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Five Things to Know

January 14, 2021

The 67th Legislature is in session

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Survey reminder: we need your help

Only seven people have responded to our survey about this 5 Things newsletter. We would like to hear your views. We are beginning to adjust the 5 Things newsletter as we see your responses so now is the time to help us deliver what you most want! Please take a few minutes to respond.

1. WACD scholarships to NACD annual conference

WACD will cover the registration to the NACD Annual Meeting for one district supervisor from each of our 45 conservation districts!

To receive this benefit, your district needs to send the name of the board supervisor and his/her email address to Ryan Baye by January 22nd. For more information about the NACD annual conference, visit NACD’s conference website (https://events.bizzabo.com/NACD/home).

Potential conference highlights include: a presentation in part by Laura Johnson on district communications, a session hosted by Pierce CD on two of their projects (Floodplains by Design and a new carbon credit program), and the inauguration of NACD President-Elect Michael Crowder.

2. WACD Legislative Week

In years past, conservation districts braved the snow and traffic to come to Olympia for a Legislative Day. This year, as we adjust to a virtual legislative session, WACD is declaring February 8-12 “WACD Legislative Week”.

We are asking for districts that plan on meeting with their legislators during session to aim for that week as we convey a virtual message of voluntary, incentive-based conservation. As in previous years, WACD is ready to assist in scheduling appointments. Please contact Ryan Baye rbaye@wadistricts.org if that is of interest to you.

In the next few weeks, WACD will provide some handouts that districts can share with legislators to supplement your local district priorities around the biennium budget and highlighting the benefits of CD programs that receive state funding.

3. Working with the 67th Legislature

How the Legislature will function this year As requested by several folks, we've published a summary of how to work with the Legislature this session. That summary is publicly available on our blog in the story titled Welcome to the 2021 regular session of the Washington State Legislature. Brynn Brady (Ceiba Consulting) contributed this information to aid our conservation district members.

WACD's legislative updates During session, WACD prepares weekly legislative updates for the benefits of our membership interested in Olympia activities during legislative sessions. These are written on Mondays, looking at the legislative activity from the week just passed and what we expect in the week ahead.

This year, we will not be emailing out those updates. Instead, they will be posted on the Members page of the WACD website, under the Budget/Legislative Tab. Use the password *password removed* to access that part of our website.

4. WACD PMC has half-a-million plants in cooler

Harvest at WACD's Plant Materials Center is continuing on schedule but shipping is slower than usual. As of January 14th, 760,000 plants have been harvested and only 250,000 have been shipped. That means there are half-a-million plants in the cooler. More information is available in the "More from the WACD Plant Materials Center" section.

5. Coming up

A few notable events/meetings are just around the corner!
  • January 18 meeting: WACD Board of Directors work session
  • January 20 3-4pm and January 26 3-4 pm: Webinar for teachers to learn more about being an adviser for an Envirothon team! For more information and registration see link: http://snocd.org/Envirothon101Webinar (this year's state competition will be hosted virtually May 17-21, 2021).
  • January 21 meeting: WSCC regular meeting
  • January 21 webinar: Contagious Culture, Contagious YOU. Sponsored by NCDEA. Use “National Conservation District Employees Association” as your organization when registering. "Your success and influence as a professional depends upon your ability to relate to others, to create impact with your clients and team, and in being an inspiring authentic human to be with. It's the quality of your presence that ultimately determines your ability to succeed -- your presence is your impact, and for good or bad, you are contagious."
  • February 1-10 meeting: NACD 75th Annual Meeting
  • February 8 meeting: SoilCon: Washington Soil Health Week
  • February 8-12: WACD Legislative Week (stay tuned for more information)
Declare your intent, express your agenda and motives. Then be true to your intent.

Executive Corner

Dear [subscriber:firstname | default:reader],

In response to the small number of surveys we've received, I'm scaling back on some parts of this edition of WACD's 5 Things newsletter. This week the reduction is in the Executive Corner content.

Please help us understand what is most important to you by responding to our 5 Things survey!

Thank you,

Tom Salzer, Executive Director
exec@wadistricts.org
(360) 999-5151 X101

More from the WACD Plant Materials Center

COVID-19 Update – Everyone at the PMC continues to be COVID-free and nobody is out due to quarantine. That is always welcome news, but it is particularly welcome now when Skagit county is experiencing the predicted post-holiday surge in cases. The Skagit County Health Department reported yesterday that there were 96 new cases on Monday. The PMC will continue to follow all appropriate protocols to try to continue to remain COVID-free.

