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NRCS Field Staff Comments

State Name Comments Date Area of Cooperation and Mutual Interest
DE Sally Kepfer Watersheds - These following items should be combined.  The combined intent is to work together to address natural resources issues on a watershed bases. It is unclear exactly what is the expected outcome of these items:  Holistic Watershed Approach and Water Resources Activities, Watershed Technology Exchange, and Watershed Training. 8/29/2007 Watershed Planning & Implementation
NHQ Jan Surface Holistic Watershed Approach and Water Resources Activities:  Is NRCS really promoting a "holistic watershed approach"?  I don't think so...watershed approach--yes, holistic watershed approach--no.  Also, we need to nip in the bud the idea that rapid watershed approach will replace watershed planning (i.e. PL-566 plans and watershed surveys and planning using PL-06 funding).  I've been asked that question a couple of times.  This item is comparing USACE National Watershed Planning and Assessment Studies with RWAs.  They are not comparable.  PL-06 planning and USACE Watershed Planning are comparable. 8/27/2007 Watershed Planning & Implementation
NHQ Jan Surface Watershed Technology Exchange:  CPTAD needs to be kept in this loop.  S&T needs to make sure that technical tools they develop help address watershed planning needs for our programs.  Our two Deputy Areas need to work together, not independently. 8/27/2007 Watershed Planning & Implementation
NHQ Jan Surface Watershed Training:  take out "holistic" watershed.  Watershed Planning assistance training...would Mike Permenter be involved in this? 8/27/2007 Watershed Planning & Implementation
RI Michelle Moore Watershed Planning and Implementation : include within the action plan framework the desired outcome of a coordinated federal watershed planning and implementation effort transparent to the public.   9/6/2007 Watershed Planning & Implementation
RI Michelle Moore Watershed Technology Exchange Under the strategic issue for Watershed Planning and Implementation add a potential task (New England) [1]  to explore how to develop/define criteria for restoring degraded salt marshes as well as the hydrology and hydraulic models to use for planning and design salt marsh restoration projects. Also, explore how to partner to obtain LiDAR information useful to both agencies.nbsp; 9/6/2007 Watershed Planning & Implementation
NHQ Jan Surface Addressing Non-Monetary Benefits for Watershed Projects:  This is an excellent action item.  Non-federal agencies should also be participants in the process. 8/27/2007 Watershed Planning & Implementation
NHQ Jan Surface Sediment Management Coordination:  National Rehabilitation  and/or National Watershed Operations program managers should be engaged in this discussion 8/27/2007 Watershed Planning & Implementation
NHQ Jan Surface Rehabilitation of Aging Dam/Levee Infrastructure: National Watershed Rehabilitation Program manager must be fully engaged in this effort. 8/27/2007 Watershed Planning & Implementation
RI Michelle Moore Addressing Non-Monetary Benefits for Watershed Projects[1]: This item should be deleted. I strongly encourage that we do not assign a monetary value to non-monetary environmental benefits.The need is to define the environmental benefits in non-monetary terms. The USACE already has a procedure to do this which has passed OMB review. We (with NWMC assistance) modified it for our PL566 project on Cape Cod after much futile effort to define environmental benefits in monetary terms for salt marsh restoration and anadromous fish passage improvements. The new National Watershed Manual incorporates this methodology. The Cape Cod Final Plan and EIS can be found at: http://www.ma.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/CCWRRP/index.html.  9/6/2007 Watershed Planning & Implementation
NE Steve Chick This is something we need to assess more benefit to. We have many non monetary benefits that we glean from projects that we take no credit for. Part of the reason for this may be a lack of knowledge about some of the things that happen along the way but more likely it is a lack of time and manpower to complete a more in depth survey and conduct specific follow-up after a project is completed both in the short term and the long term.  9/27/2002 Watershed Planning & Implementation
NE Steve Chick I think there is great potential here - many current wetland violations occur along areas such as these. We may not get full support from local farmers who like to farm in straight lines but this does not negate the need for restoration efforts along these areas. Education of our producers related to these types of areas needs to be given more emphasis. Fortunately we have a number of programs available at this time to help smooth out the issue of helping to square up field boundaries through short term monetary incentives. Maybe we need to look at some program changes to provide longer term protection of these areas. I feel the training aspect to help get these things accomplished is very important.  9/27/2002 Watershed Planning & Implementation
