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

August 30, 2011

NACD Accepting Nominations for National Awards

NACD’s awards season is in full swing, with one month left to submit your nomination for the following awards:

The NACD Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual within the association who has made significant contributions to the conservation and proper management of our nation’s natural resources. Nominees can be involved with districts or the association at any level. Past officers are also eligible.

The NACD Friend of Conservation Award recognizes an individual, business, organization, or agency outside the association for outstanding contributions to the conservation of our nation’s natural resources. Any individual, business, organization or agency that is not directly associated with conservation districts at the local, state or national level is eligible to receive this award.

The AEM/NACD Partnership Award has two categories of recognition for conservation districts: (1) Excellence in Conservation Equipment and Technology Use and (2) Defining Conservation Needs for the Future. The winners of the AEM/NACD Partnership Awards will each receive $2,000.

Consider this an opportunity to give national recognition to those who do excellent work for conservation. All award winners will be honored at the NACD Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, and will receive one-day complimentary registration for the event.

For more information on these awards, click here. The deadline for nominations is September 30.

Kansas Conservationist Testifies at Senate Farm Bill Hearing

Last week, Kansas farmer and conservationist Ronald Brown testified at a field hearing held by the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee in Wichita, Kan. The hearing focused on issues surrounding the 2012 Farm Bill. A lifelong resident of Fort Scott, Brown serves as president of the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts (KACD) and on NACD’s Board of Directors.

Brown urged Congress to, at a minimum, maintain the mandatory conservation funding levels as agreed in the 2008 Farm Bill. He also called for full funding of technical assistance to help farmers, ranchers and landowners continue their critical role in protecting our nation’s air, water and soil.

“Partnerships on the local, state and federal level are essential for coordinating and streamlining these efforts,” said Brown. “The 2012 Farm Bill should be developed to ensure those partnerships and coordination of effort.”

With Kansas currently facing severe drought conditions, Brown underscored the importance of effective farming and soil conservation practices— not only to the state's economy but also to its’ citizens quality of life.

To view Brown’s full testimony, click here.

Conference Call Addresses Drought

As Hurricane Irene dumped buckets of rain across the Northeast, there are states across the Southern U.S. that would welcome even a small amount of rainfall this season. Texas and Oklahoma are leading the way, setting records for single-year droughts, but conditions are bad in NACD’s Southeast Region states, including Tennessee and South Carolina.

Last week, the NACD Southeast and South Central Regions hosted a conference call to discuss the drought and options to address drought-related issues. The discussion centered on problems with crop insurance, forage replanting and a variety of other issues.

NACD Vice President Earl Garber also participated in the call. Garber assured attendees that NACD would continue to work with the states to address the drought.

USDA Announces CIG Recipients

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the winning proposals for the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). CIG is a voluntary program intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Grants are awarded to state and local governments, tribes, non-governmental organizations and individuals. Grant winners pay 50 percent of project costs.

Thirteen projects, covering 40 states, were awarded this year. The Maryland Association of Soil Conservation District was awarded $73,500 for conservation outreach to non-English-speaking poultry producers in Maryland and Delaware.

For more information on CIG and the winning proposals, click here.

EPA Withdraws Numeric Turbidity Limit for Construction

Recently, the U.S. Enviromental Protection Association (EPA) announced that it would reconsider a nationwide cap on the amount of sediment allowed in stormwater runoff from construction sites.

In 2009, EPA issued a final numeric limit for turbidity, which established enforceable numeric limitations on stormwater discharges from construction and development sites. Subsequently, the EPA withdrew the limit to correct a calculation error. They submitted a new rule in December 2010 but withdrew it last Wednesday to seek additional data.

The Small Business Association and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) have been critics of the rule, claiming it was based on flawed analyses. The NAHB sued the EPA over the rule 18 months ago, and has argued for best management practices instead of a numeric limit. Industry estimated that it would cost $10 billion/year to comply with the turbidity rule.

For more information, click here.

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In this Issue

NACD Accepting Nominations for National Awards (read more...)

Kansas Conservationist Testifies at Senate Farm Bill Hearing (read more...)

Conference Call Addresses Drought (read more...)

USDA Announces CIG Recipients (read more...)

EPA Withdraws Numeric Turbidity Limit for Construction (read more...)

Scroll down for additional
news briefs:

District Official Training Deadline is December 1

Note from the Editor

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District Official Training Deadline is December 1

NACD's District Official State Training Recognition Program, established in the spring of 2010, recognizes states that have developed and implemented a statewide district official training program.

To be recognized under the program, states must apply and self-assess that their state training program for district officials meets at least 50 percent of the minimum training elements. For more information and to view the checklist, click here.

If your state wishes to be considered for recognition this year, simply fill out the checklist and email your materials by December 1 to Phylis Vandevere Brooks at phylis-vandevere@nacdnet.org or via post at 110 Fairchild Cove, Canton, MS 39046. If you have questions, please contact Phylis at 601-941-8251.

Note from the Editor

Due to the Labor Day holiday weekend, the next issue of eNotes will arrive in your inbox on Wednesday, September 6.

NACD Events Calendar

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

  • September 26-29, Southwest-Pacific Region Meeting, Taos, NM
  • November 10, NAFB Trade Talk, Kansas City, MO
  • January 29-February 1, NACD 2012 Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV

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

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