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Maryland State Technical Committee

Maryland State Technical Committee

July 18, 2012

Participants

 CBF – Dan Johannes, Rob Schnabel; SMD RC &D – Les Vough; TNC – Amy Jacobs; DNR – FS – Dan Rider; University of Maryland – Mark Dubin; MNLA – Signe Hanson AFT – Jim Baird; NRCS –Genevieve Backus, Buddy Bowling, Mikel Williams, Joe Kraft, M. Tiffany Davis, Jonathon Rivera, Carrie Staniulis, Lauren Bennett, Tim Clippinger, Carol Hollingsworth, Dean Cowherd, Jerry Raynor, Heather Hall, Nora L. De La Rosa and Tom Morgart; Telephonically – Ben Alder and Bill Angstadt; Presenter – Gene Slear, Environmental Concern

9 am Tom Morgart, ASTC opened up the meeting notifying everyone that Jon Hall was at the MASCD meeting and was not able to come in

Introduction – everyone

Sub-Committee Reports

Forestry

Dan Rider reported

  • Applied for grant for Farm Bill Foresters thru the Wild Turkey Federation
  • Purpose for grant to hire 2 Foresters – verbally heard grant has been excepted
  • Forest Service – should have funds for grant; once 3 yr coverage, 2K acres to put forestry work on ground
  • Tom replied that he as well is looking forward to work

Nutrient Management

Bill Angstadt

  • NRCS hired – Dr. Curtis Dell, formerly ARS (Penn State Office) science advisor & Nona McCoy – Coordinator for Chesapeake Bay
  • Bill Angstadt – Nona is taking over position Rob McAfee held and doing other Kelly Shenk, Regional Agricultural Advisor, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region III Science advisor work in NHQ
  • Discussed a little background on Nona McCoy and Dr. Dell; coming out to start direct partnership with partners
  • Questions – Jim (American Farmland Trust) describe position and what they mean

Outreach

Buddy Bowling

  • FY12/13 Draft Outreach Plan – Handout (HO) – provide comments to Buddy by COB 25 July
  • District Conservationist and Management Team – all inclusive documents that everyone has an input

Programs

  • Brief comments, HO - Drought Map of US - enclosed
  • Large number of state are under drought conditions
  • Flexibility is being provided for contracts because of drought conditions
  • At MASCD – MDA HO of Milestone Goals - enclosed
    • Discussed milestones
    • Exceed goals of milestones
    • Items on HO are on plans but not being credited; waiting for USGS & Chesapeake Bay model to get them on the model in order to get credit
    • On way to get 2 year milestones done
    • Discussion on basin BMP
    • It would be great to reallocate funds to cover crop programs
    • Discussed how ranking works

Steve Strano

CP39 – constructive outlet drainage; is a CRP – proposed to make it CREP (in works and is currently required to be amended)

  • Missing poultry litter treatment - Pasture practices normally would get funded; grazing just received more funds
  • Off stream watering without fencing – discussed putting fencing on or not; of what value added is it or not
  • Tom – need to speak with MDA about tweaking their plan in order to move items in ranking

Carroll County – grazing specialist are we getting someone (Rob)

  • NHQ asked us to provide FTE – 88 employees
  • Currently have 105 employees
  • Submitted at 95, was requested to resend at FTE of 88
  • Student employees will be part of the FTE numbers to reduce to requested 88 FTE
  • NRCS MD – hopes that the FTE is a negotiable number
  • MD requested funds to replace the employees lost and to fund agreement to complete contracts

Lack of support for pasture improvements

Can we work with nonprofit organizations?

Agreements with Les to provide Grazing support

Practices out there to get grazing land

We don’t have anyone to write grazing land plans

Discussed a grazing subcommittee and to possibility of partners doing outreach to find someone to become a grazing TSP.

Jerry Raynor – discussed pass experiences he brings to MD NRCS as the SRC

PA – do they have anyone that can assist in MD that is certified (Franklin County)

Funds to pay for certified planner with agreement from NRCS

  • Grazing Subcommittee – submit to Jon Hall requesting to be part of it and cc: Tom
  • Agreements – RFP on streets to provide technical assistant
  • Submit unsolicited proposals – send to Jon Hall with dollar amount; SF 424 with budget
  • Submit proposal as soon as possible - before 31 August
  • Send it out to State Technical
  • Went to new system FIMI – are not able to determine how much funds are in budget to write agreements
  • Some of the 6 will be funded, because of funds they might not all be funded

AMA, CSP, WHIP – Tom Morgart (Ed Burns – NHQ detail)

  • AMA funds – All funds utilized for Seasonal High Tunnels and supporting practices
  • WHIP - 1 bog turtle application, no Golden Winged Warbler applications - $60K
  • Question on Golden Winged Warbler – Tom stated that they have received training; and have fact sheets that were handed out at last State Technical Committee meeting, also on the website.
  • CSP - Obligated all CSP, returned 400 acres which couldn’t be used
  • Old CSP – appeals NAD upheld NRCS action to terminate the contract, granted equitable relief, and restored the contracts of 3 producers.

