WEST POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT

District News

As of March 23, 2020, all USDA Service Centers are, at a minimum, open by phone appointment only. USDA will continue to be open for business by phone appointment only and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While our program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with our producers by phone, and using online tools whenever possible.

The West Pottawattamie County Service Center remains open for business, however public access remains limited.  All visitors wishing to conduct business with the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency should call the Service Center at 712-328-2489 for a phone appointment.  

Visit farmers.gov/coronavirus for the latest information on Service Center status and available services.

Now Taking Cover Crop Applications!

The West Pott SWCD is now taking applications for cover crops funded through WQI.  First time applicants will receive a rate of $25/ acre while previous applicants will receive a reduced rate of $15/acre.  Please call the office now at 712-328-2489 to get your application entered before July 1st!!

Photo courtesy of Jason Johnson  USDA-NRCS

National Pollinator Week

June 22, 2020 - June 28, 2020

  • Pollinators are honeybees, bumblebees, butterflies, birds, bats, beetles and many other insects that help to produce the world's food and fiber.

  • Pollinators play a crucial role in crop production, including crops that make up one- third of our fruits and vegetables.  Yet, despite their value, many pollinators are still in trouble.

  • The 2018 Farm Bill prioritizes support for pollinators and USDA continues to incorporate pollinators into conservation planning nationwide.

  • NRCS supports pollinators by working with private landowners to create habitat on their working lands that provide food and sanctuary for pollinators, especially bees.

  • Iowa farmers and forest landowners work with NRCS to apply pollinator- friendly practices on their working lands.  Practices like prairie strips, filter strips, cover crops, field borders, and other sustainable practices to help create a healthy environment for pollinators to build resiliency and thrive in a changing environment. 

  • Through FSA's Conservation Reserve Program, landowners remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant species to improve environmental health and quality, enhancing habitat to protect pollinators. 

Photos courtesy of Jason Andersen

Pheasants Forever Farm Bill

Wildlife Biologist 

Scholarship Winners Announced

The West Pottawattamie SWCD has awarded 2 scholarships for 2020.  While we received many great applications, we would like to congratulate Morghan Herman and Gage Garrison on their selections.

Morghan is a 2020 graduate from Missouri Valley High School

NRCS is unveiling a new video series, Conservation at Work, which consist of short, 90-second videos that highlight common conservation practices.

The videos shine the spotlight on farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners from across the U.S. who tell us their own conservation stories, and how practices are helping them protect and improve resources and save time and money.

By sharing the conservation successes of our customers, we hope the videos will help educate our customers and the general public and motivate more farmers and landowners to consider conservation.

You can check out the videos at farmers.gov/conserve/conservationatwork.

WANT TO HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON IOWA'S LAND AND PEOPLE?

 

BECOME A COMMISSIONER!

HERE'S HOW:

If you're qualified to vote in a Pottawattamie County general election, you're an eligible candidate for election to the West Pottawattamie county soil and water conservation district board.

Each district is governed by five commissioners who are elected at general elections on a nonpartisan basis four four-year terms. Only one commissioner may reside in any single township (Rockford, Boomer, Neola, Minden, Crescent, Hazel Dell, Norwalk, York, Lake, Garner, Hardin, Lewis, Keg Creek and Silver Creek). 

You'll need a nominating petition from the county Auditor or SWCD office. At least 25 eligible voters must sign the petition and you must file it with the Auditor no later than the 69th day before the general election. You must also file an affidavit stating your name, residence and an assurance that you are an eligible candidate. No political party is designated.

If elected, you will take an oath of office and begin your four-year term on the first day in January following the election (that is not a Sunday or a holiday).

 

Help Direct Local Programs

 

As a commissioner, you'll help guide SWCD programs in the county, and will have the opportunity to influence state and national conservation programs.

Your involvement will include establishing conservation priorities, resolving soil loss complaints, establishing acceptable soil loss limits, publishing an annual report, approving soil conservation plans, and assisting in the management of district funds and personnel.

You will be reimbursed for expenses, and be protected from personal liability. Among other things, you'll be expected to take part in regular monthly meetings, become knowledgeable of the soil and water conservation laws and program, develop and carry out soil and water resource conservation plans, and help direct financial incentives programs with assistance of office staff.

