NACD Announces Climate Action Task Force

CONTACT: Sara Kangas, NACD Director of Communications
(202) 547-6223; sara-kangas[at]


April 22, 2021


WASHINGTON – Today, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) announced the formation of a Climate Action Task Force to assess current and emerging climate policy opportunities and make recommendations to NACD’s leadership that utilize the technical knowledge and expertise of conservation districts as part of the U.S. solution to the global climate crisis.

“Conservation districts provide an invaluable service in all communities across the U.S. and stand ready to amplify the work yet to be done for the strength of our nation in three important areas: climate mitigation, wildfire preparedness and environmental services,” said NACD President Michael Crowder.

“We’ve known since the first conservation districts were created in the 1930’s that soil can be made healthy again,” he said. “It’s important to keep locally-led conservation at the forefront of U.S. climate mitigation efforts to set strong direction that also serves the needs of local communities.”

President Crowder selected NACD Immediate Past President Tim Palmer to lead the task force, which combines the unique experiences and perspectives of diverse, nationally leading conservation experts on natural resource systems, including cropland, grassland, forestry, tribal lands and urban agriculture, across all parts of the American landscape, to propose new ideas for how conservation districts and our partners can support communities in this area of increased need and opportunity.

NACD’s longstanding leadership in addressing soil health, embedded in the knowledge and expertise of its 3,000 conservation districts and the more than 17,000 women and men who serve on their governing boards, is needed now more than ever to make a positive impact on strategies to address the climate crisis. Conservation practices that are trusted and familiar to landowners can play a critical role in climate change mitigation and healthy farm, ranch, tribal and forestry economies.

“The task force members have a keen knowledge – from different perspectives – of how utilizing continuously refined and emerging practices can help our soils and ecosystems produce climate benefits,” Palmer said.

Members of the Climate Action Task Force include:

  • Dr. Mahdi M. Al-Kaisi, Professor of Soil Physics, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University; American Society of Agronomy Fellow; Soil Science Society of America Fellow; and Soil and Water Conservation Society Fellow
  • Arthur “Butch” Blazer, former president, Mescalero Apache Tribe; former Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment; former New Mexico State Forester
  • Ryan Britt, Missouri farmer, NACD Board Member, National Conservation Foundation Next Generation Leadership Institute Member; Missouri Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts President
  • Jimmy Emmons, NACD Soil Health Champion, Dewey County Commissioner, Oklahoma; No-Till on the Plains Vice President; Leopold Conservation Award Winner
  • Joe Fox, National Association of State Foresters President and Arkansas State Forester
  • James Gulliford, former Administrator, EPA Region 7; former Soil and Water Conservation Society Executive Director
  • Leonard Jordan, former Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Acting Chief, Associate Chief for Conservation, Eastern Regional Conservationist, and State Conservationist in Ga., Wash.
  • Cindy Lair, Colorado Department of Agriculture, Conservation Services Division Director; former president, National Association of State Conservation Agencies
  • Ray McCormick, lifelong conservationist and 2010 Indiana Master Farmer
  • Tim Palmer, NACD Immediate Past President and Iowa farmer
  • Laura Wood Peterson, President, LWP Consulting
  • Dr. Victoria Reinhardt, Ramsey County Commissioner, St. Paul, Minn.; National Association of Counties; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Government Advisory Committee; Chair of the Recycling Association of Minnesota
  • Dr. Karen Waldrop, Chief Conservation Officer for Ducks Unlimited, Inc.

Learn more about the task force on NACD’s website.


About the National Association of Conservation Districts:

The National Association of Conservation Districts is the nonprofit organization that represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, their state and territory associations and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. For more than 70 years, local conservation districts have worked with cooperating landowners and managers of private working lands to help them plan and apply effective conservation practices. For more information about NACD, visit:

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