News Archives

 

2014 Conservation District Supervisor Training

A district supervisor training will be held February 13 - 14, 2014 in Salt Lake City. To view the agenda, click here. To register, email Sherie Edginton or call 801-538-7120. A block of rooms is reserved at the Holiday Inn in Salt Lake for February 12th and 13th. Reserve rooms by calling 801-741-1500 by January 29th to receive the group discount. Click here for a registration form.

 

Sage-Grouse Initiative (SGI) National Report for 2012 Released

The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has released the 2012 report on the Sage-Grouse Initiative. To read the progress report, click here.

 

2013 Utah Envirothon Held in Richfield

The 2013 Utah Envirothon was held in Richfield, UT on April 26th & 27th. Zone staff, CD board members and supervisors, and UACD staff participated in the organization and management of the event. The Envirothon provided an opportunity for high school students from around that state to participate in a competion designed to test their natural resource conservation skills and knowledge. For more information, click here.

envirothon
envirothon
envirothon

 

 

Tribute to Bill Rigby

Bill Rigby

William Barnes “Bill” Rigby passed away at the end of February 2013. Bill was a Davis Conservation District Supervisor for 29 years. Read a tribute to Bill, written by Jake Jacobson, here.

 

 

2013 Zone Meetings

President Wendell Stembridge and VP Robert Barry recently completed a tour of the state, attending seven UACD spring zone meetings. The last meeting, March 28, 2013, was held at the new Scheels store in Sandy. Zone meetings are held annually, and conservation districts receive information and education, conduct elections, etc. At the Zone 2 meeting, Nile Carlson (Davis CD) was elected for a two year term to the UACD board. Doug Bateman (Salt Lake CD), Nile Carlson, and Scott Pearson (Shambip CD) were nominated for consideration of the governor for appointment to the Utah Conservation Commission.

zone meetings

Two supervisors were honored: William B. Rigby (Davis CD) and Bob Durbay (Grantsville CD) had served for many years and recently passed on.  Pictured are Billy and Helen Rigby, UACD board members Nile Carlson (and his wife) and Doug Bateman, and Jake and Annette Jacobson. The Davis Conservation District has appointed Jake Jacobson to fill the term of Bill Rigby.

 

District Supervisors Attend Day at Utah Legislature

supervisor training
Senator David Hinkins and Senator Ralph Okerlund addressed the Utah conservation district supervisors attending the UACD supervisor training and two days at the Utah Legislature. Those attending were recognized by Rep. Rhonda Menlove from the floor of the House on Feb. 15, 2013 and, following, observed Rep. John Mathis present S.B. 148, Conservation District Amendments, which was on the House Consent Calendar. The new law allows for a district to close a public meeting to advise the NRCS on conservation plans that contain private information. It passed with full support of the House of Representatives, was to be sent to the Senate President for signature, and then will be enrolled and go to Governor Herbert for his signature.

 

UACD Signs Cooperative Agreement with NRCS

UACD siging NRCS agreement
In January 2013, The UACD signed a new three year agreement with NRCS for conservation planning and engineering. Utah State Conservationist David Brown (NRCS) has committed NRCS funding for approximately the next six months and expects to amend the agreement with additional funds as federal budgets are approved. Similar agreements are expected with seven Utah CDs in all, totaling $848,127. The cooperative agreements are funded by a combination of federal, state, and conservation district monies; the UACD agreements require a 50 percent match to federal funds and the CD agreement in the first year requires a 25 percent match. Click here to view the agreement.

 

Farm Bill Section 1619, Information Gathering, Protection of Private Information

At the UACD annual convention a resolution passed seeking legislative changes that would allow a CD to close a public meeting to protect the confidentiality of private information. NRCS has not brought to Utah CDs producer conservation plans to review or approve since Utah open meeting laws do not allow for a district to close a public meeting. The federal Farm Bill Section 1619 prohibits the public release of private information contained and agricultural producer conservation plans. The resolution asks UACD to work 1) to amend the Utah Conservation District Law and 2) with NRCS to assure the agency’s policy allows CDs the review of producer conservation plans. You can help to make this change.

How: Supervisors, please consider participating in the UACD Day at the Legislature and/or the Supervisors Education offered February 14-15, 2013 at the Utah Capitol. For more information, click here.

 

New NRCS Chief

new chief Weller
On Dec. 3, 2012, Dave White, Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) retired. Jason Weller was named the Acting NRCS Chief. To see an article featuring Weller, click here.

 

 

2012 UACD Convention - Power at the Grassroots

President and VP with congressional members
Approximately 200 people, including 79 Utah CD supervisors, attended the UACD Annual Convention on Nov. 8-9, 2012 in Provo, UT. Kamas Valley CD Chairman Wendell Stembridge was elected for a second term as President, as was San Juan CD Chairman Bob Barry as Vice President. This photo shows President Wendell Stembridge and VP Bob Barry with Representative Melvin Brown and Senator David Hinkins, who spoke and answered questions following Friday’s business session. Click here for the president's report. Also, view here the February 3, 2012 audit request “Governance of Utah’s Conservation Districts”, which has just now been initiated. Click here to view pictures from the convention.

