5 Things to Know for April 1, 2021

    1. WACD's Legislative Budget Outlook

    This week, we published a review of the budgets that emerged from House and Senate committees at https://hub.wadistricts.org/2021/03/wacd-legislative-budget-outlook/. Ryan did a great job of summarizing the information and providing helpful context for member conservation districts. This is another moment in the process when contacting your legislators and reinforcing our funding priorities will be helpful.

    Stay on top of advocacy topics at https://hub.wadistricts.org/topics/advocacy/.

    2. Budget Reconciliation Time

    Ryan's post (https://hub.wadistricts.org/2021/04/legislative-flavor-april-1/) about budget reconciliation and the process of getting to yes sets the stage for conservation districts to engage now with their electeds. It doesn't matter if your legislator is part of a budget reconciliation group. What does matter is that they hear from you so that they can communicate your points to key team members who are negotiating the state budget.

    3. NRI Grant Program Webinar Next Week

    Conservation district folks who are interested in the Washington State Conservation Commission's proposed updates to the NRI (Natural Resources Investments) grant program should tune into their webinar on April 7 from 9:00 am to 10:30 am. Find the registration link at https://hub.wadistricts.org/event/natural-resource-investments-nri-grant-program-proposed-updates-overview/.

    4. Three Washington Staters Appointed by NACD

    Three of our people have been appointed by the National Association of Conservation Districts to two NACD foundation committees. Find that information at https://hub.wadistricts.org/2021/04/3-from-washington-on-nacd-foundation-committees/.

    5. Transplanting is in full swing at the WACD PMC

    WACD PMC Nursery Manager Jim Brown reports that everyone is healthy and busy! Harvest is over, shipping continues, and transplanting is in full swing. We also stand a chance of setting a record for sales! Read more (and catch a lovely photo of a hummingbird resting in a Red Flowering Currant bush) in the PMC Update at https://hub.wadistricts.org/2021/04/pmc-update-20210401/.
    Dear [subscriber:firstname | default:reader],

    Today is April 1st: April Fool's Day. House and Senate budgets are out and our conservation community is well positioned...no fooling! Nevertheless, when it comes to funding, this is not the time to fool around by letting others carry your water. Please do reach out to your legislators and let them know you support conservation funding priorities.

    We now focus on the State budget

    Now that both the House and Senate have published their operating and capital budgets, we can see how conservation programs fared. This is covered in an email from the Conservation Commission and in Ryan's email from WACD. Ryan reprises his email in this post at https://hub.wadistricts.org/2021/03/wacd-legislative-budget-outlook/.

    Now is the time to check in with your legislators to support the budget priorities WACD has outlined. You may also have your own priorities. We are not suggesting that you set aside your priorities in favor of the state-level priorities. However, there are ramifications to the priorities we are recommending that can affect conservation district budgets. We feel that it is vital that our member conservation districts support the budget levels we provide in the WACD Legislative Budget Outlook.

    NACD Virtual Advocacy work continues

    WACD continues to coordinate meetings with our congressional delegation from Washington State. Ryan has the lead on this and he's working diligently with several districts to get appointments lined up.


    Future meetings of the Joint Committee on Elections (JCE) have been scheduled. JCE members can now set aside those days/times on their calendars. For JCE members, we have added the 2019 survey of election reform options to the Resources page for the committee. Find it at https://hub.wadistricts.org/wacd/committees/joint-committee-on-elections/resources/ behind the standard member password we have communicated in the past. If you don't have that password, drop a quick note to Ryan or Tom.

    For the Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (CDEI), we interviewed another consultant and received another quote for services. Next week we interview yet another consultant who has expressed some interest in our work. Once we select a vendor to assist us, President Dorner will appoint CDEI members and we will list them on the Committees page (https://hub.wadistricts.org/wacd/committees/). We will also set up a special page for the CDEI, similar to the JCE page.

    WACD comments at Ag & Water Quality Advisory Committee

    This week, I represented the Association at a meeting of the Department of Ecology's Agriculture and Water Quality Advisory Committee. The committee was briefed on riparian issues and heard a request from JT Austin (Governor's Office Senior Policy Advisor for Natural Resources) and Kelly Susewind (WDFW Director) for more collaboration among local governments and others in order to improve riparian conditions across the State of Washington.

    I did comment on that request, noting that messaging about collaboration could be improved. Asking for folks to collaborate after the course has been decided doesn't seem like the kind of collaboration our community usually prefers. Please stay tuned because this desire for more stringent riparian standards will likely continue to emerge in the weeks ahead. WACD will stay on top of this issue.

    Executive Corner

    WACD staff has had some surprises in the past few weeks. Since I had several hours of driving time last week to think about those surprises, it should come as no surprise that I write about surprises in my Executive Corner column. Read No surprises is a better strategy than waiting and reacting at https://hub.wadistricts.org/2021/03/no-surprises-better-than-reacting/.

    Always yours for conservation,

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

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