September 2014 Soil & Water News

September 2014 Soil & Water News (PDF)

In this Issue:

District Supervisor Elections in November

Update on Erosion and Sediment Control

Changes at GSWCC

GSWCC Careers

District Supervisor Appointments

GSWCC at the Sunbelt Ag Expo

GACDS Scholarship Nominations

Responsive Website Design

Video on Georgia's Flood Control Dams

Mark Your Calendars

Around the Districts

Soil and Water Conservation District Websites

GSWCC

 

District Supervisor Elections in November

Georgia’s 40 Soil and Water Conservation Districts provide a way for citizens to set local resource priorities for state and federal conservation assistance programs, as well as a means for improving and protecting Georgia’s natural resources through education and outreach efforts. Each conservation district is made up of a combination of appointed and elected supervisors who represent the citizens of their county and serve as unpaid state officials. Districts are led by a combination of Supervisors elected in their county to a four-year term, and Supervisors appointed by the GSWCC State Board to a two-year term.

For elected Supervisors, the next election will be held on Tuesday, November 4. District Supervisors will appear as nonpartisan candidates on the 2014 Georgia General Election Ballot in the following counties:

Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Baker, Baldwin, Barrow, Bartow, Ben Hill, Berrien, Bleckley, Brantley, Bulloch, Burke, Butts, Camden, Candler, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Clarke, Clay, Clayton, Cobb, Colquitt, Dawson, Decatur, DeKalb, Dodge, Dooly, Early, Echols, Elbert, Emanuel, Evans, Fannin, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Franklin, Fulton, Gilmer, Glascock, Glynn, Grady, Greene, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Irwin, Jasper, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Lamar, Lanier, Laurens, Lee, Lincoln, Lowndes, Lumpkin, Macon, Madison, Marion, Meriwether, Mitchell, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Muscogee, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Pickens, Polk, Putnam, Quitman, Randolph, Richmond, Rockdale, Schley, Seminole, Stephens, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taliaferro, Taylor, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Toombs, Towns, Treutlen, Troup, Turner, Twiggs, Union, Walker, Walton, Ware, Warren, Washington, Webster, Wheeler, White, Wilcox, Wilkes, Wilkinson, Worth.

The results of the November 2014 District Supervisor elections will be posted on the GSWCC website at http://gaswcc.georgia.gov/how-do-i-become-swcd-supervisor-2014-elections. You can learn more District activities on the GSWCC website at http://gaswcc.georgia.gov/soil-water-conservation-districts.     

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Update on Erosion and Sediment Control

On August 8, 2014, the GSWCC State Board appointed members to the Technical Advisory Committee to consider changes to the Manual for Erosion and Sediment Control in Georgia, 6th Edition, and testing procedures based on the comments received.

The role of TAC members is to receive public comment on the Manual and testing procedures, provide technical expertise, and evaluate potential options in order to provide technical recommendations to the GSWCC State Board for their consideration for adoption.

TAC Members

  • Thomas L Brown
  • Josh Escue
  • Dr. Britt Faucette
  • Adena Fullard
  • Kirby D. Hamil
  • Betty Jean Jordan
  • Bob Moran
  • Reece Parker
  • Brian Watson

Advisers

  • Marc Mastronardi, DOT
  • Brent Story, DOT
  • EPD Representative
  • Eric Harris, NRCS

TAC Takes Comments on the Manual for Erosion and Sediment Control in Georgia
More than 70 people attended the Wednesday, September 10, meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on the Manual for Erosion and Sediment Control in Georgia, 6th Edition

The meeting at the UGA Center for Continuing Education began with introductions by  Brent Dykes. Ben Ruzowicz provided the audience with a brief history of the revisions that led to the release of the 6th Edition. Joel Sprague, Senior Engineer at TRI/Environmental Inc., gave a PowerPoint presentation on testing procedures and answered questions from the audience concerning how products were tested. After lunch the Committee took comments from the audience. A written record of the meeting was made for future reference. Materials from the meeting are available at http://gaswcc.georgia.gov/tac-meeting-september-2014.

