With the Area Meetings about to begin and the leaves starting to turn color, the WACD Annual Conference is on the horizon. This year, we return to Western Washington for three days at the Tacoma Convention Center from December 2nd – 4th. This year’s theme of Rising to the Challenge will be reflected throughout the event, focusing on how conservation districts are rising to the challenges faced in local communities. There is more information and how to register in the conference packet at the bottum, but below is a sneak peak of what lays in store.
Monday, December 2nd consists of optional pre-conference activities with a quarterly Board of Directors meeting as well as WACD’s committees making their recommendations on the resolutions adopted at the area meetings to present at the Business Meeting on Wednesday afternoon. All are welcome to come and give their input during those events. There will be evening activities as well: a listening session with the incoming Executive Director Tom Salzer and President Jeanette Dorner as WACD looks ahead to 2020, a meeting of the Washington Conservation Society, a WADE Forum with President Renee Hadley, and a listening session with representatives and staff from the National Association of Conservation Districts to hear our feedback on how to improve their programs.
Tuesday, December 3rd follows last year’s format of focusing a whole day on issues facing conservation districts. The day will be split into 4 subject areas: the new Farm Bill, water issues, legislative support for conservation, and state agency partnerships with the directors of Washington’s natural resource agencies. At lunch is when WACD will announce the winners of this years’ Awards to recognize special achievement by individuals and organizations. The day will end with our traditional Sponsorship Appreciation Dinner and our annual auction to support Envirothon.
Wednesday, December 4th will have a general session on conservation district elections, followed by breakout trainings courtesy of the Conservation Commission. In the afternoon will be the Business Meeting of the Association. This meeting allows for the whole of the Association to vote on resolutions as approved by the areas to determine some of the priorities for the coming year and debate positions WACD should take on issues that affect conservation efforts. This is also when WACD elects Officers, votes on regional representatives for the Conservation Commission, and hears reports on the activities of the Association. The evening Closing Banquet marks the end to the conference.
On Thursday, December 5th the Conservation Commission will have its regular December meeting. If you have never attended one of these meetings, I highly encourage you to consider it.