MINUTES

Star Conference Center

Branson, Missouri

July 6, 2002

 

 

 

Present

 

Eli Mast, President

Steve Hopper, Past President

Brenda Ebersold, Area I

Richard Morgan, Area II

Kathryn Braden, Area VI

Bob Thornsberry, Area VII

Steve Huber, Area VIII

Bill Wilson, DNR Soil & Water Program

Bob Miller, MO Dept. Conservation

Roger Hansen, State Conservationist

Montie Hawks, Asst.State Conservationist

David Dix, Treasurer

Peggy Lemons, Executive Secretary

 

The meeting was called to order by President Eli Mast at 1:15 p.m.

The minutes of March 12, 2002, were approved as mailed. Motion made by Steve Hopper, seconded by Kathryn. Motion carried.

David distributed a treasurer report. There are 10 districts that have not paid their state dues this year. David stated there are committed funds in the account of $640 for the reception at the North Central Regional Meeting and $8173.37 for the 2002 Women In Ag Conference. A report was also given on the funds for MOCREP and the amount of payments to landowners to date. A motion was made by Kathryn, seconded by Richard, to approve the treasurer report and file it for audit. Motion carried.

Eli reviewed the events leading up to the approval of the budget with the $500,000 increase. He thanked those who helped with the legislative efforts this year and also suggested the board should thank those legislators who played a key role in this process.

Bill Wilson distributed copies of the memo sent to the Districts that included the dates and locations for the Area Meetings, and a draft agenda. He stated post card reminders would also be sent out. At this time Eli plans to attend all Area Meetings. The board discussed what needs to be included in the MASWCD report.

Steve Hopper expressed his thoughts on the recent research report by Sandy Rikoon of the University of Missouri concerning the recommendation for using 25% of the geographic cost-share allocation for programs that address local concerns. After some discussion, a motion was made by Kathryn to table the discussion until the next meeting until everyone had a chance to study the report. This was seconded by Steve Hopper, motion carried.

The warm-season hay award presented at the state fair will be presented on Sunday, August 11 at 1:00 p.m. Steve Oetting will be asked to do the presentation, if he cannot, Steve Hopper will do it.

Peggy reported on the preparation for the North Central Regional Meeting. The board was given copies of the program and reviewed their assigned duties. Current registered attendance is 330, which includes guests and spouses. Peggy did report the purchase of walkie talkies to be used at the meeting. A motion was made by Steve Hopper, seconded by Kathryn, to approve this purchase. Motion carried.

The board discussed how the 2002 Farm Bill, especially EQIP, will affect the state cost-share program. Roger Hansen emphasized that NRCS will continue to assist with the state cost-share, however, there is a need to balance the federal and state programs. He distributed a letter that was sent to the Districts asking for their input regarding resource concerns in their county. He stated this input will help him with the decisions on the amount of funding to use to address each of the resource concerns. Roger will be talking about the Farm Bill and EQIP at the Area Meetings. He stated he has hired around 40 new employees for the field, and may try to hire a few more. The grazing system program in EQIP does not require attendance at a grazing school, however, he did state that there are added incentives if the landowner has attended a grazing school. Bob Miller of MDC reported there will be 10 soil conservation positions jointly through MDC and NRCS with the emphasis for these positions being in forestry.

Eli asked for volunteers to attend the NACD fall board meeting. The meeting will probably be held in October, however the exact date and location has not been determined yet. Steve Huber will plan to attend as the board alternate with Eli and Peggy.

MDC REPORT: Bob Miller stated that the new director for MDC is John Hoskins. He began his career with MDC as a conservation agent and was raised in the Van Buren area. Bob reported that some of the regions are setting up regional advisory groups. He distributed a copy of a news article from the Conservation Federation magazine on this. Bob also distributed a copy of the Sand and Gravel Removal Guide along with a letter in response to the resolution passed at the Training Conference concerning sand and gravel removal from streams. This resolution will be discussed at the Commission meeting this week. Bob stated that there is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to sand and gravel removal and sometimes a landowner can do more than he thinks he can for sand and gravel removal.

NRCS REPORT: Roger Hansen reported that NRCS may be gathering information concerning the composition of the SWCD boards in Missouri. He also reported on the issues related to the Indiana Bat habitat. In order to stay in compliance with the endangered species act, large trees where nests might be located, will have to be cut down during the winter months when the bats are not nesting. This part of the endangered species act will probably take effect next year. He stated they are currently doing this in the larger watershed construction areas. Roger also expressed his appreciation for the sympathy and kindness shown to him and his family by the conservation partnership during the loss of his father.

COMMISSION REPORT: Bill Wilson stated the Commission will meet Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel in Branson. He stated the new fiscal year has started and letters have been sent to the districts indicating the amount of their FY2003 budget allocation, which includes the increase of $500,000. He reported this has been the 4th or 5th best year for cost-share with the total claimed coming at just under $22 million. The department has been undergoing a review by the state auditor office, there may be some issues develop due to this audit that will be covered with the districts. He also stated that they have not been able to sustain the 3-year turn around on district audits, more like 4 or 5-year. They are currently in the bid process for contracting new auditors now.

The draft letter calling for resolutions for the 2002 Training Conference Annual Meeting was reviewed. The letter was approved for mailing with a couple of minor changes. Resolutions will be due to MASWCD by September 1, 2002.

Eli reported that Steve Baima has requested MASWCD to sponsor the printing of a one-page flyer promoting the grassland video recently produced by the Cattlemen’s, NRCS, MDC, etc. The estimated cost for this is $350. A motion was made by Richard to approve this request. This was seconded by Steve Hopper. Motion carried.

The next meeting was set for Wednesday, September 18 in Jefferson City at the USDA Service Center. Starting time will probably be 5:00 p.m., but will be finalized later.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m. Motion made by Kathryn, seconded by Steve Hopper. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Peggy Lemons, Executive Secretary

 

Eli Mast, President