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Spring 2015 - Edition 3

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Local Working Group
Meeting on March 12th

     The Grant/Kittitas Local Work Group has scheduled a meeting to get started on setting priorities for USDA NRCS Conservation Program funding for Fiscal year 2016. This is your opportunity to learn about the Conservation Language in the New Farm Bill and provide input on funding priorities for next year.
     Local Working Groups are subcommittees of the State Technical Committee and provide recommendations to the NRCS State Conservationist on local and state natural resource priorities and criteria for conservation activities and programs. The Local Work Group will meet March 11th from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Wild Horse Renewable Energy Center, 25905 Vantage HWY, Ellensburg, WA 98926. This is your opportunity to provide your input and make your case for funding your particular projects or activities.
     Individuals attending the Local Working Group meetings will be given the opportunity to address the Local Working Group. Presenters are encouraged to provide written records of their comments to the Chairperson at the time of the presentation, but they are not required to do so.
     For more information contact your local NRCS at 509-754-3023 or the Grant County Conservation District at 509-765-9618. 
Submitted by Harold Crose

Conservation Planners from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service will work Together with you to Develop a FREE Conservation Plan
USDA'S NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE (NRCS) IS A LOCAL RESOURCE FOR INNOVATIVE CONSERVATION SOLUTIONS TO IMPROVE THE LAND AND PROTECT YOUR WAY OF LIFE

     Technical assistance is available for agriculture producers who want to work with NRCS to develop a voluntary conservation plan. These are FREE plans that identify potential natural resource problems, evaluate alternatives, and recommend solutions that could make use of the land more effective and sustainable.
     Voluntary conservation plans can be developed for a farm, ranch, private nonindustrial forestry operation, or shellfish or aquaculture operation. The information in the plan will be specific to all the land uses for the entire operation (inside of Washington state boundaries). Use of and impacts on natural resources (soil, water, air, plants, animals, humans and energy) are considered in the plan.
     These plans are Resource Management System (RMS) level plans for all land uses and natural resource concerns. RMS-level voluntary natural resources conservation plans:

  • Inventory and assess the condition of natural resources on/around an operation;
  • Contain valuable information about the land and the operation like maps, soil type, and native plants and animal species that may be present;
  • Discuss alternatives for meeting landowner objectives and resource needs;
  • Can help a farmer, rancher, or forester make decisions about their operation;
  • Give operators a tool that may be necessary to access and compete for financial assistance, loan and insurance rate subsidies, and other financial incentives; and
  • Are yours to keep and can't be shared with the public or regulators.
Conservation Planning
The 1st phase: Collection and Analysis 
Step 1.
Identify Problems
Step 2. Determine Objectives
Step 3. Inventory Resources
Step 4. Analyze Resource Data

The 2nd Phase: Decision Support
Step 5. Formulate Alternatives
Step 6. Evaluate Alternatives
Step 7. Make Decisions

Application Period: 
January 1 - March 20, 2015
Applicants Notified by June 2015
Plans provided no later than December 31, 2015
For more information contact your local field office or visit online at:  www.wa.nrcs.usda.gov

Applications can be found here:http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/wa/home/?cid=STELPRDB1266502

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Vacant Lot Owners Encouraged to Contact GCCD
Cost Share Assistance Available

     Are you the owner of a vacant lot who is tired of trying to manage all of those weeds? The Grant County Conservation District can help you get the lot planted in native grasses in order to provide a viable alternative to spraying weeds, while at the same time improving the appearance of the lot to resemble a natural landscape with mixed bunchgrasses of varying heights.
     We offer a cost-share arrangement where 50% of the cost of establishing the grasses is paid by the GCCD. We will make arrangements with a local seed company to prepare the land and do the planting.
     After the grasses are fully established, this becomes a great way to effectively meet your weed management responsibilities without incurring the regular costs associated with spraying.

Meet Our Newest Staff Member
Kelly Wallace

    Kelly Wallace is our new Administrative Assistant. She brings over 20 years of administrative experience which includes Office Manager for Grant County Fire District #5 and as the Superintendent's Confidential Secretary for the Educational Service District #113 in Olympia.
     Kelly has an Associate of Technical Arts Degree from South Puget Sound Community College specializing in Legal Secretary Administration. She worked with attorney's providing support with Labor & Industries claims, contracts and probate.
     Kelly enjoys spending time outdoors with her family - camping, riding Polaris RZR's in the mountains and sand dunes, snowmobiling, jet skiing and wakeboarding.
     The 18th Annual Othello Sandhill Crane Festival is March 27, 28, 29, 2015. The Brochure is available online at othellosandhillcranefestival.org. Tours fill up quickly so call and reserve your tour today.  
     On Friday, March 27, there is the following tours Mardon Boat, Lower Crab Creek Birding, Columbia NA Wildlife Refuge, Crane Viewing and a free lecture by Roy W. Lowe on "Seabird Conservation on the Oregon Coast."
     On Saturday, March 28, there is the following tours Puget Sound Energy, Crane Viewing, Biking for Cranes, Missoula Floods, Ground Squirrel, Children's Activities, Vendors, WSU Raptor live birds, lectures running every hour from birds, geology, dams, butterflies, burrowing owls, GMO's, dragonflies, arachnid (spiders) and many more. Noon guest speaker is Woody Wheeler "When the Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary-Why Common Birds Matter" and our Banquet guest speaker is Scott F. Burns on "Cataclysms on the Columbia: The Great Missoula Floods."
     The last day, Sunday, March 29, are the following tours, Lower Crab Creek Birding, Wahluke Slope Birding, Columns an Camera, Palouse Falls, Crane Viewing and Ice Age Floods Hike.
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Copyright © 2014 The Conservation Connection, Grant County Conservation District, All rights reserved.
www.columbiabasincds.org
Phone: (509) 765-9618
1107 S. Juniper Dr., Moses Lake, WA 98837

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