Webinar: Conservation Districts and Invasive Species Management

The Western Governors’ Association hosted the webinar, Conservation Districts and Invasive Species Management, on Thursday, March 21.

The webinar featured representatives from conservation districts in Hawaii, Oregon and New Mexico discussing innovative, cross-boundary efforts to manage invasive species. Panelists also highlighted how Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs and funding can facilitate invasive species management on private land.

This was the second webinar in a series as part of the Western Governors’ Biosecurity and Invasive Species Initiative, the central policy initiative of WGA Chair and Hawaii Gov. David Ige.

The webinar was moderated by Travis Thomason, Director – Pacific Islands Area, NRCS. Panelists included: Mae Nakahata, Director, Maui County Soil and Water Conservation District (view slides); Michelle Delepine, Invasive Species Program Manager, West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (view slides); Lindsey Karr, WeedWise Specialist, Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District (view slides); and Debbie Hughes, Executive Director, New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts (view slides).

Highlights from the webinar:

“Conservation districts help provide immediate boots on the ground who are aware of local risks. It is important to be able to take immediate action when circumstances change.”- Mae Nakahata

“Conservation district partnerships can help address gaps in management. Invasive weeds don’t pay attention to property lines. Public land managers will often treat a weed only for it to be re-infested by a neighboring property on private land. Conservation districts can step in and work with private landowners to address this challenge.” - Lindsey Karr

“Many of the ranches we work on are checkerboard ranches of private, state and federal land. Being able to use Farm Bill funding on BLM and USFS land has made a huge difference in being able to leverage resources and form partnerships.” - Debbie Hughes

For questions about sponsorship opportunities, please contact WGA Director of Development, Sarah Olsen at 720.897.4540 or [email protected]. To learn more about the Initiative, contact WGA Policy Advisor Bill Whitacre at 720.897.4538 or [email protected]. Get the latest news about the West and its governors by following the Western Governors' Association on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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