NE Steve Chick Also, this is an important effort that should receive significant attention in the form of time and money to expedite implementation of stream restoration efforts nationwide. A workgroup in Nebraska with representation from several agencies (NRCS, USACE, USFWS, EPA, state wildlife agency, and state environmental quality agency, University of Nebraska, etc.) drafted a protocol to attempt to address stream mitigation and minimal effect BMP's. Progress was made over the past 2 to 3 years but the intricate details of hydrology and geomorphology factors on individual streams and other workload priorities has stalled the process in recent months.  9/27/2002 Watershed Planning & Implementation
NE Steve Chick We need to find a way to use each others appraisals if we continue to use the same method in the future. We could see a huge savings in time and labor on sites that have mutual interest to both agencies.  9/27/2002 Watershed Planning & Implementation
NE Steve Chick We have two projects going right now - Lower Decatur Bend and Bullard Bend - both in Burt County. One is a chute and one is a backwater. Both are WRP easements that the Corps will be providing all funding and technical assistance on for the restoration work.  9/27/2002 Watershed Planning & Implementation
RI Michelle Moore The combination of technical assistance and financial assistance funds from USACE and NRCS will maximize cost efficiencies to enable the local project sponsors to meet construction match requirements in order to achieve on the ground restoration in 2008. 9/6/2007 Watershed Planning & Implementation
UT Karen Fullen Real Estate and Related Issues - This activity is not clearly described. Is it talking about acquiring easements for mitigation areas, sharing office space, or what? 8/17/2007 Watershed Planning & Implementation
AK Phil Naegele Alaska USACE and NRCS recognize that due to the unique features of wetlands in Alaska, both agencies find Alaska based field-training to be a prerequisite for personnel conducting compliance and regulatory activities (dAP, Item #2) according to each agency goals and mission. NRCS and USACE in Alaska conduct cooperative in-state wetland delineation courses, where as part of the curriculum each agency imparts information specific to those respective goals and missions. In the training each agency takes leadership for those specific disciplines where they have the most expertise. Joint field exercises are held to insure however that the application of the scientific delineation principles are uniformly taught and reinforced. Both the Corps and NRCS also take independent extra steps in other venues to bring agency specific items/ requirements to the attention of both agency and non-agency personnel, who may be conducting field work or data gathering on each agencies behalf. 8/31/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
AK Phil Naegele NRCS has program practices which have included implementation of Wetland Enhancement (Practice Standard 659) and Pond (378). Occasionally the locations of the project site implementation have been in existing wetlands. Some members of the Corps and EPA have questioned these project locations as to their benefit and impacts. NRCS has successfully done field presentations for members of both those agencies discussing the specifics of implementation and the projected benefits. Although not specific to partnering or collaboration issues, we have had occasion to discover why it can be important for each agency to do their own determination/ delineations. Personnel turnover rates can sometimes impact consistency of field investigations and determinations for each agency, as even nominal staffing levels can be hard pressed to accomplish requested or required wetland field work in Alaska short field season. 8/31/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
AK Phil Naegele Additionally, without question our agencies are also challenged by the lack of adequate aerial photography and other investigatory data for the minimum number of years required by procedure, to feel sufficiently confident regarding well defined (or lack of well defined) wetland signatures from this data. FSA slides are not available of sufficient coverage for non-crop areas where much new NRCS program or project activities occur. Therefore both agencies are under increased pressure to perform on the ground investigations even where some older photography may be available. NRCS Alaska does not/ could not do certified determinations from office only data. 8/31/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
AR Randy Busbea 8.  Integrated 404 Permitting Process In most cases this process is working for both Swampbuster and the 404 Permitting process, however there is occasion that the 404 and Swampbuster have created problems for landowners.  A permit for a 404 could be issued but the landowner become in violation of the Swampbuster Act.  Further discussions on this need to occur between USACE and NRCS on the problems encountered by these two pieces of legislation. 8/31/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
DE Sally Kepfer Integrated 404 Permitting Process - Delaware agrees with this assessment.  Under Nationwide Permit 27, where it was specifically written so NRCS and USFWS projects could be streamlined, the Philadelphia district has a regional condition that requires both agencies to sent in a PCN.  This is very time consuming.  Delaware is willing to try and get a General Permit for these projects, but again, have not got anywhere with this suggestion to the COE. 8/29/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