 

Wild Horse and Burro Meeting

ranch mustangs
On Monday, October 29, the UACD provided comments to the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Committee meeting in Salt Lake City. See the attached letter here for additional information.

Photo credit: Tammy Pearson (Twin M CD Manager).

 

September Zone Happenings

Zone 1 held their annual "Grill Your District" Day and participated in the fourth-grade Natural Resource Field Days up Logan Canyon. Zone 2 held several events in September, including Grill Your District, Farm Field Day, and a farmers' market booth. They also moved their main office to Salt Lake City. Zone 5 co-sponsored their annual Upper Sevier River Watershed Tour in Panguitch Valley. Zone 7 co-sponsored a tour of the Seeley Fire area. For more details on these and other stories, click here.

 

UCC Regional Coordinating Council Meeting

UCC quarterly meeting
The quarterly meeting of the Utah Conservation Commission for the Rich, Cache, and Box Elder Counties was well supported and highlighted a number of important conservation issues; fire management, proposed Utah Environmental Stewardship Program, and regulatory and public pressures on cattle grazing adjacent to Bear Lake. Participating were staff professionals from five conservation districts, the Utah Grazing Improvement Program, NRCS, and USU Extension/Utah Division of Water Quality. The new coordinating councils, seven covering the state of Utah, are expected to improve coordination among Utah’s conservation partners and have the opportunity to raise important local/regional issues to the Utah Conservation Commission.

 

NACD SW Pacific Region Meeting

NACD regional meeting
At Gooding Farms, near Boise, ID, conservation district supervisors saw the harvesting of hops close-up. The two day NACD SW and Pacific Region meeting was informative for national and western conservation programs and issues. Supervisors and agency professionals attended from eleven western states. CD supervisors from Utah included Wendell Stembridge (Kamas CD), Sid Smart (Alpine CD), and Lloyd Jessop (Dixie CD).

 

NACD/UACD Represented at ACWA Meeting

Gordon Younker, UACD’s EVP represented NACD at the Association of Clean Water Administrators (ACWA) annual meeting in Park City, Utah August 12-15, 2012. He with Commissioner Leonard Blackham and Utah Water Quality Director Walt Baker were part of a panel, “Wrestling the 800 Pound Gorilla: Innovative Nutrient Partnerships.” Click here for Mr. Younker’s report. State water quality administrators and the EPA addressed the progress and future challenges at the now 40 year anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water Act.

The ACWA program devoted significant time interchange and discussion between topic panel members and those attending from throughout the United States. A consistent theme was the emphasis for states to deliver federal clean water mandates through partnerships with NGOs, and very often, conservation districts were mentioned with appreciation.

ACWA Meeting

Left to right: Jeff Manning, ACWA Climate Adaptation Committee, NC Dept. of Environment & Natural Resources; Don Parrish, American Farm Bureau Federation; Gordon Younker, UACD; Pixie Hamilton, USGS Cooperative Water Programs; Commissioner Leonard Blackham, Utah Department of Ag. & Food; Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, ACWA Executive Director & General Counsel; and Walter Baker, ACWA President & Director Utah Division of Water Quality.

 

UACD Annual Employee Meeting Held in June

The UACD held their annual employee meeting on June 28-29, 2012 in Provo, Utah. Employees spent the afternoon at Seven Peaks before the meetings began.

seven peaks seven peaks seven peaks

 

UACD Board Goes Paperless

UACD board
Pictured left, in June 2012, the UACD board and zone coordinators receive training on the use of their new iPads, acquired to cut back on paper use and to provide a way to share information in an efficient timeline.

 

 

UCC Field Day

The Utah Conservation Commission Field Day was held in May 2012. Click here to view a slideshow of the event.

 

2012 UDAF Review

On April 30, 2012, UACD participated with others, including Utah Conservation Commission members, four legislators, four county commissioners, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, at a review planned by Commissioner Leonard Blackham. The review was the result of nearly six months of dialog between UACD and the Commissioner in response to an October 19th 2011 report to Governor Herbert, Optimizing and Streamlining State Government. Recommendation #25 asked to evaluate UACD for coordination with the Department of Agriculture and accountability for State funds. UACD’s President and Executive Vice President participated and presented information. President Stembridge spoke on Utah’s conservation district principles and UACD positions (click here to read).

UDAF Review
Pictured (right to left) are UDAF NW Area GIP Coordinator Troy Forrest, UACD Board member Spencer Holmgren, GIP State Board Member Jay Tanner, Box Elder County Commissioner LuAnn Adams, and UACD Zone Coordinator Bracken Henderson. Like others participating, they had been encouraged to cooperate to hire a conservation district manager for Box Elder County. 

 

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