Sales – As of January 13th, the PMC has posted $946,368 in sales for the 2020-21 season. Unfortunately, we do not have sales figures for January 2020, but sales last year on 2/11/20 were $1,088,209. It remains to be seen if enough additional sales can come in by 2/11/21 to catch up to where we were last year, but it is certainly possible. Sales on 1/8/19 were $873,000 so we are ahead of 2019 so far. It should be noted that the sales posted in the sales report differs from the Plant Sales Revenue figure posted on the P&L and Income reports, which only reflect what has been shipped, invoiced, and paid for so far. Those numbers should match at the end of the season when all posted sales have been invoiced and paid.

Harvest Harvest at WACD's Plant Materials Center is continuing on schedule but shipping is slower than usual. As of January 14th, 760,000 plants have been harvested and only 250,000 have been shipped. That means there are half-a-million plants in the cooler. The photo below shows an increasingly full cooler. At this rate the cooler will be full sometime next week. That will necessitate bringing in the first refrigerated trailer next week, about three weeks earlier than usual. A second trailer will be needed the following week with a third sometime after that.

Upcoming Holidays – With the harvest and shipping season in full swing, the PMC works on MLK Day on January 18th and Presidents Day on February 15th. Since they are holidays that are among those observed by WACD they are floated and employees can take them later at a more convenient time. This allows the PMC to ship on those days and there are always several customers who request just that.

Life Goes On – It can be said that these are uncertain times and it is always good to have a safe space during difficult periods. The natural world is such a place. In spite of the heated rhetoric and facts being spun to fit one’s narrative, the rhythms and patterns in nature remain constant and reassuring. The earth continues to rotate at 1,000 mph providing sunrises every 23 hours 56 minutes 4.1 seconds while orbiting around the sun at 67,000 mph in a solar system that is moving at 448,000 mph through the galaxy.

The Red Flowering Currant will be in bloom next month which will coincide with the return of the Rufous Hummingbird. The flora around us will begin leafing out soon thereafter which results in a discernable increase in atmospheric oxygen and corresponding decrease in carbon dioxide. No matter who says what in centers of government, on social media, or in one’s community, these phenomena will continue. That gives hope, perspective, and commonality for all of us sharing and benefitting from a very special place. Let’s be considerate of it and one another.
Plant cooler, January 14, 2021
Plant cooler
Sunrise at the PMC, January 14, 2021
Sunrise over the PMC

More from the WACD Executive Office

Reminder: we have new phone numbers! – The Olympia office has a new main phone number: (360) 999-5151. Ryan is at extension 100 and Tom is at extension 101. Their cell phones still work, too, so if you have those numbers, feel free to use them.

NE and SE Area Directors There are two vacancies for Area Director positions, in our Northeast Area and Southeast Area. These individuals represent regional interests among WACD’s state leadership and help communicate information both to and from their local member-districts. If you are interested in serving, please contact WACD staff, current NE Area Director Jeff Schibel, or SE Area Director Mary Collins.

Systems? The Members page on the WACD website has proven to be useful but it is too limited to be as useful as we'd like. We are currently exploring two ideas that are not mutually exclusive: a subsidiary website just for members and partners and an association management system (AMS).

A special site for members and partners would allow us to provide information in a more organized fashion. While most of what we share is not really private in nature, we'd like to focus some information on our members and partners, like contact lists, legislative strategies, WACD's perspectives on individual pieces of legislation, etc. A special members site would also allow us to simplify some parts of our public-facing main website.

With regard to an AMS, you may not be aware that it is surprisingly difficult to manage a member-based organization, even one as relatively small as WACD. With conservation district board supervisors and associates, plus district staff, plus partners and sponsors and vendors, we need to keep track of contact information for more than 500 people. Automating some tasks like sending out dues invoices and providing for online payments would simplify our workflow and make it easier for members to understand their status at any time. Among many other benefits, an AMS would also provide a more vibrant approach to maintaining our various committees.

The bottom line for both of these possibilities is more and better information for members and partners, provided in a way that is more seamless for WACD staff to manage. Ryan and Tom will be previewing one possible AMS next week.

Links to what we are reading

Below are links to interesting items we are reading. Disclaimer: inclusion of these links in this newsletter do not imply official WACD support or endorsement of particular positions or information. Some news sources may be behind paywalls.

Our conservation community
Agriculture / Food
Budget / Legislature
Climate / Weather
COVID / Pandemic
Diversity / Equity / Inclusion
ESA
Health
Management / Leadership / Governance
Technology / Information Technology

We appreciate our wonderful 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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