GA Jimmy Bramblett The largest and ongoing interaction with NRCS is the cooperating agency agreement that NRCS and USACE established for the Russell Creek Water Supply Reservoir for Dawson County, GA.  IN this role NRCS and USACE both are following the NEPA process while simultaneously following each respective agency's other processes (Section 404 CWA, cultural resources review, etc.). It is this role, tome, that is both fascinating, fun and above all productive.  Within this cooperative approach and the pre-application process, big issues are dealt with (T&E, jurisdictional determination, alternative review, mitigations..).  Ultimately the Section 404 permitting process will go much quicker 9a and smoother) once a USACE required Public Notice is issued.  In many conversations with the other federal agencies participating in this process they have told me of the delight they have in working on this project because of the technical reliability of NRCS and because of the absence of political frictions that  often occur when local entities bring their political agents to the table. 8/24/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
KS Janelle Heiser The main NRCS concern is the time required for a landowner to receive a Jurisdictional Determination (JD), a letter that no determination is needed, or an appropriate permit for NRCS Programs or technical assistance. 8/27/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
KS Janelle Heiser In Kansas, we are currently coordinating at the state level to assist the Corps to develop exemptions and regional general permits for several specific NRCS field office technical guide standards.  This action is intended to reduce the turn around time related to COE, Clean Water Act JD or permit request. 8/27/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
MD Anne Lynn Maryland supports this action. A specific concern in Maryland: NWP27 does not require pre-construction notification for activities conducted with the assistance of NRCS, but our regional conditions are requiring a PCN for activities conducted with NRCS assistance. This creates an unnecessary burden on NRCS staff since we are already required to comply with NEPA. USACE regions/districts should be discouraged from creating these additional burdens.  8/30/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
NC Mike Hinton Our involvement with the Corps has primarily been with the Regulatory Branch in permitting activities associated with EWP or PL-566 projects.  We have had an excellent working relationship with the Corps' Regulatory Field Offices in responding to EWP related permitting issues.  We have developed debris removal guidelines when, if followed, 404 permits are not required.  For stream bank stabilization projects or other work where permits are required, the Corps has responded in a timely manner to applications from project sponsors.  8/30/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
NHQ Jan Surface Wetlands Compliance and Regulatory: The National Wetland Compliance Specialist must be included in these coordination efforts.  Policy calls are made at NHQ level not at regional or State level.  The National WRP Program manager also needs to be in this loop since WRP lands are specifically cited. 8/27/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
NHQ Jan Surface Integrated 404 Permitting Process:  Watershed Program Managers need to be in the loop so that our policy and manuals reflects the 404 permitting requirements for NRCS funded projects  8/27/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
NV William Elder As an offshoot of #7, above, there is an identified need to expand working knowledge of the role NRCS and COE play in the 404 permit process. 8/30/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
RI Michelle Moore Integrated 404 Permitting Process[1] add: explore nationwide programmatic permit (NWP) for certain EWP work based on Damage Survey Report.�nbsp; 9/6/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
RI Michelle Moore Background: The new Damage Survey Report may provide a basis for a nationwide programmatic permit for certain practices and conditions. Many times the process of obtaining a 404 permit is lengthy because the funding for the EWP work isn't immediately after the actual disaster.  9/6/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
UT Karen Fullen Many Project Managers insist that Pre-construction Notification is still required in spite of this language.  We also tend to differ greatly on what constitutes "restoration, enhancement, or establishment" as allowed under NWP 27. 8/17/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
UT Karen Fullen Integrated 404 Permitting Process - Some of the issues discussed under 3 and 4 above could potentially be included here.  We would like to see this expanded to include individual on-farm/ranch projects as well as watershed projects.  One of the big issues we have with the 404 permitting process is that NRCS' Policy on the Protection of Wetlands ( GM.190.410.B.26 ) prohibits NRCS from providing final designs to our clients until all permits have been obtained, yet USACE often wants to see final designs before they issue a permit.  Collaboration could include USACE review of ALL conservation practice standards that could impact jurisdictional waters and wetlands, not just those listed in #3 above. There could also be regional coordination workshops planned, such as those underway with US Fish and Wildlife Service. See: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/NRCS/ for an example of such.