Next TAC Meeting in October
The next meeting of the TAC will be held in October. The announcement will be posted on the GSWCC website at http://gaswcc.georgia.gov/technical-advisory-committee-gswcc-erosion-and-sediment-control-program.

Public Comments
Public comments may be made until December 18. Anyone wishing to make a comment should email their statement to GreenBookComments@gaswcc.org.



Manual for Erosion and Sediment Control Email List
If you are interested in keeping updated on the Manual, you may subscribe to the GSWCC Manual for Erosion and Sediment Control email list at http://gaswcc.georgia.gov/technical-advisory-committee-gswcc-erosion-and-sediment-control-program. Announcement of future meetings of the TAC, as well as updates on decisions made by the GSWCC State Board related to erosion and sediment control, will be sent out to the email list.

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Changes at GSWCC

 

GSWCC State Board members Dennis Brown and William H. “Hal” Haddock Jr. have chosen to resign from the GSWCC State Board effective September 16. Mr. Brown has served on the State Board since 2003 and Mr. Haddock has served since 2011. We appreciate the years of service both members have given to GSWCC, their support of the agency’s programs, and their continued interest in soil and water conservation. GSWCC State Board Members are appointed by the Governor.



Ben Ruzowicz, who has worked in the Urban Program for a number of years, has been promoted to Urban Program Manager effective September 15. Mr. Ruzowicz replaces Lauren Zdunczyk who resigned to relocate with her family to Maine.

Regional Representative Keegan Malone’s last day with GSWCC was September 10. He left GSWCC to accept a position with USDA-NRCS in Cochran, Ga. Keegan has played an integral part with all of the districts in the Region IV area, and the agency will greatly miss the leadership he provided over the last five years.

GSWCC will act to fill the Regional Representative position in the coming months. In the interim period, Commission staff will assume the Regional Representative duties.

David Hall (Email: dhall@gaswcc.org; Phone 478-934-7299) will cover Central Georgia, Lamar County, Piedmont, Towaliga, Upper Ocmulgee River, and Warren County districts.

Guerry Thomas (Email: gthomas@gaswcc.org; Phone 470-226-4698) will cover Clayton County, Henry County, Rockdale County, and Walton County districts.

Heather Dickey (Email: hdickey@gaswcc; Phone 478-445-5766) will continue to provide administrative assistance to all Region IV conservation districts and assigned GSWCC staff.

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GSWCC Careers

As GSWCC job vacancies occur, they are posted on the State of Georgia website (http://www.careers.ga.gov) and on the GSWCC website (http://gaswcc.georgia.gov/careers). Current vacancies include:

Agricultural Water Irrigation Specialist. Anyone wishing to apply for the position, which will be located in Terrell County, can do so by sending a resume to Andy Pope, GSWCC Personnel Representative, and applying for job requisition number 480-A0954az through the website link -  www.careers.ga.gov.  Resumes will be accepted through October 6, 2014.

Regional Representative I. Anyone wishing to apply for the position, which will be located in Baldwin County, can do so by sending a resume to Andy Pope, GSWCC Personnel Representative, and applying for job requisition number 480-20036ah through the website link -  www.careers.ga.gov.  Resumes will be accepted through October 10, 2014.                                                           
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District Supervisor Appointments

 

At the August 2014 meeting of the GSWCC State Board, the Board considered nominations forwarded from the state’s 40 Soil and Water Conservation Districts and appointed the following District Supervisors:

GSWCC Region I
Blue Ridge Mountain SWCD: Damon Davenport (Fannin County)

 

GSWCC Region III
Coastal SWCD: Roger Houston (Long County)                                                          

Ogeechee River SWCD: Fred Blitch (Bulloch County), Randy Durden (Candler County)

Ohoopee River SWCD: E. Bennett Whitfield (Emanuel County), Chris Hopkins (Toombs County), Jim L. Gillis Jr. (Treutlen County)

GSWCC Region IV
Warren County SWCD: Norma Garner

GSWCC Region V
Middle South Georgia SWCD: Van Murphy (Brooks County)
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GSWCC at the Sunbelt Ag Expo

