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Maryland State Technical Committee

January 19, 2011

Assistant State Conservationist for Programs Tom Morgart welcomed 21 attendees of the State Technical Advisory Committee (STAC). Members introduced themselves.

Listener comments from the Partner Meetings help in November were distributed. The comments have also been given to NRCS headquarters. Maryland NRCS will take the comments and break them down further to better understand partners responses.

Sub-Committee Reports

Forestry

  • A law was passed last year to allow stacking of state and federal cost share programs
  • NRCS will speak at a training for foresters in February

Outreach

  • Program sign-up was advertised in the Delmarva Farmer and Lancaster
  • News released was sent to large and small news outlets across the state to announce program sign-up dates
  • News releases about specific lesser-known opportunities such as CCPI and Organic were also sent
  • New displays have been created for an updated outreach approach

Nutrient Management - No report

Programs

Tom Morgart announced NRCS will be advertising multiple positions on USDA jobs in the coming weeks.

Program deadlines:

  • NHQ sweep of FY11 financial assistance $ is currently set at April 1, this may change.
  • CCPI- January 28th  AWEP- January 28th
  • CIG- February 1st EQIP/CBWI
  • Requirements for 2011 program remain the same
    • Exception- land enrolled in CBWI must drain into the Chesapeake Bay

  • Fund codes and funding remain mostly the same
    • CAPs are now broken into separate fund codes to allow for easier tracking

  • Priority areas for CBWI remain the same
  • New ranking questions relating to CEAP- avoid, trap, control
  • CAPS offered o CNMP, Energy, Forest Management, Irrigation
    • Have TSPs

    • Nutrient Management, Organic and transition to organic

      • No TSPs currently

      • NM CAP is more detailed than CNMP, includes a conservation plan

  • Practices offered remain the same
    • EQIP Exception- New CAPS

    • CBWI Exception- Waste storage facilities now offered for non-manure producing operations

      • Must have CNMP

      • Payment only 50%
  • Pilots
    • Oyster

    • BMP Challenge- Nutrient Management strip trials in Showcase watershed and one other location

      • Suggestions- Monocacy, Sassafrass, other Upper Chester locations

      • Tom will send BMP info to Jim Baird, Louise Lawrence, and Lynne Hoot for review and advice

    • Bermuda Grass sprigs- Cecil and Harford County

      • Led by Elmer Dengler

CIG

  • For state component considering offering $300,000, with a $75,000 maximum per project, and the partner must match.
    • 4 members agree

AMA- Ed Burns

  • High Tunnels
    • Can now be heated at owners expense

    • Funded 60 last year, 15 unfunded

WHIP

  • New Manual
  • 5th National Priority
  • Contract length- minimum one year following implementation
  • Forgone income now considered in payments, much like EQIP
  • Approximately $100,000 in FY11 funding

CSP

  • May 16th obligation for first sign-up
  • 12 new enhancements
  • 5 enhancements return after being removed for FY10 second round signup
  • 13 new bundles
    • 5 bundles for each land use

    • 5 enhancements per bundle

      • Higher payment rate for use of bundles than each practice separately

  • Website updated

WRP- Tiffany Davis

  • GARCs- NRCS headquarters put a cap of $5,000 on GARCs, Maryland is working on an appeal for areas of the state with higher land values
  • $7 million in FY11 funding
    • 15-20 application in system so far

  • $4 million of easements closed at the end of 2010.

FRPP

  • Now accepting applications from NGOs and governments
  • $3.4 million in FY11 funding

GRP

  • Maryland is approved to use individual appraisals instead of GARCs
  • $223,000 in funding for FY11
  • Now accepting applications for 10 or 20 year rentals and permanent easements

Showcase Watershed – Jen Nelson

  • Partnership Open House-Feb 10th
    • Open to Partners and landowners

  • Farm assessments
    • Will be completed by the end of February

  • Monitoring
    • Will not start until farm assessment are complete

    • USGS has responsibility

New business

Robert McDonald, landowner in Talbot County, announces a Seminar “How to Manage Your Land for Quail and Woodcock,” February 10, 2011 at Pintail Point. The seminar will show the economics of having habitat.

Tom Morgart announces a Request for Proposals for Technical Assistance will be issued in the near future.

Questions

Will new Showcase Watershed be established?

  • TM- NRCS is considering new locations, but will not establish new showcases until the first is more established and problems and solutions have been identified.

    • Upper Chester successful in efforts so far. Compared to VA and PA’s showcases-

      • Highest number of contracts

      • Most money obligated

      • Most landowners with conservation plans

Meeting adjourns at 10:45.