 
8/17/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
AR Randy Busbea Comment: The Wetland Delineation Training Course should be provided at a regional level so that the field exercises represent typical soil, plant, and hydrology that would be found by the attendees in their appropriate states.  8/31/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
ID Rob Sampson If you have any suggestions on the regulatory side maybe we can both include in our comments.  Item #8 talks about the issues, but steps forward are pretty general 9/5/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
MI Vicki Anderson 1. Based on your review, what items should be added or deleted?  The items listed adequately address the issues related to implementation of the partnership agreement. However, we have comments on two of the items.  The contact listing identified in Item 1 requires updating to include current contacts. The NRCS Delineation Course identified in Item 16 needs further explanation.  Will this course be a substitute for the REG IV Course? When will it be developed? 8/29/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
NE Steve Chick There is currently a disconnect related to intermittent streams due to recent policy changes within both agencies. Historically, NRCS commonly used NI (Not Inventoried) to identify narrow stream channels (the actual bed of the stream) that did not meet wetland criteria for Food Security Act purposes during Certified Wetland Delineations and then referred the landowner to USACE for a jurisdictional determination under the Clean Water Act. Recent changes to the National Food Security Act Manual removed NI as a possible label. Likewise, recent guidance stemming from Rapanos and Carabell within USACE has led to potential delays in determining whether or not a stream channel is jurisdictional as a result of more intensive analysis. In Nebraska, a high percentage of ongoing requests to impact wetland and stream habitats are related to intermittent streams. These two recent events cause confusion and delays for cooperating landowners.  9/27/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
NE Steve Chick A possible solution might be to create a clearly defined mechanism via the Partnership and encourage staff from NRCS and USACE at the state/district level to jointly develop criteria to evaluate the appropriate Food Security Act and Clean Water Act status of such intermittent streams and associated fringe wetlands on a case by case basis based on these criteria. Ultimately, this would save staff time and provide a better service to the customer.  9/27/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
NE Steve Chick Need to place emphasis on the 404 process for permits so that things work more smoothly and quickly to reach the end product of a permit where feasible. There is a lot of confusion at this point as to what all information is necessary to get through the permit process in a timely fashion.  9/27/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
NE Steve Chick Ultimately, in states (like Nebraska) where agriculture is responsible for a significant portion of Clean Water Act workload for USACE staff, the Region IV course for wetland delineation and this new course should be intertwined. Due to the respective responsibilities of NRCS and USACE staff for many of the same wetland habitats, it is important for staff from both agencies to understand the interworkings of each others compliance/regulatory program. In addition, once the 10 eco-regional supplements are finalized, the "methods" to conduct the actual delineation should be essentially identical- provided all involved adopt the concepts within the supplements.  9/27/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
NE Steve Chick As a result, the beginning of the course could address the fundamental delineation of soils, hydrology and vegetation while the remainder of the course (or a subsequent course held jointly by the two agencies and other wetland partners) would focus on the details of different 404 permit options and Food Security Act provisions (and possibly state water quality standards) as well as mitigation plan considerations, etc. This is already being done to a limited degree in Nebraska with wetland training sessions where staff from multiple agencies provide presentations but it could be a more formal arrangement via the Partnership with a somewhat standardized curriculum for this jointly sponsored training.  9/27/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
