Additional District Funding for 2015 – CACD is waiting to hear on the progress on CACD’s recommended increase to the Conservation Districts’ 2015 Direct Assistance funding in the amount of $92,053.00. In March, the motion was passed by the JBC by a 6-0 vote. The funds are now in the long-bill, which is still being looked at and is largely influenced by the 2016 budget. Remember, this was a 2014 CACD membership driven request. We are cautiously hopeful!
2015 CO Envirothon – The CO Envirothon’s 2015 Steering and Program Committees are getting ready for the May 14 -15 competition to be held at Cole Park in Alamosa. We are very excited to have eighteen teams registered as of the April 15th deadline. CO Envirothon is CACD’s statewide natural resource competition for high school students, 4-H and FFA groups. You can check out the COE website at: www.coloenvirothon.com for additional information about the contest. The winning team from Colorado will move on to the national Envirothon event, to be held this year in Springfield, Missouri on July 27 – August 2, 2015.
CACD’s 2015 Annual Meeting – The first 2015 CACD Annual Meeting Program Committee call is scheduled for May 12th, via teleconference. Our annual conference will be held on the western slope this year at the beautiful Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek, November 15 – 19. We were able to secure double occupancy rooms at this fabulous new facility for $109.00 per night. The Program Committee meets in order to discuss the theme and the meeting content for this year’s conference. If you would like to get involved with the input for our conference this year, it is not too late. Please let me know if you’re interested in helping out with the annual meeting in ANY way, so that you can be added to contact group email/phone listings.
NRCS State Technical Committee Meeting – The 1st Quarter 2015 NRCS State Technical Committee meeting was held at the CO Department of Ag in Broomfield, on April 21. On behalf of CACD, I was present along with about 30 other Ag interests from around the state. Discussion included, but was not limited to, the subject of NRCS fencing specification requirements, re-vegetation strategies during drought, sage grouse habitat issues/initiatives, wind strip implementation for soil erosion caused by wind and miscellaneous standard practices.
2015 Camp Rocky – Planning continues for 2015 Camp Rocky program! The CR Team has its first face-to-face meeting scheduled for May 20th in Colorado Springs. Amy Gossman is returning as our Camp Director and has her educators/instructors and the junior leaders ready to go. Camp is being held this year during the week of July 5 – 13, just outside of Divide, CO. This co-ed camp is for 14 – 18 year olds, who are interested in learning about Natural Resource Conservation. There are 4 conservation based disciplines—soil and water, forestry, range management, and wildlife. CACD is grateful to its many supporting partners that help make Camp a success, such as NRCS, CSFS, CSCB, and the CSU Extension Service. Camp Rocky is one of the most supported CACD programs by the Conservation Districts, many Districts helping to sponsor one or more campers--our future conservation leaders, for week at summer camp. Please check out Camp Rocky news on CACD’s website, along with the 2015 forms, at: www.coloradoacd.org under the “Education and Events” tab.
Arkansas River Watershed Coalition and Ark River Water Forum – It was a busy month for the Arkansas River water groups. On April 14th, the first group strategy meeting of the Arkansas River Watershed Coalition was held in Pueblo at the state fairgrounds.
2015 Legislative Session Wrap-up – As the 2015 Legislative Session winds down, CACD remains vigilant with respect to monitoring any/all natural resource conservation legislative issues at the Capitol in Denver. Several bills that have remained in the forefront this month are: HB15-1006 (Invasive Phreatophyte Grant Program); HB15- 1259 (Rain Barrel Precipitation Collection); HB15-1364 (Small Micro Hydro Inspections); SB15-119 (Pesticide Applicators Sunset); SB-15 212 (Storm Water Detention Not Injure Water Rights); and finally, SB15-234 (Long Bill Appropriations – Increases to 2015 Direct Assistance for Conservation Districts). CACD, through our lobbyist Brett Moore, has been tracking at least 53 bills during this 2015 legislative session.
2015 Annual District Dues – A big THANK YOU to those Districts that have paid their 2015 annual dues to CACD! So far, there are 32 of our Districts that have paid 100% of their annual dues. These annual dues are necessary to CACD’s administrative operations. It was the Districts that decided in the 1940’s that they needed a “state association” to make sure that their collective voice was heard by the Colorado Legislature and other Ag related groups statewide. CACD obtains your annual Direct Assistance funding from the state. Make sure that your District is part of the statewide team of Districts that supports your state association!