Lincoln County Conservation District was awarded the Nevada Association of Conservation Districts Outstanding Conservation District Award of 2014 at their convention in Fallon last November. Citing its long history, NvACD President Jake Tibbitts went on to describe activities Lincoln County CD is involved in.
• Assisting the Pahranagat Valley Local Work Group to solve problems with the Drain dug by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Over time its lack of proper maintenance has created significant ponding areas and a lack of water reaching the lower end on the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. Under strong advisement of the CD, the USFWS redirected funds away from a proposed watershed assessment to provide actual engineering and the beginning money to clean out The Drain. CD Supervisors are leading the Local Work Group, rallying local participation and Eddie Stewart even ran the heavy equipment to do the job. The initial phase has been completed on schedule with help from funding from the NDOW Landowner Incentive Program.
• Other CCC projects in Lincoln County are the five grade control structures built in 1937 to stop head cutting from proceeding up Meadow Valley Wash. The Conservation District and Lincoln County are partners to find a way to fund restoration of these structures which still perform needed service in the Wash. The uphill battle to obtain planning, funding, and materials requires a herd dog; a torch the CD carries and is now bearing fruit with likely funding from the NDOW Landowner Incentive Program for the Mathews Drop Structure.
• To further the CD’s education tradition Lincoln County CD initiated a seminar series in 2014 titled “Conservation District Workshop,” to provide an ongoing series of informative presentations on a variety of topics of interest to people in Lincoln County with an emphasis toward agriculture and natural resources. The Workshops are geared for adults but the FFA students from Pahranagat Valley and Lincoln County High Schools are encouraged to participate. To promote the FFA programs, provide a way for the CD to interact with the communities, and to extend the reach of the Workshops, the idea is to alternate as much as possible between meeting in Alamo and Panaca at the high schools. The CD will organize events two to four times a year on an ongoing basis to provide education and a chance for those interested in agriculture and natural resources in Lincoln County to mingle and exchange ideas.
• Lincoln County CD partnered with the Lincoln County Farm Bureau and the State Conservation Commission to mark fences near Greater Sage-grouse leks in Spring Valley. The CD is a member of the Lincoln County Sage-grouse Local Area Work Group and provided comments on the draft Sage-grouse EIS to BLM.
Lincoln County is 98 percent federally owned; the CD serves as an important link between federal and state agencies and private landowners. As an entity of state government it has broad reaching authorities under NRS 548. The CD has been strengthened by its relationship with Nevada Association of Conservation Districts. In the last year it signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Pahranagat Valley and Southern Nevada Cooperative Weed Management Areas.
Lincoln County Conservation District is outstanding because of the strong commitment of its Supervisors and their willingness to tackle difficult problems as well as provide a forum where different interests may come together to seek solutions. The CD owns a building in Caliente, purchased by earlier Supervisors with long term vision that serves as office space for USDA NRCS, Cooperative Extension / 4-H, and Workforce. The CD works hard to maintain the building to provide these critical offices and public meeting space.
The Lincoln County CD Board of Supervisors at the time of the award was Lee Mathews, Justin Frehner, Susan Hansen, Maggie Orr, Kelly Miller, John Sanders, and Eddie Stewart. Steve Meldrum was elected in November to replace Eddie Stewart. Lincoln County CD Supervisors bring practical, hard hitting experience and enthusiasm to positively affect locally-led conservation in Lincoln County.