The Sunbelt Ag Expo is the largest farm show in America, and GSWCC will be exhibiting at this year’s 37th Annual Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition in Moultrie, Ga., October 14 - 16, to showcase the activities of GSWCC and Georgia’s 40 Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Each year the Sunbelt Ag Expo gives the spotlight to one state. In 2014, Georgia will be the Spotlight State and GSWCC will be a sponsor! Being a Spotlight State highlights Georgia agriculture to the world and provides us with the chance to show the impact of agriculture to the state’s economy. Come by the GSWCC booth to say hello and to learn why soil and water conservation is important to all the industries in our state.

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GACDS Scholarship Nominations

Nominations for Georgia Association of Conservation District Supervisors (GACDS) scholarships are due to GACDS by October 15. The three scholarships, each worth $1,000, may be awarded to students majoring or intending to major in soil and water-related fields of study.

Acceptable areas of study include, but are not limited to, agricultural education, agronomy, horticulture, plant pathology, and agricultural communications. The applicant may be a graduate student, senior, junior, sophomore or freshman from Georgia at any accredited college, school, or university in the United States.

If you know of a student who may qualify for one of these scholarships, contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District. Information on the awards, as well as nominating forms, are available on the GACDS website at http://www.gacds.org/scholarship-awards.

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Responsive Website Design

The GSWCC website (http://gaswcc.georgia.gov) runs on a platform managed by the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA). When originally designed, the website was meant to be viewed on a computer. Now, many people use their cell phones, tablets, and other devices with screens of quite different sizes than those of a normal computer screen to view the web.

GTA is encouraging state agencies to take a “Mobile First” mentality. They say “if it works on a mobile phone, it will also work on a desktop computer, and everything in between.” GTA is converting all websites on its platform from a fixed-width design layout to a variable width design that will automatically adapt the GSWCC website to make it easier to read on these mobile devices.

The conversion of the website is currently scheduled to occur on September 26. If you use a mobile device after the conversion, it should make the GSWCC website easier to use.

Using a standard computer, you may see small changes to the GSWCC website due to this conversion process. If you have questions about these changes, please email Mike Wald at mwald@gaswcc.org.

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Video on Georgia's Flood Control Dams

With the assistance of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, GSWCC has posted a new video on YouTube highlighting the important work that flood control dams do to protect people, property, and buildings in Georgia.

While flood control dams are located in 52 counties in Georgia, many people are not aware of them, since most dam locations are surrounded by private property and are not accessible to the average citizen.

Through video, Soil and Water Conservation Districts can remind citizens that people and property in the state are being protected by these structures, which require periodic maintenance to continue doing their jobs.

Soil and Water Conservation Districts manage 357 dams here in the state, and the average flood control dam was built more than 50 years ago. The average cost to rehabilitate a dam is $1.5 million. This compares to an average $24 million in annual benefits for all dams across the state.

The video was taped at South River Dam #29 in Madison County (Broad River Soil and Water Conservation District), where a major rehabilitation project has just been completed using state funding.

NRCS’s Amelia Hines did the taping and editing, while Chris Groskreutz, NRCS State Public Affairs Specialist, is the narrator heard on the tape, along with GSWCC Executive Director Brent Dykes.

Besides being available on YouTube, the video will be used on the newly updated Georgia’s Water Resources Toolkit for Local Governments at http://www.georgiaplanning.com/watertoolkit.

The water toolkit website is meant to assist local governments in dealing with water resource management issues. While the website has been around for a while, it is being overhauled and the new website should be ready for public viewing in October.

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Mark Your Calendars

September 25, 2014 - Forums at Georgia State Capitol on Waters of the U.S. and Aquifer Storage & Recovery. The Georgia House and Senate Natural Resources Committees will be hosting the members of the Agriculture, Economic Development, Regulated Industries and Utilities committees for a Joint Session on the Clean Water Act proposed rule regarding the Waters of the U.S. The meeting will be held at the Senate Chamber in the State Capitol from 9 a.m. to Noon. Guests are welcome to listen and sit in the Gallery (entrance on 4th floor). A Senate Study Committee will meet in the afternoon to consider the feasibility of long-term Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR). Senator Ross Tolleson chairs this committee, which is looking at the technology used across the globe for aquifer storage and recovery as well as considering legislation for the future. Public comments will be accepted at this afternoon meeting.

