MINUTES

USDA Service Center

Springfield, Missouri

June 20, 2000

 

Present

 

Eli Mast, President

Roger Hansen, State Conservationist

Steve Hopper, Past President       

Bob Miller, MDC

Donald Jordan, Area I                       

Sarah Fast, DNR Soil & Water Program

Richard Morgan, Area II                  

Bill Wilson, DNR Soil & Water Program

Kerry Gose, Area IV                        

David Dix, Treasurer

Bill Hollenbeck, Area V                   

Peggy Lemons, Exec. Secretary

David Hale, Area VI Alt.                  

Monte Hawks, Asst. State Conservationist

J. D. Hutsell, Area VII Alt.                

Ben Reed, District Employees Assoc.

                         

Adrian Murray, Greene County

 

The meeting was called to order by President Eli Mast at 4:00 p.m.

The minutes from the April 18, 2000 meeting were approved as mailed. The motion was made by Steve Hopper, seconded by Donald. Motion carried.

David distributed a treasurer report. He stated the $30,000 reimbursed for the Leadership Grant had been placed in short term CD's. This will gain approximately $800 more than if left in the checking account for the same time period. He has received dues from 5 Districts since the last meeting and 3 more have indicated they will pay. To date 100 Districts have paid dues for 2000. A motion was made by Kerry, seconded by Bill to approve the treasurer report as presented. Motion carried. David stated the signature card for the checking account still had his name and Steve Hopper on it. Also, the CD's only had his name at the present time and asked the Board for a decision of whose name to put on these. A motion was made by Donald, seconded by Steve Hopper, to put the President's name on these accounts along with David. Motion carried. Receipts have been received for Jeff Otto's attendance at the NACD National Meeting in Colorado. A motion was made by Kerry, seconded by Richard, to pay Jeff's expenses from the Leadership Grant. Motion carried.

 A legislative update was given for the federal budget that is still on hold. The Governor has not signed the state budget (HB1106) or Senate Bill 741 yet. The Board reviewed the contents of SB 741 for what pertains to the soil and water districts and its implications. Peggy covered a few of the Board responsibilities that District Boards will need to be aware of if the benefit funds are approved. These will be discussed at the meeting later in the evening and will also be discussed at MASWCD Area Meetings.

The schedule for the upcoming MASWCD Area Meetings was distributed along with a copy of the memo sent to the Districts about the Area Meetings. The agenda is condensed as requested, 2 meetings will be evening meetings. Eli will be attending all Area Meetings.

The plans for the NACD Regional Meeting in Michigan were reviewed. There are 26 people riding the bus. There is still room for 4 more. Hotel rooms have been arranged in Fort Wayne, Indiana, for the overnight stay both ways. The exact times and places to meet the bus around the state will be finalized by the end of next week and sent to those going.

The MASWCD Web Page is about 90% completed. There are still a couple of links to complete and post, but for the most part it is working. The draft minutes from the April 18 meeting were posted. The approved minutes since January 1, 2000 will be posted. Plans are to post draft minutes and then approved minutes so Districts and supervisors can get these from the web page in a more timely manner. The Board discussed using a system where an e-mail message will be sent to the Districts when minutes or something else has been posted to get them in the habit of checking the page for information. The Board also discussed adding a link for associate membership information and applications.

Eli discussed with the Board the collection of NACD quota dollars. A chart of quota history from 1992 for Missouri Districts was distributed. He asked the Board for suggestions and ideas on helping Districts understand the importance of NACD and their need for quota dollars. It was stated that the fact that NRCS remains a stand-alone agency is due to NACD and their legislative efforts. They are the only voice nationally for private land conservation. This will be one of the topics for Area Meetings.

Bid information for the 2002 NACD Regional Meeting hosted by Missouri was given to the Board. The committee working on the 2002 Regional Meeting will attend this year's regional meeting and will have a committee meeting on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. with Deb Bogar of NACD. The bid received has some parts that are not within the price area desired and need to be worked on.

The NACD Leadership Conference will be August 20-22 in Tucson, Arizona. Representing MASWCD will be Eli, Lloyd, Steve Hopper, and Peggy.

MDC REPORT: Bob Miller stated that the Drought Assessment Committee has looked at the wildlife nesting due to the early spring and stated it is running about 7-10 days early and they would not be opposed to an early release of CRP land for grazing. Another web site to look at is the LEK TREK site sponsored by the Grassland Coalition (www.lektrek.org). This will help Missourians see what an important industry cattle is to the state. A listening session was held last week in Columbia with Senators Bond and Ashcroft discussing wells and the buffer initiative. He also stated that faxes being distributed around the state indicating deer diseases and plans to change deer hunting season are a hoax.

NRCS REPORT: Roger Hansen distributed a copy of a letter sent to the District Boards asking for comments, etc., on the District Conservationists, Assistant State Conservationists, and the State Conservationist. He also stated that District employees should include their feedback with the Board feedback. He reminded everyone of the anonymous mailbox on e-mail for comments, etc. A letter was reviewed from Steve Mahfood (DNR) to Bob Bross and the Watershed Association. This letter was about 401 certifications and the PL566 Small Watershed Program. Roger stated the program is facing some challenges, which need to be addressed.

COMMISSION REPORT: Sarah Fast stated the Commission meeting is the next morning with a tour hosted by Polk County. They will be looking at a spring development, intensive grazing system, and a lane restoration. The Commission will be addressing the employee benefit issue of which funds are eligible to use for the 25% health insurance not paid for from the benefit fund if these funds are included in the budget when signed. It is expected the Governor will sign the budget next week.

EMPLOYEE ASSOCIATION REPORT: Ben Reed distributed a list of items the Employees Association has been working on and what the association is about including a list of the Area Representatives. He stated that if the benefit funds happen, it will give Districts a whole new level of responsibility. The Legislature does not want themselves, DNR or the Commission making decisions on insurance and retirement. He indicated a permanent committee to oversee the benefits and salary issues should be created. He also stated he had received comments about the lack of attendance by Extension board members. Maybe MASWCD leadership should discuss this with the University.

Area Reports: Richard indicated he had brought samples of forestry products for everyone to look at.

Correspondence: A letter was received asking for a donation to the Soil and Water Conservation Society meeting in July in St. Louis. A motion was made by Donald, seconded by Richard to donate $100. A motion was made by Bill to amend this to $250. Kerry seconded this. The amendment was approved and motion carried.

In the past Richard has presented the state fair hay award. Eli asked J. D. if he would do this since he is the forage and grassland contact. J. D. agreed.

Eli distributed copies of upcoming field days and meetings he had received for anyone who was interested in attending. He also had brochures from the Mid-America Grassland Contest he gave out to show the Board what the contest was about. There were 12 teams and the winning team was from Houston, Missouri.

A letter was received from NACD asking for names of District Supervisors and MASWCD Directors who are actively involved in state and national political parties. The Board did not indicate any names to submit to NACD.

The NACD nominating committee is asking for nominations for 2nd Vice President.

Other Business: By statute districts need to have a long range plan every 5 years. A copy of the joint letter that will be sent from MASWCD and the Commission was distributed. This will go out on MASWCD letterhead.

The next regular meeting will be held in the northwest or north central part of the state the first part of September. The date will be set in conjunction with a watershed tour if possible. This will give Districts the opportunity to meet with the MASWCD leadership to discuss issues and concerns as is being done immediately following this meeting in the southwest part of the state. There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 6:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Peggy Lemons                                               

                                                                                                                                                           

Peggy Lemons, Executive Secretary                                 Eli Mast, President