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GLIN==> Report calls for boost in conservation funding
- Subject: GLIN==> Report calls for boost in conservation funding
- From: Kirk Haverkamp <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 04 Nov 2002 14:15:03 -0500
- Delivered-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Delivered-To: email@example.com
- List-Name: GLIN-Announce
- Organization: Great Lakes Commission
- User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:0.9.4) Gecko/20011128 Netscape6/6.2.1
Great Lakes soil and water conservation districts face growing responsibilities
Report calls for $80 million boost in regional conservation funding
Ann Arbor, Mich. — An additional $80 million a year is needed to
adequately protect and manage the soil, water quality and related natural
resources of the Great Lakes basin, according to a newly released analysis
of Great Lakes conservation districts.
The report, compiled by the National Association of Conservation Districts
and the Great Lakes Commission, provides a look at the changing role of conservation
districts in improving and managing the natural resources of the Great Lakes
basin, along with an assessment of what they need to carry out that mission.
“Local conservation districts are at the forefront of the effort to improve
and conserve the natural resources of the Great Lakes region,” said Joe Newberg,
chairman of the National Association of Conservation Districts’ Great Lakes
Committee. “It is important that their needs are known and the region can
speak with one voice to obtain the necessary resources to carry out this
important task at the local level.”
The study found that more than $80 million in additional annual funding is
needed for Great Lakes conservation districts to carry out their mission
of improving and conserving the natural resources of the basin. The funds
would be used to hire professional staff, purchase equipment and provide
incentives for landowners to improve and conserve the natural resources on
Titled An Analysis of Conservation Districts’ Changing Responsibilities:
The District Role in Conserving and Protecting Great Lakes Land and Water
Resources, the report is based on a survey of the 209 conservation districts
(sometimes called soil and water conservation districts) in the Great Lakes
basin. The report categorizes conservation district programs and funding
needs, and makes recommendations based on those findings.
The survey found that, over the past 10 years, the traditional role of conservation
districts in controlling soil erosion has been supplemented by a growing
emphasis on water quality issues. Although agricultural programs remain their
most significant component, conservation districts are placing increasing
importance on hydromodification, urban and forestry issues as well.
Another trend has been toward watershed-based resource management, an approach
increasingly taken by federal and state agencies. However, the survey found
that conservation districts are often hampered from such an approach by jurisdictional
lines that do not follow watershed boundaries.
Other areas addressed by the survey include water quality monitoring, groundwater
management, land disposal, resource recovery, mining, communications and
outreach, partnerships and personnel resources.
The survey is a follow-up to a similar survey conducted in the early 1990s.
Survey partners include the Great Lakes Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Task
Force, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Ohio Department
of Natural Resources.
The entire report and survey questions can be found at www.glc.org/swcdsurvey.
A brochure summarizing the survey results is available by contacting Gary
Overmier, Great Lakes Commission, 734-971-9135, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Gary Overmier
The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by Samuel W. Speck (Ohio)
, is a nonpartisan, binational compact agency created by state and U.S.
federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, healthy environment
and high quality of life for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region and its
residents. The Commission consists of state legislators, agency officials
and governors’ appointees from its eight member states. Associate membership
for Ontario and Québec was established through the signing of a “Declaration
of Partnership.” The Commission maintains a formal Observer program involving
U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies
and other regional interests. The Commission offices are located in Ann
The National Association of Conservation Districts is the national voice
of America’s 3,000 local conservation districts. By working with landowners,
organizations and government, conservation districts have helped to protect
our soil, water, forests, wildlife and other resources for more than 60 years.