September 27, 2014  - West Georgia SWCD Appreciation Banquet. The West Georgia SWCD Appreciation Banquet will be held at Supervisor Tommy Waldrop’s Farm, Winston (near Villa Rica) at 6:30 p.m.  The supervisors will be celebrating 76 years as a District.  They will also be recognizing the District’s ‘Conservationist of Year,’ and recognizing the student who obtained the highest score at the Natural Resources Conservation Workshop (NRCW) this past June in Tifton. They will be recognizing Conservation Supporters of the district as well.

October 3, 2014 - Youth Wildlife Field Day. The Roosevelt SWCD Youth Wildlife Field Day will be held at Troup County High School in LaGrange at the Marvin H. Jones Memorial Outdoor Learning Center from 9 a.m. to Noon.  Several conservation agencies will participate in this event for area 4th graders who will take part in this hands-on  learning experience outside from their own classrooms.

October 8, 2014 - HDCI Public Meeting. Governor Deal has created the High Demand Career Initiative (HDCI) to allow those involved in training Georgia’s future workforce – the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia – to hear directly from the private sector about what specific needs they have from a workforce perspective. There will be a public meeting on October 8 (1 – 4 p.m.)  at Albany Technical College focused on the workforce development needs in agriculture. Information related to this event is available at http://www.georgia.org/competitive-advantages/workforce-division/programs-initiatives/high-demand-career-initiative-hdci/.

October 8, 2014 - Annual Georgia Exports Conference. More than 25 percent of Georgia-grown agricultural crops are exported to other countries and that percent is growing. Those interested in learning more about the export market can attend the Georgia Exports Conference set for October 8 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center. “The conference will provide a one-shop stop to learn about export basics,” said Kent Wolfe, director of the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. Attendees will hear from national industry experts on topics ranging from how to start or expand export programs and how to finance and protect international transactions to how to receive 50 percent reimbursement on international marketing expenses. They will also learn about the Market Access Program initiative and which international markets are right for specific products. Representatives will be on hand from the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Southern U.S. Trade Association, U.S. Export Assistance Center, Export Import Bank, Small Business Development Center-International Trade Center and Small Business Administration. For more information, contact Holly Skorich, international trade manager with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, at 404-962-4841 or HSkorich@georgia.org.

October 14 - 16, 2014 - 2014 Sunbelt Ag Expo. The 2014 Sunbelt Ag Expo will be held at Spence Field in Moultrie, Ga. GSWCC will have an exhibit booth at the event. This year Georgia is the Expo’s Spotlight State and will be showcasing Georgia agriculture in the new Spotlight State Building. North America’s largest farm show features field demonstrations, the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year, and more than 500 exhibitors. For more information visit http://www.sunbeltexpo.com.

October 15, 2014 - RCA Regional Roundtable. The Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act (RCA) calls for USDA to publish periodic appraisals fo the ability of the nation’s natural resources to meet current and future demands. The Farm Foundation, in conjunction with the USDA Climate Hub, has organized a rountable meeting to be held at the Georgia Farm Bureau’s offices in Macon, Georgia, on Wednesday, October 15, address the topics of water resource management, soil health, and the resilience of soil and water resources to climate changes and extreme weather events. Anyone interested in participating in this one-day meeting should contact John Larson, NACD CEO by emailing him at john-larson@nacdnet.org.

November 6, 2014 - Middle South Georgia Conservationist of the Year Banquet. Middle South Georgia SWCD will hold its annual Conservationist of the Year banquet on November 6 at the  Agrirama Conference Center in Tifton.