AR Randy Busbea Page 5, Item 16. NRCS Wetland Delineation Training Course.  8/31/2007 Wetland Conservation and Compliance
AR Randy Busbea  3. Wetland Creation, Restoration, and Enhancement -  USACE uses the Charlotte functional assessment and NRCS uses the HGM for wetland creation, restoration and enhancement.  This would be a good topic for further discussion on assessments, such as trying to standardize a common methodology. 8/31/2007 Wetland Creation Restoration and Enhancement
DE Sally Kepfer Wetland Creation, Restoration, and Enhancement - Suggest adding to the wetland creation and enhancement portion of the attachment some language about WRP.  WRP seems to be the main program by which NRCS is attempting to enhance wetlands.  Also it is our experience that NRCS is struggling with the real estate acquisition (appraisals etc) of easements.  The Corps has (or had) extensive experience in appraisals and real estate acquisitions and maybe there is an opportunity for collaboration with the corps in this area. 8/29/2007 Wetland Creation Restoration and Enhancement
NHQ Jan Surface Wetland Creation, Restoration and Enhancement: Points of contact have been established for technical coordination regarding NRCS Engineering Field Handbook Chapter 13 (Wetland, Restoration Enhancement, or Creation).  Again, I feel David Howard and Tony Puga should be in the loop to make sure that technical suggestions meet regulatory/policy requirements. 8/27/2007 Wetland Creation Restoration and Enhancement
RI Michelle Moore Under the strategic issue, Wetland creation, restoration and enhancement, add Stream Restoration/Mitigation Design[1] - Where could be both a national and a state priority task (to collaborate on developing regional stream hydrology rating curves for New England, developing engineering guidelines for using the stream restoration data, and training on applying the regional information to stream restoration projects).  9/6/2007 Wetland Creation Restoration and Enhancement
UT Karen Fullen Wetland Creation, Restoration, and Enhancement - Under additional collaboration, include coordination on NRCS program participant use of NWP 27 for wetland restoration projects.  We encounter a lot of inconsistency from USACE Project Managers on the meaning of this part of NWP 27: Notification.  The permittee must submit a pre-construction notification to the district engineer prior to commencing the activity (see general conditions 27), except for the following activities (1) Activities conducted on non Federal public lands and probate lands, in accordance with the terms and conditions of a binding wetland enhancement, restoration or establishment agreement between the landowner and the U.S. FWS, NRCS, FSA, NMFS,NOS or their designated state cooperating agencies. (2) Voluntary wetland restoration, enhancement, and establishment actions documented by NRCS or USDA Technical Service Provider pursuant to NRCS Field Office Technical Guide standards. 8/17/2007 Wetland Creation Restoration and Enhancement
NHQ Jan Surface Data Sharing Activities:  "web services that would allow wetlands, restoration, watershed and other types of data to be made electronically available to both the USACE, NRCS, other federal, state and local agencies, and the public."  Major privacy issues with this item and no mention of addressing that. 8/27/2007 Wetland Creation Restoration and Enhancement
NE Steve Chick We need to work together more closely on these issues at the local level - especially along the Missouri River Corridor. Coordination on these projects needs to be done together on sites that have potential so that mutual benefits can be realized for both agencies.  9/27/2007 Wetland Creation Restoration and Enhancement
NE Steve Chick  Great idea  9/27/2007 Wetland Creation Restoration and Enhancement
SD Shaun Vickers I would incorporate the words mitigation and mitigation banking into item number 3.  We need to also be working with the Corps on sedimentation issues in stream channels.  Add this under item number 6. 8/3/2027 Wetland Creation Restoration and Enhancement
