WACD Operations for March 2023
The information on this page is intended for WACD members and partners. For 2023, information will be reported weekly.
Week 9, February 27 – March 3
WACD Board meeting
The WACD Board of Directors held a business meeting on Monday, February 27. This meeting was originally scheduled for February 20 but President Mumford chose to delay it because folks who went to the NACD Annual Meeting were still catching up on work that piled up while away. Board meeting documents are available in a Box.com folder.
Conservation district meetings
On Wednesday, Ryan attended the Jefferson County Conservation District board meeting in person. District Manager Joe Holtrop said this in an email to Ryan: “I just wanted to say thank you for coming to our meeting yesterday. Your input was very helpful, more helpful than any input I think we’ve received since, well, actually since I can’t remember when.”
On Thursday, Tom attended the Clark Conservation District board meeting in person. This is a breakfast meeting that starts at 7:15 am. They are pretty strict about getting their work done within two hours, and they kept to that by adjourning at 9:15 am.
With the frantic pace of business at the Legislature, we have gotten a bit off schedule with the Five Things newsletter the past two weeks. Our goal is to publish on Thursday so that people can read the newsletter on Friday and digest that information over the weekend. For the past two weeks, we’ve published on Friday. We are striving to get back on our preferred schedule of publishing on Thursday.
Our website host, Weblinx, upgraded the WACD Hub website to a newer version of PHP PHP is the code that WordPress runs on; WordPress is what we use as a content management system for this website. This change allowed us to fix a few long-standing problems with incompatible plugins on the Hub.
Week 10, March 6 – 10
Conservation district issues
WACD Board members and staff are getting calls from conservation districts about concerns with how grants are being administered by the Conservation Commission. Tom will be communicating this to SCC ED Chris Pettit this week.
Ryan goes to Washington
Ryan is heading to Washington, D.C., for his AgForestry course. Tom asked him to stay over a few days and join the NACD Fly-in team from Washington. This means he’ll be away from Washington State for two weeks.
Week 11, March 13 – 17
Ryan was in Washington, D.C. for AgForestry and Tom was holding down the fort in Olympia.
- Monday, March 13: Tom published Ryan’s weekly Legislative Update.
- Tuesday, March 14:
- Tom spoke with an attorney about the Skagit CD request to use some of the nursery land for an office facility. Because the attorney had experience providing advice to port districts, Tom also discussed with him the possibility of WACD retaining the firm to provide counsel to conservation districts.
- Final planning for the Board’s Monday, March 20 work session was completed. Tom spent quite a bit of time preparing a “briefing memo” to help the board be more prepared for work session discussions.
- Wednesday, March 15: Tom attended the Pierce CD annual meeting and presented Stu Trefry with the WACD Associate Supervisor of the Year award. He then drove late to Everett.
- Thursday, March 16: Tom attended the State Conservation Commission meeting in person. Because that meeting extended later than expected, Tom extended his stay in the Hotel Indigo. This allowed him to get the weekly Five Things published on time. Late that evening, he also sent out the Executive Committee agenda and meeting information.
- Friday, March 17: Tom participated in the Executive Committee call. Ryan was not available. Later that morning, CD managers had a statewide call in which they discussed the Commission’s action taken Thursday. Commission staff canceled the scheduled weekly Legislative Team meeting.
Week 12, March 20 -24
- Monday, March 20: WACD work session was well attended by board members. Three individuals presented updates on four conservation districts. Good discussion was had on financial concerns. Lobbyist Brynn Brady updated the board. Tom is uncertain whether the briefing memo he produced was viewed as helpful by board members.
- Tuesday, March 21: Tom facilitated the WACD Sustainable Funding Committee meeting. Also worked on WACD budget.
- Wednesday, March 22:
- Tom attended the Washington Conservation Society meeting where Heather McCoy provided excellent information on growing the Society’s membership.
- Tom facilitated the WACD Livestock Task Force meeting. Many concerns about Ecology’s activities were expressed, so Tom reached out to Sheila Marcoe (ECY) on the issues raised.
- This is the first of two days of NACD Spring Fly-in. Ryan has booked numerous meetings with the Washington State congressional delegation and/or their staffers.
- Tom wrote and published Ryan’s weekly Legislative Update.
- Tom developed much of the Five Things newsletter for publication tomorrow.
- Thursday, March 23:
- Tom to meet with Nick Vira (NRCS) about how WACD can assist NRCS. For many years, NRCS provided grants to WACD to help us operate. These dried up and Tom is looking to this source to help find funding to increase WACD capacity.
- The Spring Fly-in concludes on Thursday and Ryan heads home. I told him to stay away from the office and come back rested on Monday.
- Friday, March 24: This will be a light day, although there is likely to be an SCC/WACD Legislative Team meeting to discuss bills and budgets. Monday through Thursday are all long work days.
Note about WACD capacity
With just two of us in the Executive Office, we are limited in how much work we can accomplish. Some needs we aren’t able to move forward very well due to capacity limitations include:
- Building partnerships. We should be developing relationships with Pheasants Forever, Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, the Washington Native Plant Society, Washington Farm Forest Association, Society for Range Management, and many others. We should be more directly engaged in the Washington Conservation Society and Washington Association of District Employees.
- Developing funding opportunities for WACD. Think of this as “business development.” In the past, we’ve focused on the sale of plants and on grants. We need to devote more time to seeking grant support in order to add capacity to WACD.
- Strengthening relationships with member districts. Staff are pulled in many different directions, making it difficult to be present at district meetings. Attending meetings demonstrates respect and provides value to members.
- Strengthening relationships with agencies and elected. We can’t depend on having a good contract lobbyist forever, so for resiliency, we should also be developing key relationships and having a presence during some legislative discussions.
- Enhancing our resiliency. All employees are temporary. At present, we don’t have backup for Tom and Ryan.
- Annual meetings
- Area associations
- Board of Directors
- District Directory (this is not a publicly divulged link, please keep it within the family)
- Member services
- Mission – Vision – Principles
- Plant Materials Center
- Staff (including contact information)