District Operations Committee
The Operations Committee is tasked with providing information and assistance to districts related to day-to-day internal district operations including:
- Financial Matters
- Personnel Matters
- Contracts and MOUs with local government and agencies, state and federal partners, and other agriculture or environmental organizations
- Rent, utilities, IT, and other overhead costs
- Other district activities not related to technical assistance or education
The mission of the Legislative Committee is to advise and educate legislative representatives at both the state and federal level on SWCD matters. The Legislative Committee is charged with educating legislators and advocating for new legislation and appropriation needs when appropriate. The committee assists in building consensus on public policy issues affecting SWCDs. The committee is additionally tasked with development of the legislative agenda, maintaining the VASWCD policy book and encourages all directors to engage with their local representatives and participate in the annual VASWCD Legislative Day held in January.
Co-Chair: Don Wells – Director, Hanover Caroline SWCD
Co-Chair: John Peterson – Director, Northern Virginia SWCD
Marketing/Public Relations Committee
The Marketing/Public Relations Committee’s purpose is to increase the public’s awareness of Virginia’s SWCDs. The Committee is integral to SWCD growth, as it bears primary responsibility for educating the greater community on SWCD programs, events and the benefits SWCDs provide to locally led conservation efforts. The committee creates and distributes media advisories, press releases and follows up with contacts to ensure maximum coverage.
Chair: Derwin Booker, Northern Neck SWCD
The Urban Committee provides guidance, education and policy recommendations to Soil & Water Conservation Districts and the VASWCD regarding natural resource conservation issues related to developed and developing areas.
General Subject Matters:
- Review and draft comments for the benefit of the Association on proposed legislations and regulations.
- Make recommendations to help clarify policies, laws, and regulations.
- Review and recommend model ordinances and other local programs related to natural resource conservation.
- Review and recommend technical standards and specifications.
- Encourage participation of SWCDs in local comprehensive planning efforts for conservation and land-use.
- Encourage participation of SWCDs in local water supply protection and planning programs.
Chair: Laura Grape, Northern VA SWCD
The Agriculture Committee addresses the conservation issues on agricultural lands. It is the primary liaison with government agencies and organizations involved with and/or responsible for the development and implementation of agriculturally related programs. Related programs of interest to this committee and general subject matter includes:
- Virginia Agriculture Best Management Practices (BMP) Cost Share
- Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan
- Voluntary BMP Reporting
- Resource Management Plans
- Issues of technical assistance
Chair: Ken Carter – Associate Director, Henricopolis SWCD
The Forestry Committee works to increase and facilitate, within the Commonwealth of Virginia’s conservation district community, knowledge, management, and information sharing of sustainable forestry.
Co – Chair: Bill Worrell – Associate Director, Clinch Valley SWCD
Co – Chair: Todd Kready – Associate Director, Peaks of Otter SWCD
The IT Committee recently developed is focused on addressing district IT concerns and preparing an IT improvement plan for SWCDs across the Commonwealth. Issues of importance include
- Supplied computer issues and partner agreement
- DCR BMP tracking program needs and concerns
- Web based applications versus other essential applications
- Diverse level of IT expertise and practices across Districts
- Training needs to accompany IT applications
Chair: Marina Schumacher, Loudoun SWCD
See the VASWCD Education Foundation Committee page for information on the VASWCDEF Finance Committee and Education Committee.