AZ Don Paulus The Virgin River Watershed Project (UT, AZ, NV)  Flooding from the aftermath of Wildfires in the arid western states is an extreme concern due to population growth moving to the edge of forest land.  The effects of runoff from burned areas should be evaluated to determine whether emergency flood conditions exist downstream. A potential Hydrologic & Hydraulic model may be developed to enable quick response to Sponsor emergency requests and contribute to determining viable alternatives.  A potential application would be in the Virgin River Watershed Study.  Other Federal agencies would include USGS and BLM.   8/30/2007 4-Natural Disaster Recovery
ME Dan Baumert Items that should be added or deleted;  Item 4 and/or 11;  Coordinating efforts for restoration efforts under the NRCS EWP program specifically for channel bank slope failures that are threatening infrastructure.  Help to insure these type of restoration efforts have the best long term restoration both to protect the structure and most environmentally compatible 8/31/2007 4-Natural Disaster Recovery
NHQ Jan Surface Natural Disaster Recovery:  NRCS/USACE dialogue on PL 84-99 and EWP authorities etc.  Most of this item resides at NHQ level.  National coordinators (i.e. Vic Cole, Stu Simpson) need to be engaged 8/27/2007 4-Natural Disaster Recovery
AZ Don Paulus Develop H&H models and geomorphic studies in streams with a history of flood emergencies to help landowners, Local, State, and Federal governments determine solutions that could be applied with a higher rate of success.  The Virgin River WS group would lead this effort. (NRCS spent over $60 million of EWP funding here in the last 3 years).  8/30/2007 4-Natural Disaster Recovery
UT Karen Fullen Natural Disaster Recovery - In addition to the action items listed, we need clarification and perhaps cross-training on use of NWP 37. Currently, we have Project Managers in Utah requiring NRCS to submit all the documentation required in a Pre-Construction Notification just for USACE to make jurisdictional determination, which would tell NRCS we need to use NWP 37, or don't need a permit at all.  They say it will take 4-5 months to make a JD determination. (This is not an exigency situation.) 8/17/2007 4-Natural Disaster Recovery
LA Britt Paul 3.       Do you have a collaborative project(s) that could be included in the National Action Plan as a potential demonstration or pilot project?  If so, please list each project and a brief statement of how it supports the cooperative conservation approach for NRCS and USACE in their efforts to collaboratively achieve desired water and natural resource objectives. In Louisiana, we have several collaborative activities with the USACE. 1) Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA); under this authority, NRCS and USACE along with EPA, USFWS, NMFS and the State plan, design and implement wetland restoration and protection projects. 2) Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP); in the wake of the 2005 hurricanes, NRCS and USACE have worked closely to address regulatory issues associated with channel restoration of scenic streams. 3) Development, Use and Analysis of HGM Based Functional Assessments; this training course was developed and will be jointly administered by NRCS and USACE personnel. 8/31/2007 Q3-Collaboration
MD Anne Lynn Potential Collaborative Effort Salt Marsh Rehabilitation. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has worked with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the USACE to obtain permits to develop a salt marsh rehabilitation demonstration project in Worcester County, Maryland. The primary objective of the rehabilitation is to restore natural hydrology and vegetative diversity to existing marsh by plugging or blocking mosquito ditches. Maryland Mosquito Control has been consulted for potential mosquito mitigation measures. With successful implementation of the pilot project, it is hoped that NRCS can provide financial and technical assistance to private landowners for similar projects through Wetland Reserve Program 10-year cost-share. 8/30/2007 Q3-Collaboration
ME Dan Baumert 3.   Existing collaborative projects;  Maine currently does not have any specific collaborative projects between NRCS/USACE.  We are, however, trying to get USACE and other reviewing agencies involved earlier in the planning process to streamline design and implementation 8/31/2007 Q3-Collaboration
ME Dan Baumert Just as a note NRCS in Maine is involved with salt marsh restoration and is interested in the Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project.  Collaboration such as this could be helpful to the salt marsh restoration efforts in Maine. 8/31/2007 Q3-Collaboration
