“Oh yeah, the conservation district… That must be, uh, some interesting work?” Verbatim, my loquacious uncle’s reply when I told him what I’ve been up to and where I’m working. Like most, my uncle had no idea what a conservation district is. Surprisingly, I’ve had a hard time getting people to understand just what a conservation district does. There is no easy elevator speech for conservation districts. So I’d like to use the next few blog posts to highlight some of our programs.
Officially, from the National Association of Conservation Districts’ website,"Conservation districts are local units of government established under state law to carry out natural resource management programs at the local level. Districts work with millions of cooperating landowners and operators to help them manage and protect land and water resources on all private lands and many public lands in the United States" (http://www.nacdnet.org/). In short, it is an organization that seeks to help people take care of the land and environment around us. Cascadia’s landowner assistance program is one of several ways we do this.
|A hedgerow, planted to attract pollinators and other beneficial insects.|
The landowner assistance program is for landowners in Chelan County, excluding those within Wenatchee and Chelan city limits, who are looking for technical and/or financial assistance in installing best management practices (land use practices which mitigate environmental degradation). This could mean replacing outdated irrigation, restoring buffers or riparian zones or even soil testing. Because of this area’s predominant agriculture industry, its proximity to anadromous fish habitat and its proclivity for wildfires, much of our landowner assistance is for landowners with streamside, farmland, orchard or forested property. That said, if your land does not fall in one of these categories, it does not disqualify you for such assistance.
An excellent example of landowners who not only took advantage of our landowner assistance program, but also became role models for environmental stewardship, was highlighted in a blogpost of ours from November 21, 2011.
If you’d like more information on landowner assistance you can call us at (509) 436-1601, email us at www.cascadiacd.org or just come by our office at 14 N Mission St. Landowner assistance is only a fraction of what we do here at Cascadia, so please come back next week for a look at the Family Forest Fish Passage Program.
With all of the warm weather and rain we’ve had in the last week, today’s snow pack in our area is a measly 63% of the 34 year average.