April 2014 Conservation Connection

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                                                                                                       April 2014

April Happenings


Equal Pay Day

Presidential Proclamation
National Equal Pay Day -
April 8th

Volunteer

Find out how to become an Earth Team Volunteer with the NRCS

Earth Day

Presidential Proclamation
Earth Day - April 22nd
Every day is Earth Day at the NRCS.  Learn more about the basics and benefits of soil health and how NRCS is helping our nation’s farmers “Unlock the Secrets in the Soil.”

Parks

Presidential Proclamation

National Park Week - April 19th to 27th and Junior Ranger Day April 26th

Civil Rights


Civil Rights

Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to hold political office in California honored on Postage Stamp

Health & Wellness

Health and Wellness

40 Unexpected Ways You Can Help the Environment Right Now.


Calendar

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Cheshire County Conservation District Annual Plant Sale, April 26th, 9:00 to 1:00 Alyson's Orchard, Walpole, NH

NHDES Drinking Water Source Protection Conference April 30th, 8:30 to 4:00, The Grappone Center, Concord, NH 

NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant State Application Pre-proposals due May 2nd.
grants.gov announcement

Pemigewasset Drinking Water Improvement Outreach Meeting - May 7th, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Owls Nest Country Club, Campton, NH

NH Sheep and Wool Festival - May 10 and 11, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Deerfield Fairgrounds, Deerfield, NH

NRCS EQIP applications due May 16th to be considered in the next ranking batch.

Monadnock Farm Summit May 19th, 5:30 to 7:30, Heberton Hall, next to the Keene Public Library
60 Winter Street

NRCS State Conservationist and NHACD Meet With NH Congressional Delegation in Washington, D.C.

Congs

On March 26th, NRCS NH State Conservationist, Rick Ellsmore, along with NH Association of Conservation Districts (NHACD) Vice President, Linda Brownson, met with Senator Shaheen and Representatives Shea-Porter and Kuster to discuss how the 2014 Farm Bill will impact NH and the NH  Drinking Water Quality Improvement Partnership and the projects that will be occurring in the New Hampshire watershed focus areas for the benefit of New Hampshire and its drinking water. The Senator and Congresswomen expressed their support for the NRCS and the work it accomplishes in New Hampshire.

Each year, the NHACD meets with Congressional leaders to discuss conservation issues, including the importance of the NRCS and its programs.  The State Conservationist attends the meetings to provide answers to any questions about the agency that are asked. 

From top to bottom:  Linda Brownson,
Rick Ellsmore and Senator Shaheen,
Congresswoman Shea-Porter, and
Congresswoman Kuster

EQIP Applications Due May 16th

If you are interested in protecting, conserving, or restoring the natural resources on your property through technical or financial assistance, contact your local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) field office to begin the conservation planning process.

Once an NRCS Conservation Plan is developed, you can work with NRCS to determine which programs would best suit your conservation needs. Applications for the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and initiatives may be submitted at any time year-round; however, the next application batching date is May 16, 2014. All applicants that are eligible by COB on May 16, 2014 will be considered in this funding cycle. In order for your eligible application to be considered, landowners/operators must submit a complete application packet (including eligibility paperwork).     More

Carroll County Cleans Up on Earth Day

Earth Day clean up

From Left to Right:  UNH Cooperative Extension: Betty Lou Canty, Oliva Saunders;  Rural Development: Karen Demers, Theresa Zowasky;  NRCS: Deb Eddison, Carroll County Conservation District: Joan Richardson

NRCS once again partnered with the Carroll County Conservation District, UNH Cooperative Extension, and Rural Development to clean up their work neighborhood in honor of Earth Day 2014.  They collected several large bags of trash that had accumulated in and around snow banks, parking lots, and city parks all winter long.  Deb Eddison, NRCS Soil Conservationist said "it felt great to celebrate Earth Day, spring clean, and welcome in the warm weather." 

Deputy Under Secretary Butch Blazer Visits NH

Butch Blazer

On April 3rd, at the Forest Service offices in Durham, NH, Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and the Environment, Butch Blazer, heard presentations on the NH Drinking Water Quality Improvement Partnership. Present for the meeting were:  Terry Miller, Forest Service NE/NY Field Rep, Brad Simpkins, NH State Forester, Rick Ellsmore, NRCS State Conservationist, and·Roger Simmons, FS Natural Resources Staff Officer, White Mountain National Forest. (WMNF)

Rick Ellsmore explained that NRCS will enter into financial assistance contracts with private landowners in three major watershed areas.  He emphasized the ongoing partnership with the NH State Forester (NH Division of Forests and Lands) through UNH Cooperative Extension to develop forest management plans with landowners that will result in a significant number of quality conservation projects.  Terry Miller and Brad Simpkins of the Forest Service summarized the State Action Plan and how that ties into this effort.  The Under Secretary was excited to learn that NH will also be receiving an additional $75,000 to continue outreach work related to this project.  Roger Simmons completed the presentation highlighting how the WMNF will contribute directly and indirectly to the accomplishment of the project with emphasis on the opportunity to solve complex land use challenges where public and private lands interface using the example of the Jackson Water Precinct dams.                      
            
The NH Drinking Water Quality Improvement Partnership

Featured Photo

By Debra Eddison, NRCS Soil Conservationist

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Cedar Waxwing in a Hawthorn tree outside the Conway NRCS office in mid-March.  A flock of approximatley 40 birds were feeding on the Hawthorn berries.  NRCS promotes planting soft mast producing trees and shrubs that are an essential food source for wildlife through the winter months.