CO Ag Council and CO Ag Water Alliance – CACD, as a member of the Colorado Ag Council, meets this time of year on a quarterly basis, with other member CO Ag related organizations. This is our opportunity to collaborate and discuss relevant issues regarding natural resource conservation and Colorado’s valuable agricultural interests. As a member of Ag Council, CACD has a larger voice on current legislative issues that affect our Districts and their cooperators around the state. These meetings are usually in conjunction with the meeting of the CO Ag Water Alliance. CAWA reviews and addresses any and all of CO’s current water issues and legislation and provides input to the CO Water Conservation Board, among other Colorado water groups.
Local Work Group Meetings – By now, most of our Districts have either have had their Local Work Group meetings, in order to affirm to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) the local on-the-ground conservation needs and priorities in your District and Watershed areas. CACD encourages your District to advertise and market these important input sessions annually, with meeting facilitation assisted by the Conservation Specialists from the Colorado State Conservation Board (CSCB) for your area.
2016 Camp Rocky – Camp Rocky took place during the week of July 10 - 16, just outside of Divide, CO this year. This CACD sponsored co-ed event 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. Camp Rocky is one of the most supported of CACD’s programs by the Conservation Districts statewide. Many Districts help to sponsor our future conservation leaders for the entire week at this educational summer camp. Please check out the 2016 Camp Rocky photos, and this year’s camp reports on CACD’s website, at: www.coloradoacd.org under the “Education and Events” tab.
Great Plains Windbreak Initiative -- CACD has been invited to be part of the Planning Committee for this new stakeholder group, to address the decline of windbreaks, shelter/hedge breaks, etc. occurring in the Great Plains Region. The states that have also been included in this initial Planning Committee process were: North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas. The group will represent all facets of natural resource organizations, including state and federal Forest Service agencies, FSA, NRCS, state and local Conservation Districts, University Extension Offices, along with several private wildlife organizations. We will focus on how to deal with aging windbreak conditions that play an important part in the Great Plains region’s rural conservation practices.
2016 Annual District Dues – A big THANK YOU to those Conservation Districts that have paid your 2016 annual dues to CACD already! This dues income is imperative to CACD’s administrative operations on a day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month basis. As always, we want to hear from you about what you and your District need. Please feel free to give me a call or email at any time, with any concern or questions that you may have, at: (719) 686-0020 or firstname.lastname@example.org
CACD Legislative Committee – CACD’s lobbyist, Brett Moore, along with our Legislative Committee, saw the end of the Colorado 2016 Legislative Session on May 11th. The link for CACD’s Bill Tracking Sheet is available on the CACD website under the “Education and Events” tab (http://www.coloradoacd.org/legislative-and-current-policy.html), for your review of the bills that we supported, were in opposition to, or were monitoring on behalf of our Conservation District membership.
Legislation in Action -- I was up at the Capitol in Denver on June 9th, to be present at the South Platte Water Storage Study bill signing by Governor Hickenlooper. This was House Bill 2016-1256, which Rep. J. Paul Brown championed for during the 2016 Legislative Session. J. Paul has always been a staunch supporter of CACD and Colorado's conservation issues. I travelled to Denver to be there with him and a few of the CO Ag Council members, not to mention Senator Jerry Sonnenberg. CACD takes seriously our commitment to monitor all of the legislative water issues on your behalf, here in Colorado!
Fall 2016 Watershed Meetings – It is that time of the year when Colorado’s Conservation Districts come together as Watershed Associations, to discuss area events, concerns, 2016 Conservation award nominations, and move forward any District level Resolutions that need to be voted on by the Watershed membership. If passed at the Watershed level, they will advance to the state level, and if passed by the CACD membership, they become statewide CACD Policy. These important Policy Resolutions not only give CACD legislative direction at the state Capitol, but they can also advance to the National level, where they could be voted on at the 2017 NACD Annual Meeting, and become national policy as well
CACD’s 2016 Annual Meeting – CACD’s 2016 annual meeting will be at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Loveland, November 14 – 16, 2016. At the request of our membership, the annual meeting will have a shorter format/schedule this year. We hope that this shorten format will improve our Board Supervisor and District Manager attendance. The 2016 Annual Meeting conference flyer is now available on the CACD website, as will be further information on our speakers and a draft agenda in the next few weeks. We have been having 2016 Program Committee teleconferences over the past several months, to discuss the 2016 AM theme, “Conservation in Colorado – Navigating Our Future”, along with the meeting content. If you’d like to get involved with the input for our conference this year, please let me know!
NACD’s 2017 Annual Meeting – The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) will hold their next Annual Meeting, January 28th through February 2nd, 2017, in Denver at the Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel and Conference Center! As the host state Executive Director, I have been meeting with the NACD Planning Committee in order to focus on Colorado’s input to this national event. Please mark your calendars to attend this annual conference, where representatives from all over the United States come to make national natural resource conservation policy, network, and learn about the current important state and national conservation issues. As soon as I have a draft agenda from NACD, I will send it out to all of the Districts and their Board Supervisors. It will also be posted on the CACD website.
CACD Donations Through AmazonSmile.com – CACD now has a link at AmazonSmile.com for a .5% donation of your eligible Amazon purchases to be sent to CACD as a charitable contribution. In order to browse or shop at AmazonSmile, customers must first select CACD as their organization to receive the .5% donation on your purchases to CACD by electronic funds transfer. Anyone can support CACD by choosing us as your AmazonSmile.com non-profit organization of choice, at: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/84-0470063. This link is also available on CACD’s website, on the home page, for your continued use.
As always, I want to encourage you to be relevant to your District’s landowners, who you serve. If you accomplish this task, the success of your District will come – I guarantee it! Thanks always for your continued support!
CACD Executive Director