Land purchase will help Washington district expand holding nursery

A former gravel quarry will soon serve as the new home for Spokane Conservation District, and with it comes more than 35 acres of Ponderosa pine that the district hopes will provide educational opportunities to local landowners and partners. Read more>>>

Tooke named new USFS Chief

The Forests in the Farm Bill Coalition (FIFB) released its 2018 Farm Bill recommendations in mid-July. The National Association of Conservation Districts has been an active participant in the creation of the recommendations, serving on two of the coalition’s working groups to ensure that NACD’s policies and principles were included.

U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell announced his retirement in August after 40 years of service to the agency. Tony Tooke, who is currently serving as the regional forester for the Southern Region, will succeed Tidwell starting September 1.

“NACD congratulates Chief Tidwell on his many years of dedicated service, and is grateful for all he has accomplished as a friend of conservation,” NACD CEO Jeremy Peters said. “We look forward to working with Chief Tooke in his new role to address barriers to forest health nationwide, and to ensure conservation districts play a role in both public and private lands conservation.”

Tooke has worked for the Forest Service since he was 18 years old. Prior to becoming a Regional Forester, he was the associate deputy chief for the National Forest System (NFS), director for Ecosystem Management Coordination, deputy director for Economic Recovery, and assistant director for Forest Management.

“Tony has been preparing for this role for his whole professional life, and at a time when we face active and growing fires, his transition into leadership will be seamless... His focus will be on ensuring we are good neighbors and are managing our forests effectively, efficiently, and responsibly, as well as working with states and local governments to ensure the utmost collaboration,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said.

Forestry Notes Q&A
Rebecca Barnard, National Forestry Programs Manager
National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF)

As the national forestry programs manager with the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rebecca Barnard provides direction to NWTF’s forestry outreach and partnership efforts; serves as a liaison to federal, state, NGO, and for-profit forestry organizations; and promotes active forest management to internal and external audiences. Prior to November 2013, she served as the forest certification coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Barnard recently sat down with NACD to discuss a number of NWTF initiatives and how it helps promote forest management. Read more>>>

AFF President pens “Supporting our Forests through the Farm Bill” for NACD’s The Resource

The summer edition of The Resource includes a guest column from American Forest Foundation (AFF) President Tom Martin about the importance of protecting forestry programs through the Farm Bill. AFF and NACD were both active partners in the Forests in the Farm Bill Coalition this summer.

In his column, Martin writes, “We work in partnership with NACD at both the federal level and on the ground to move the needle on some of our biggest forest health challenges like wildfire, insect epidemics, forest conversion and more, in order to protect our vital forest resources.”

The summer edition also includes columns from NACD President Brent Van Dyke and CEO Jeremy Peters; a feature story on the progress 42 conservation districts have made in increasing technical assistance capacity for urban agriculture; recaps of NACD’s summer and region meetings and the Leadership Symposium hosted in Lincoln; and three stories spotlighting districts in Massachusetts, Arkansas, and Kentucky.

To read and/or download the summer Resource, click here.

Forestry Briefs

Montana - District partnership with USFW helps ranchers following fire

Thousands of cattle displaced by the 270,200-acre Lodgepole Complex fire were relocated to the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, thanks in large part to an arrangement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

Cattle will be allowed to stay on the refuge until November 1. The stay guarantees thousands of calves won’t be sold early at discounted rates that could break a ranch budget. Many locals are grateful for FWS’ assistance, including Dean Rogge, farmer/rancher and board member for the Garfield County Conservation District.

“They’re our heroes today,” Rogge told the Billings Gazette. “We’re just thankful the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service came to our aid.” Rogge also said the conservation district has spent years developing a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. That relationship helped open up CMR grass to ranchers in a hurry. Click here to read more.

Maine - SWCD hosts low impact forestry workshop

The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District has partnered with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association to host an “Introduction to Low Impact Forestry” workshop this summer. The workshop is designed for stewards of small or large woodlots who are interested in safely developing a set of skills to cut and harvest wood products in an ecologically sound tradition. Topics will include silviculture, woodland ecology, soils, tree identification, an overview of logging equipment, legal considerations of forestry activities, minimizing residual stand damage, and creating management plans. Registration is $50 and includes a catered lunch. Click here to read the full story.

Oregon - District assists Forest Service with riparian restoration project

Forest Service biologists have joined forces with the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs, Oregon Natural Desert Association, Grant Soil and Water Conservation District, private landowners, and livestock permittees to restore riparian systems within East Fork Beech Creek. To accelerate fish habitat recovery efforts and eventually get fish species delisted, the Forest Service and partners are targeting streams that provide critical habitat on the Malheur National Forest. Read the full article here.

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