A commissioner is a volunteer conservation promoter in the community, who helps direct activities such as field days, educational meetings and materials, contests, awards programs, and publicity. Again, with the assistance of office staff.

The Conservation Partnership

Soil and Water Conservation districts work closely with a number of local, state & federal agencies, as well as with local groups and organizations.

·        Iowa Dept. of Agriculture & Land Stewardship- Division of Soil Conservation

·        Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)​

The Division helps districts administer state and local programs, including financial incentive programs, and assigns state technical and secretarial people to districts. 

Work With Other Agencies And Groups

Districts work closely with other entities including:

·        State Soil Conservation Committee

·        Conservation Districts of Iowa

·        Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources

·        USDA Farm Services Agency

·        USDA Rural Development

·        Iowa Cooperative Extension Service

·        Pottawattamie County Conservation Board

·        Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors

District commissioners may also call on service organizations, businesses, agricultural organizations, media, environmental organizations, schools, and other local individuals and groups to promote soil and water conservation and natural resource protection.

Help Administer Conservation Programs

The SWCD's are legal subdivision of state government. Commissioners are responsible for carrying out state laws and programs within district boundaries. These include:

·        Sediment control law

·        Conservation cost-sharing

·        Conservation revolving loan funds

·        Water quality protection projects

·        Resources enhancement and protection

Federal Programs

·        Conservation Reserve Program

·        Environmental Quality Incentives Program

·        Wetlands Reserve Program

·        Conservation Planning

Districts serve as local sponsors for watershed projects, resource conservation and development areas, and soil surveys as well.

By Law, Conservation Districts Can...

Iowa law grants authority to Conservation Districts to carry out activities that will help get conservation on the ground.  According to the law, Conservation Districts can...

·        Conduct surveys, investigation and research about soil erosion, sediment damages, floodwater, and development preventative control measures

·        Conduct demonstration projects

·        Cooperate or enter into agreements with, and furnish financial or other aid to government or other agencies, or any owner or occupant of land within the district to carry out erosion control and watershed protection.

·        Obtain options and acquire property, rights, or interests by purchase, exchange, lease, gift, grant or otherwise. May maintain, administer, and improve properties acquired.  May receive income from such properties and expend income to carry out conservation activities. 

·        May accept donations, gifts and contributions in money, services, materials, or otherwise from the United States or any of its agencies, and from the State or any of its agencies to carry on district operations.

·        Encourage local school districts to provide instruction about soil conservation as part of course work relating natural resources conservation and environmental awareness.

·        Develop comprehensive plans to conserve natural resources including controlling and preventing soil erosion.

·        Help administer cost share for conservation practices in the county.

The major criteria for being a successful commissioner is an interest in the natural resources and people of Iowa.

Equal Opportunity For All

Districts offer services without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, political beliefs or marital status. To help broaden interest in district programs, and to bring different perspectives to district boards, districts encourage everyone to consider serving as a SWCD commissioner.

Click on the link below for an Interactive Exploration of Soil Health and How to Improve It

provided by SARE: Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education:

 

https://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/What-is-Soil-Health/?utm_source=Mailigen&fbclid=IwAR1s-fA5oPutyXmE94tqzpUf5okbCMQWzgJWx8cvpKHvuNL6ij5y41g8qyw

Pheasants Forever

 

In 1982, a group of pheasant hunters saw the connection between

upland habitat loss and declining pheasant populations. An organization

dedicated to wildlife habitat conservation was needed, and Pheasants

Forever was formed. Pheasants Forever’s mission work quickly garnered it a reputation as “The Habitat Organization,” a tagline the nonprofit

conservation group uses proudly to this day.

Pheasants Forever is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.

How do we achieve this mission across more than 45 U.S. states and parts of Canada? Through the dedicated efforts of our:

  • 149,000 members

  • Diverse staff – including more than 150 wildlife biologists

  • Local chapters – more than 700

  • Many non-governmental, governmental, nonprofit and corporate partners

The sum of these parts has made Pheasants Forever the recognizable leader in wildlife habitat projects accomplished and the leading advocate for wildlife habitat conservation.

Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist
Quarterly Report
July-September 2019
January- March 2020

Information provided by pheasantsforever.org