MI Vicki Anderson 1. Do you have a project to include in the Action Plan? At this time, we do not have a demonstration or pilot project to include in the Plan. 8/29/2007 Q3-Collaboration
NC Mike Hinton We have also been involved with the Corps' planning section from time to time in providing information or hydrologic data for PL-566 projects that were included in the Corps' planning area.  We have also been involved with stream classification and stream restoration training sessions where NRCS and Corps staff participated as both students and instructors. 8/30/2007 Q3-Collaboration
NC Mike Hinton we do not have any ongoing collaborative efforts. 8/30/2007 Q3-Collaboration
ND James Scmidt We do not have a collaborative project that could be included in the National Action Plan 8/30/2007 Q3-Collaboration
NV William Elder Both NRCS and COE have a stake in this - as COE refines and completes the Virgin River assessment, NRCS plans to collaborate with them for the purpose of providing input to the assessment, and to follow the COE assessment with an NRCS Rapid Watershed Assessment (RWA), most likely using the much of the same data, and reviewing it with the other contributors. 8/30/2007 Q3-Collaboration
NV William Elder Same as #5, above. We are presently contemplating a multi-agency technical transfer meeting to discuss jurisdictions, programs, and resource arenas of mutual interest in the arid west. 8/30/2007 Q3-Collaboration
NV William Elder  The Los Angeles District and NRCS in UT, AZ, and NV are working to engage stakeholders in the Virgin River study. While this is NOT an element of the item from the draft, it has become our opportunity to explore relationships and collaboration - refer to my comments in #5, above. 8/30/2007 Q3-Collaboration
NV William Elder NRCS-NV and COE are using the Virgin River study to as a pilot to investigate collaboration. I expect NRCS-NV to return to the Virgin River basin within the next year or two, with an established RWA protocol to conduct the study. The lessons learned and information captured from the COE study may provide the foundation of the RWA report for both Meadow Valley Wash and the Muddy River RWAs. Communication is the key. 8/30/2007 Q3-Collaboration
NV William Elder Again, the Virgin River study is currently underway, and is one of 5 pilot watershed studies nationwide. We do not have the intent of designing an additional study or project at this time, as we have the benefit of the inertia of existing COE project. As stated above, the opportunity for NRCS to conduct RWAs in the basin is there, however, in the absence of a national protocol, the establishment of a Nevada protocol for such a study and short term staffing are the current constraints. 8/30/2007 Q3-Collaboration
OR Dave Dishman 3.  Oregon does offer the Lower Crooked Watershed in central Oregon as a model collaborative project. 8/31/2007 Q3-Collaboration
RI Michelle Moore We have had and continue to have an excellent working relationship with the USACE though the Coastal America partnership and this effort allows us to collaborate on projects that come before them.   9/6/2007 Q3-Collaboration
RI Michelle Moore We have also met with the District Office and state partners to review fish passage coastal habitat restoration projects, including permitting requirements.  We have just begun to work collaboratively with the Corps on several fish passage projects.  It is this later effort where coordination of assistance, transfer of funds and reimbursement of funds has been somewhat complicated.  Each agency operates under separate funding authorities and these authorities and the rules and procedures differ between the agencies.  Providing for a more streamlined fiscal system with federal funds and would be of great value. 9/6/2007 Q3-Collaboration
RI Michelle Moore As stated before, both agencies have mission areas that include watershed planning and implementation.  State and local partners may or may not be aware of the complexities of how each federal agency is authorized to carry out its responsibilities in these areas.  This action item would require NRCS state leadership, regional USACE office and state partners will explore collaborative opportunities to provide federal assistance on projects that come to the table, mapping out how best to provide federal assistance to the local/state sponsor.  Often agencies can be seen as competing for sponsors for local projects as opposed to working together.  Closer coordination of these efforts is needed and possibly a mechanism that requires this coordination at the earliest stage possible. 9/6/2007 Q3-Collaboration
