Alva Review-Courier -

Woods County Conservation District presents new five year plan

 

Ashley Strehl

At the Soil Conservation building located in Freedom, meetings are held on the second Wednesday of every month at 1 p.m.

Last Wednesday, June 12, the Woods County Conservation District (WCCD), board met for their monthly meeting to discuss their agenda. At 2 p.m. on June 12 they held a public meeting in order to present their new five year plan and leave the opportunity open for public comment, with three guests present.

Board members Katie Blunk, Deb Kimbro, Rod Ferguson and Brodie Bush met to conduct regular business such as approving conservation plans, cost-share programs, and setting priorities for work, planning and implementing programs of work and approving expenditures of money. The meeting was also attended by District Manager Kari Nixon and District Conservationist Shelly Oliphant.

The board members have been working for several weeks to present their new five year plan, which will begin on July 1 of this year until the year 2024. Their fiscal year begins on July 1.

"It's a pretty extensive long range plan," Blunk said. "We all sat in here and spent a long afternoon writing this up. I mean, we really did try to tailor this to what's happening in Woods County and what the immediate needs are in our area."

According to their written plan, the mission of the Woods County Conservation District is to provide grassroots advocacy leadership, educational resources and partnership opportunities between the Woods County Conservation District and those who manage the lands to enhance natural resources for a better Oklahoma. The literature outlines a "Major Plan" that states that the conservation district will host educational workshops covering proper firebreak construction to facilitate safe and effective prescribed burning practices, "firebreak do's and don'ts."

"I'm excited about that one," Nixon said.

The plan also includes a priority section for conservation needs and geographic areas. Needs include Eastern Red Cedar control; the goal is to educate and assist landowners with eradicating cedar trees by prescribed burning on 25,000 acres by June 2024.

"We do have some cost share program money that's going to be available for those practices," Blunk said.

It also states that by June 2024 a goal is to assist producers with education and implementation of prescribed burning of 25,000 acres by working with the locally prescribed burn association and NRCS assisted burn plans. Other priorities include soil health, water supply and storage and grass planting, both native and introduced.

Other priorities and goals include outreach programs for education by hosting outdoor classrooms for Woods County youth by holding an annual event in each geographic community to enhance and increase district presence and public awareness in the Freedom, Waynoka and Alva communities by 2024. They also plan to educate producers and various community members through their booth at the annual Woods County Fair.

According to the plan's literature, "All WCCD directors and staff volunteer their time away from their farm and ranch operations to greet the public at our booth during the county fair, locally led meetings and cooperative outreach seminars."

For more information, comments or questions on the WCCD's 5 year plan, you can contact them by email at [email protected]

 

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