Discussed the need to train Foresters on the Golden Winged Warbler sign

EQIP

Mikel Williams

  • Funded 198 applications for Rounds 1-4 from initial allocation
  • Funded 29 additional livestock related applications from additional allocation received of over $1.2 million
  • 227 applications total funded (over 70-75% livestock related with estimated $5.5 million, 15% over 60% livestock requirement)
  • 131 unfunded applications totaling over $4.2 million in estimated costs (unfunded due to low priority, ranking scores, and/or cost estimates)
  • Received allocation of over $8.1 million. To date have approved over $6.4 million and obligated over $4.8 million. The difference of about $1.7 million between allocation and approval is because the field staff is in the process of contract development and approval for additional contracts.

Initiatives

  • 92 applications funded in Rounds 1-4 (includes Organic, Seasonal High Tunnels, and Energy)

CBWI

  • Funded 152 applications for Rounds 1-4
  • 29 unfunded applications totaling over $400,000 in estimated costs (unfunded due to low priority, ranking scores, and/or cost estimates)
  • Received allocation of over $7.7 million. To date have approved over $6.7 million and obligated over $5.2 million. The difference of over $900,000 between allocation and approval is because the field staff is in the process of contract development and approval for additional contracts.

*Additional unfunded eligible applications may be funded in the event participants decide to cancel applications that have previously been selected for funding.

Questions – next meeting will provide will have #’s & possibly new Farm bill

Carol – when we do find out about Farm bill – NRCS will be holding outreach meetings to notify

Chesapeake Bay funds will be part of Farm bill – it will not have an Earmark

Top 5 – Heavy Use Areas, Waste Storage Facilities, Amendments for the Treatment of Agricultural Waste and Fence Nutrient Management

Easements – Tiffany Davis

FRPP

Closing this fiscal year on 4-5 easement from FY 10-11

– 2 applications

– Approximately $250,000 for 1 Application Amendment to Existing Agreement

Just Under $1 Million for a for 1 Application for a New Agreement

If anyone on the State Technical Committee knows of any entity that has needs 50% matching funds for easement purchases please notify Tiffany now so we can request funds from NHQ

Entity don’t have funds to match – reason request are not coming in

Discussions – on county, state funds, non profits

Wetland Reserve Program

  • We have active agreements for Fiscal Year’s 10-12
  • For WRP 2010 there are 18 Agreements for about 1500 acres. The surveys were completed in May and the closings are scheduled for August.
  • Steve Strano is lining up restoration – WRP had goal to complete 3K acres
  • Good shape to complete and meet goals and are already working on next years.
  • - WRP 2011 Agreements
  • Currently organizing 16 surveys for 1823.45 acres
  • 1st surveys will start next week (deliver survey in 45 days)
  • If 45 days surveys works as it should, will close 1800 Lots of activity in WRP – In Sept will be presented to State Technical Committee meeting we expect to present the easement compensation rates ($/acre) for next year’s sign-up. We are currently working on contracting on area wide market analysis. The solicitation will be posted to, www.fbo.gov.
  • WRP 2012 Agreements
  • Selected $4 million dollars worth of projects to enroll 13.96 acres
  • WREP – Partnership Agreement with The Nature Conservancy
  • The agreement is to enroll 600 acres overtime with 200 acres as the first year’s enrollment goal
  • We had 3 applications that exceed our acreage limit of 200 acres for the first year.
  • We selected 2 applications and kept the additional application on file for next year.

New business

  • Shoreline Protection
    • Gene Slear – Chief of Operations (Environmental Concern) HO Power point presentation
    • Discussed working with Jack King in referring EC to the State Technical Committee
    • Discussion – 4 month to 2 years – to put down a practice
    • Cost – linear foot - $??? – Living shoreline less than $500 per linear foot, with high banks; cost for shoreline wetland $60-90K per acre
    • We offered it in WHIP but not in EQIP (Farm bill might actually have the living shoreline practice included to use in WHIP)
    • Lots of discussion on cost of putting on living shorelines practices
    • Discussed AG buffers and implementation plans
    • Discussed regulation on working with county and homeowners
    • Working with Talbot County to write regulation program, will be about 6-8 months

Jerry Raynor – introduced himself – State Resource Conservationist (SRC) coming from North Carolina; 20 years, local, state, all NRCS levels working with partnerships; shared that he came from a very active partnerships that had lots of concerns; Contact Jerry if you have any questions

Vacancies – Peg Althoff – excepted position in August, Agronomist will be posted

Joe Kraft – will be Acting as the ASTC/Operations until 1 October

Adjourned 11 am