Five Things to Know

February 4, 2021

Today is National Optimist Day

1. WACD Legislative Week moved to March

Yesterday, we announced to conservation district board chairs and managers that our statewide Legislative Week is pushed back to March. The new Legislative Week is Wednesday to Wednesday, March 10-17, 2021. Learn more: https://wadistricts.org/2021/02/revised-dates-for-wacd-legislative-week

2. Legislative flavor this week

With the policy cutoff date drawing near, the flood of legislation we usually see at the start of session is now a mere trickle. This is the last week that new bills have a high likelihood of passage. Of note this week is Senate Bill 5404 (impacts of pinnipeds on orca prey) and SB 5411 (safe harbor agreement on forestlands for northern spotted owls). We are also watching HB 1478 which would allow federally recognized tribes to sponsor fish habitat enhancement projects. Learn more: https://hub.wadistricts.org/2021/02/legislative-flavor-february-4-2021/

3. Meet "the Hub"

A longer explanation of the Hub is found below in the Executive Corner column. We are beginning to move content that is focused on members and partners to a special site called the WACD Hub, or just the Hub. Read the Executive Corner piece below or jump to the still-rough-around-the-edges Hub. Hit the Hub: https://hub.wadistricts.org

4. WACD/WSCC joint elections committee

Many in our conservation district community saw the recent message from the Washington State Conservation Commission regarding seeking volunteers to serve on an election reform committee. This will be a joint committee of the Washington State Conservation Commission and the Washington Association of Conservation Districts. Read the request: https://hub.wadistricts.org/2021/02/seeking-cd-volunteers-to-serve-on-election-reform-committee/

5. Coming up

A few notable events/meetings are just around the corner!

More from WACD

  • We don't have a weekly PMC update for you this week. Bill Mulder, our Farm Operations Supervisor is out so PMC Nursery Manager Jim Brown has been pulling double duty this week. See our PMC staff at https://wacdpmc.org/about-us. We'll get an update posted soon.
  • WACD Executive Office staff are also pulling double duty, attending to legislative issues while simultaneously attending the NACD annual meeting. We remain available to our members for questions and assistance.
  • View the current WACD Reading List.
  • If you aren't yet a Friend of NACD, considering learning more and contributing to that worthy program at https://www.nacdnet.org/get-involved/friends-of-nacd/. Your support helps to provide grants to conservation districts.
  • Speaking of NACD, don't forget to visit their National Conservation Foundation online auction. WACD contributed four items (Deluxe Frasier River Salmon Gift Pack, Willapa Valley Lavender Farm Love Spa Box, Hand Warmer Mug, Bunnies By The Bay - Camp Cricket set) that are getting some attention.

Executive Corner

Dear [subscriber:firstname | default:reader],

The survey results about the 5 Things newsletter are interesting. The individual comments were also interesting because several presented exactly opposite desires. Specifically, one group of comments amounted to: make the newsletter shorter. Another group pretty much said: we like it long and in-depth so keep it the way it is.

Those opposite points of view pose a challenging conundrum. How do we satisfy both desires? In fact, can we satisfy both perspectives?

Yes, we can. We can make the newsletter shorter and still provide access to more content. The way we are going to do that is to build a separate website to provide the more detailed information that our members and partners want. We can then insert links to that content into the 5 Things newsletter and that will result in a shorter newsletter while simultaneously giving folks the ability to click a link to dive deeper into specific topics.

This feels like a win-win and we wouldn't have traveled this path without your helpful feedback. Thank you for the help!

We have already started to build out the special site and we are calling it the Hub. Content will be focused on information of interest and importance to members and partners. Once we finish moving member-focused content from the main website to the Hub, we'll remove it from the main website. That will allow us to present clearer messaging to the general public on the main site and still provide more focused content for you.

You can check out the unfinished site at https://hub.wadistricts.org. Our goal wasn't to make it particularly pretty or glitzy. Instead, we're trying to address the desire that several people expressed: lean toward a utilitarian presentation rather than lose people in fancy layout and graphics.

Most of the content on the Hub is public. But we also have the ability to restrict some content and there are some bits and pieces that are protected. We do this to reduce the incidence of things like email harvesting. Specifically, the Excel spreadsheets we public with regional lists of email addresses for conservation district supervisors, chairs, and managers would make it easy for spammers to harvest that content. Thus, we provide a layer of protection to help protect you.

When you see a protected part, use the same general password we've had for the main site: *password removed*.

We're about 30 hours into this website build and there is still time to give us early feedback. It is a work in progress. As we've demonstrated, we're going to listen and try to satisfy your requests, so please do share your thoughts with us.

As always, I appreciate your thoughts, so do feel free to respond!

Thank you,

Tom Salzer, Executive Director
(360) 999-5151 X101

We appreciate our great sponsors!

Many thanks to our generous sponsors for helping us support Washington State's conservation districts. Find links to these organizations at https://wadistricts.org/sponsors
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