program anticipates awarding up to fifty percent of the grants to projects demonstrating the convergence of economic prosperity and the environment. Most grants range from $500 - $1,000 with a maximum grant of $2,500.

Projects that are typically funded advance one or more of the following goals:

  • Catalyzing new greenway projects
  • Assisting grassroots greenway organizations
  • Leveraging additional money for conservation and greenway
  • development
  • Promoting use and enjoyment of greenways

This year’s application deadline is June 15. Visit the following link for more information and to apply online www.conservationfund.org/kodak_awards. The program is a collaboration of Eastman Kodak Company, The Conservation Fund and the National Geographic Society.

FWS Finalizes Gray Wolf Management Rule

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published the final rule to remove gray wolves from the federal Endangered Species Act’s list for the Northern Rocky Mountain Distinct Population Segment, encompassing Idaho, Montana, and parts of Oregon, Washington and Utah. Under the rule, these states will have authority to manage their individual gray wolf populations at the state level.

The recently-enacted Fiscal Year 2011 appropriations bill directed FWS to remove the gray wolf from federal protection in a portion of the Northern Rocky Mountain region. While the budget rider does not remove the gray wolf from federal protection in Wyoming, is working with the state to develop a wolf-management plan that would allow wolves in Wyoming to be removed from the list in the future.

In addition to the delisting, FWS has published a proposed rule to remove gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes area, which includes Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin. More information on the gray wolf population in the Midwest region can be found at www.fws.gov/midwest/wolf/.

Comments to the proposed rule can be made by July 5 by going to the Federal eRulemaking Portal located at www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. [FWS-R3-ES-2011-0029].

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In this Issue

Register Today for NACD’s 2011 Legislative Conference (read more...)

NACD President Responds to New York Times Article on Dust, Drought (read more...)

EPA Launches Green Infrastructure Strategy (read more...)

Seed Grants Awarded for Greenways Projects (read more...)

FWS Finalizes Gray Wolf Management Rule (read more...)

Scroll down for additional
news briefs:

Note from the Editor

National Walk in the Woods Day

Construction General Permit (CGP) Webcast

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Note from the Editor

Due to staff travel, the next regular issue of eNotes will arrive in your inbox on Tuesday, May 24.

National Walk in the Woods Day

Saturday, May 21 is National Walk in the Woods Day, an event celebrating the 2011 International Year of Forests. The day encourages children and adults alike to visit a city or state park, a private woodland, or a national park and take a walk in the woods.

Designated by the United Nations General Assembly, 2011 International Year of Forests is designed to raise awareness of sustainable forest management and forest conservation.

Click here to learn more about activities that celebrate our forests.

Construction General Permit (CGP) Webcast

EPA will host a webcast on Tuesday, May 24 from 1-3:00 p.m. (EST) to discuss the proposed Construction General Permit (CGP).

The webcast will introduce owners and operators of construction sites, members of the public, and state or tribal permitting authorities to the new requirements of the proposed CGP.

To register for this free webcast, visit www.epa.gov/npdes/training.

NACD Events Calendar

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

  • May 17-20, State Association Executive Directors' Conference, Solomons, Maryland
  • June 5-6, Northern Plains Region Leaders Meeting, Hot Springs, South Dakota
  • July 16-17, NACD Summer Board Meeting, Washington, D.C.
  • July 18-19, NACD Summer Legislative Conference, Washington, D.C.
  • July 31-August 2, Southeast Region Meeting, Orange Beach, Alabama
  • August 7-9, South Central Region Meeting, Oklahoma City, OK
  • August 7-10, Northeast Region Meeting, Plymouth, MA
  • September 26-29, Southwest-Pacific Region Meeting, Taos, NM

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

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