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Around the Districts

Limestone Valley SWCD hosted a workshop to demonstrate their newly purchased GrassWorks Weed Wiper. The equipment is designed to treat noxious weeds,. The district has made the machine available for rent through the Hinton Milling Company. In addition to the demonstration, experts talked about Farm Bill conservation programs, gave a litter spreader truck calibration demonstration, and discussed nutrient management planning. The workshop was held at the Hinton Volunteer Fire Station, 9273 Georgia Highway 53 W, Jasper, Ga. 30143, and lunch was provided by the Hinton
Volunteer Fire Department. You can see a three-part demonstration of the Weed Wiper on the YouTube GSWCC Channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2odNekrqh1JjFIBCaOLFsA.

In honor of Dr. Jack Tuttle, the Lamar County SWCD sponsored a student to attend the 2014 Natural Resources Conservation Workshop in Tifton, Ga. The scholarship recipient was Lamar County Comprehensive High School 11th Grade student Brayan Garcia. Dr. Jack Tuttle was a charter member of the Lamar County SWCD and a founding member of the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association. He was elected into the Georgia Conservation District Supervisor Hall of Fame in January 2001 and was the first person named to the Mid-Georgia Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame.

Piedmont SWCD sponsored a 4-H Container Garden Competition in Jones County. Students grew bush beans to see who could grow the most beans before the end of the competition in June. Each plant was scored on appearance, yield, and overall health. Bush bean seeds were planted in a container so every student could participate in the competition regardless of whether they lived in an apartment or if the student was unable to maintain a full garden. The winner among 18 contestants was 6th grade home school student Derek Shook.

Ocmulgee River SWCD Supervisor Tim Allen and his wife Harriette were featured in a July national USDA blog for their efforts in restoring the Longleaf Pine Range. The range is one of eight Critical Conservation Areas designated by NRCS. You can read the blog at .http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/07/22/retired-couples-commitment-to-restoring-longleaf-pine-highlights-partnerships-success/


Upper Chattahoochee River SWCD co-sponsored a North Georgia Forest Landowner Field Day at Hightower State Forest, located on Highway 53 adjacent to the Etowah River and approximately three miles east of Dawsonville, Ga. Participants in the workshop heard about issues including wildfire mitigation planning, managing wildlife on forest lands, and suggestions concerning timber sales. Other co-sponsors of the field day included Chestatee-Chattahoochee RC&D Council, Natural Resource Conservation Service, U.S. Forest Service, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and the Georgia Forestry Commission.

West Georgia SWCD sponsored prizes in a land judging contest for FFA teams from Carroll, Haralson, and Heard counties. Teams of no more than four members rotated between three sites. Individual scores were the combined scores of the three sites and the top three individual scores determined the team score.

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Soil and Water Conservation District Websites

Altamaha SWCD  http://www.altamahaswcd.org
Cobb County SWCD  http://cobbswcd.org
Flint River SWCD  http://flintriverswcd.org
Fulton County SWCD  http://www.fultonswcd.com
Hall County SWCD  http://www.hallswcd.org
Henry County SWCD  http://ofig.org/old2/hcswcd
Towaliga SWCD  http://www.towaliga.com
Walton County SWCD  http://www.waltoncountyga.org/WConserve/wcswc.html

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GSWCC

Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission State Board
Phone: 706-552-4470    Email: gswcc@gaswcc.org

Garland Thompson (Chairman) Douglas, Georgia
Carl E. Brack, Carrollton, Georgia
David T. Hays, Covington, Georgia


GSWCC Executive Staff
Brent Dykes (Executive Director), Athens, Georgia,    Email: bdykes@gaswcc.org
Dave Eigenberg (Deputy Executive Director), Dawson, Georgia,    Email: deigenberg@gaswcc.org

GSWCC Regions
Region I   Calhoun Office – John Loughridge, Email Region1@gaswcc.org, 706-624-1434
Region II  Athens Office – Robert Amos, Email Region2@gaswcc.org, 706-552-4479
Region III Statesboro Office – Rahn Milligan, Email Region3@gaswcc.org, 912-681-5241
Region IV Milledgeville Office – Vacant, Email Region4@gaswcc.org, 478-445-5766
Region V  Dawson Office – Luke Crosson, Email Region5@gaswcc.org, 229-995-6001

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