WACD Operational Status: October 2022
The information on this page is intended for WACD members and partners.
WACD held a board work session on the evening of October 17th. The next business meeting is scheduled for November 21st.
The offices of President and Vice President are up for election — each for a two-year term — at the WACD annual business meeting on Wednesday, November 30th.
At the Southwest Area meeting, Jerry Kolke (Clark CD) was elected as an Area Director. He joins Lisa Zaborac (Grays Harbor CD) to form the two ADs for the Southwest Area.
At the Northeast Area meeting, Jeff Schibel (Lincoln County CD) was re-elected to a two-term as Area Director. John W. Floyd (Pend Oreille CD) was elected to fill the remaining one year of Jon Birnbaum’s term.
One opening still exists for an Area Director in the Southeast Area. Mary Collins (Palouse CD) was re-elected to her Area Director position.
WACD Finance Committee
The WACD Finance Committee met at 7:30 am on Wednesday, October 5. The Committee will propose proceeding with an LGIP account to hold the plant sale deposits from the PMC. This will give us a chance to stick our toe in the water and see how LGIP works for us.
Harmful Algae Blooms Work Group
The HABs Work Group completed their final report on harmful algae blooms. The report includes recommendations for funding. Find the report at https://hub.wadistricts.org/2022/10/habs-work-group-produces-report-and-recommendations/.
WADE and WCS
Tom proposed the idea of a mutual aid agreement to the presidents of WADE and WCS. Having a pre-negotiated agreement in case of an emergency is another way we could strengthen the non-governmental facet of our conservation district community.
Oregon Association of Conservation Districts
Tom is registered to attend the OACD annual conference October 31 to November 2 in Newport, Oregon. The mutual aid idea is being discussed with the OACD Executive Director, perhaps as an entry to more conversation about how to partner on programs that affect both states. Federal programs come to mind. The OACD ED will try to attend the WACD annual conference at the end of November.
Ecology’s Ag and Water Quality Advisory Committee
Tom represented WACD at Ecology’s Ag & WQ Advisory Committee meeting on October 13, where he alerted members to the HABs Work Group report and commented positively on the commodity buffer programs of the Spokane and Palouse CDs.
Communication / Data
New District Directory published
Another update to the District Directory was published at the very end of September. Find it at https://hub.wadistricts.org/resources/contacts/ where you will need a password. (We use a simple password to help block robots that skim contact information from web-based content so that bad actors can spam you.) The password is eight characters long and is formed by the abbreviation (all in capital letters) for the Washington Association of Conservation Districts and the year that WACD was formed. This year, we celebrate the 80th anniversary of WACD’s formation in 1942. If those clues don’t help you figure out the password, just drop a note to Tom or Ryan at to get it!
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
DEI resource page published
At the end of September, we publicized the page of links to resources about diversity, equity, and inclusion at: https://hub.wadistricts.org/resources/dei/. The information on this page helps to satisfy the first two action steps in our DEI Action Plan. The three-year action plan recommended by the Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was adopted last year by the WACD Board of Directors. Tasks in Year #1 are:
- WACD to compile, and make available to interested conservation districts, a list of resources and best practices for equity, community engagement, and outreach with underrepresented communities.
- WACD will develop a central repository where member conservation districts can access resources, tools, and best practices.
- WACD to engage with the State Office of Equity and learn what existing support WACD and conservation districts may be able to receive from the State.
Find WACD’s three-year action plan and policy: https://hub.wadistricts.org/wacd/committees/cdei/
Area Association Meetings
Area association web pages
The web pages for area association information are available at https://hub.wadistricts.org/annual/2022meetings/areas/.
Annual Conference & Business Meeting
Annual conference web pages
The framework is in place for the conference schedule. We are working on filling in details. https://hub.wadistricts.org/annual/2022meetings/conference/
Tom and Ryan set the registration fee for in-person conference attendees at a price point that allows WACD to recover costs. Unlike historical practice, we did not price the registration to generate profit for the Association.
Potential speakers for WACD Annual Conference
Potential speakers so far include Addie Candib, American Farmland Trust (AFT is working on the issue of converting farmland to solar farms. Tom asked if Addie would be interested and she said yes) and Elaine Oneil, Washington Farm Forestry Association (WFFA would like more contact with conservation districts to leverage the trust-based relationships CDs have with private forestland owners and because of wildfire concerns. Tom asked if Elaine would be interested and she said yes).
We should focus our thinking on some specific issues that are important and timely for our community. The first two that come to mind are (1) loss of farmland and (2) wildfire. It might help build/strengthen partnership if we could pair external guest speakers with knowledgeable folks from our community (conservation district, Commission, NRCS, FSA, Extension).
We invite your suggestions, too. Contact information is at the bottom of this page.
Inclusion session at WACD annual conference
In response to the Board’s direction that we have a facilitated session at the annual conference to address the concerns expressed by some conservation districts, we are putting together a two-hour session. The first half of the session will be brief stories shared by several conservation districts who have been working toward becoming more inclusive. The second half of the session will open the floor to hearing and capturing concerns from all in attendance. Those concerns will form the basis for a series of future topics for WACD and our community to address.
Staff capacity is down
Due to some personal challenges, the total capacity of WACD staff to assist in crafting and delivering the 2022 annual conference and business meeting is unexpectedly reduced. We are taking a hard look at what needs to be done and the resources (time, money, energy) available to get those necessary tasks accomplished.
Branded promotional items for the conference
We have approved the production of the following items for the conference:
- Neck wallets. These will hold name badges and any meal tickets assigned to a registrant. We ordered neck wallets in three different colors, to be used to designate WACD board members, new attendees, and regular attendees.
- Document carrier. These are polyester messenger bags in black with a forest green accent.
- Pen. Just a pen.
- Water bottle. These feature a built-in carabiner top clip.
- COVID mask. Made of cotton with a metal piece across the bridge of the nose.
- Stress ball. Humorous, looks like a dairy cow.
All items are branded with the “Washington C” logo and say “Conservation is Everyone’s Business.” We did not include “WACD” on any items so that folks might wish to use them in other situations without having to answer: what is WACD?
4th WACD conference held in Ellensburg
Anna Lael alerted me to a 1946 newspaper that identified Ellensburg as the location of WACD’s 4th annual conference.
The old Lincoln has more electrical problems than we suspected. Tom suggested to Jim that we sell it or trade it. The PMC needs to either repair or replace a pickup truck.
Locations / Departments
As of October 20th, the PMC found a replacement for Bill Mulder. Oscar Arias will start in early November. That will give him almost 2 months to learn a lot about keeping this place operating from Bill. Oscar has many years of experience farming as well as being a mechanic.
PMC: Missouri Gravel Bed write-up
Promising News for Autumn Bare Root Planting: http://www.b-e-f.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/BEF_Watersheds_newsletter202209_v3.pdf Register to hear John Knox (PMC) speak to this on October 20: Extending the Bareroot Planting Window Tickets, Thu, Oct 20, 2022 at 11:00 AM | Eventbrite
Only key updates are mentioned here.
- A button on the Hub home page provides one-click access to the 2022 annual conference and business meeting information.
- New page created for 2023 annual meetings.
- An ongoing problem with the password protection system in our WordPress installations has stumped our web host. This impacts end users because the District Directory was protected by a password, but users would get a “page not found” error when attempting to get the Directory. We moved the Directory page elsewhere and instructed users to ask for the special link to access it. If this proves to be too insecure, we’ll move the Directory to a file sharing service like OneDrive or Box.com.
- Annual meetings
- Area associations
- Board of Directors
- Member services
- Plant Materials Center
- Staff (including contact information)