One of the natural resource concerns focused on for these meetings was the proposed new rules by the Environmental Protection Agency regarding the Waters of the U.S. designations and jurisdictions. Also heavily discussed was the issue of the U.S. Forest Service’s proposed rules that tie private water rights to the issuing of permits for public lands. Other topics included forest and rangeland health issues in Colorado. Representatives from NACD, including Colorado’s Gary Moyer, also asked congressional leaders to protect conservation funding from any additional budget cuts and to provide adequate resources to aid in the delivery of locally-led conservation practices to private land owners by the nation’s Conservation Districts.
Gary also met with the Meryl Harrell, who is the Chief of Staff for the Natural Resource and Environment Department within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This agency oversees the U.S. Forest Service. Their discussion involved specifics to forest health issues, and also how our forests in the west were managed several decades ago, with a strong emphasis on active management, compared to the last two to three decades. Moyer addressed the CACD’s position on private water rights as well. Lastly, Gary met with Cynthia Mosses-Nedd, who is the national liaison between the Bureau of Land Management and Colorado’s state and local officials.
The day ended with a reception on Capitol Hill for networking with key legislators, congressional staff, conservation partner organizations and agencies, and members of the media.