RI Michelle Moore NRCS, Army Corps of Engineers, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Save The Bay, and the City of East Providence are jointly working  together to implement fish passage restoration on the lower Ten Mile River Watershed.  For over 200 years, dams in the Ten Mile River Watershed have blocked anadromous river herring and American shad from their historic spawning grounds.  9/6/2007 Q3-Collaboration
RI Michelle Moore With construction of fishways on three dams, the Ten Mile ranks as the highest priority fish run restoration project in Rhode Island and will allow access to both the 33-acre Omega Pond and the 297-acre Turner Reservoir. As part of the collaborative Project between NRCS and the USACE, NRCS is providing $390,000 financial assistance to the City of East Providence in order to build the first of three fishways at Omega Pond Dam. While the USACE and the State of Rhode Island will be cost-sharing on the two upstream barriers.   9/6/2007 Q3-Collaboration
SC Phillip Rippe The Regulatory Branch of the Charleston District is located in the same building as NRCS's state office.  The co-location of the two agencies within the same building makes it very convenient for the exchange of information. Supports Item 6 and 8 of the Action Plan 8/31/2007 Q3-Collaboration
SC Phillip Rippe 2.  The NRCS State Soil Scientist and field soil scientists work very closely with USACE on wetland determinations within the state.  Supports Item 2 of the Action Plan 8/31/2007 Q3-Collaboration
SC Phillip Rippe 3.  NRCS's State Hydraulic Engineer is attending a conference on sedimentation hosted by USACE's Atlanta office from August 30th-31st. Supports Item 12 of the Action Plan 8/31/2007 Q3-Collaboration
SC Phillip Rippe 4.  NRCS in South Carolina is hosting a Streambank Stabilization and Restoration workshop in November 2007.  The main reference for the workshop will be NRCS's new Stream Restoration Handbook.  The Regulatory Branch of the Charleston District of the USACE is planning to send three of its personnel to this workshop.  Additionally, one of USACE's biologist will deliver a presentation on USACE permitting issues.  Supports Items 6, 8, and 11 of the Action Plan 8/31/2007 Q3-Collaboration
SC Phillip Rippe 5.  In 2006-2007 NRCS Walterboro Field Engineer and Civil Engineering Technician provided technical assistance to the USACE involving the construction of a roadway embankment at the Naval Weapons Station in Goose Creek, SC.  NRCS's contracting officer also oversaw the execution of the contract. Supports Item 19 of the Action Plan and knowledge and technology exchange between the two agencies 8/31/2007 Q3-Collaboration
SD Shaun Vickers We are working directly with the Corps on a wetland mitigation bank.  The bank is being funded through Conservation Innovation Grant.  The project will restore a 50 ace wetland basin and will provide for a mechanism for creating a bank to mitihay wetland losses.  The NRCS is putting $75,000 of CIG grant money into the project. 8/3/2027 Q3-Collaboration
WY Gerald Jasmer 3.       Do you have a collaborative project(s) that could be included in the National Action Plan as a potential demonstration or pilot project?  If so, please list each project and a brief statement of how it supports the cooperative conservation approach for NRCS and USACE in their efforts to collaboratively achieve desired water and natural resource objectives.   Not at this time, but a watershed planning effort on the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River is utilizing USACE technical assistance extensively and could perhaps develop into a potential pilot in the future. 8/31/2007 Q3-Collaboration
AK Phil Naegele #3. At this time Alaska NRCS and the Corps do not have any specific partnering projects engaged, however, we would like to note that Alaska provided the foundation for the development of the first Regional Supplement to the Corps Of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual (as noted in the Draft Action Plan item #21) in the nation. The model of this effort is now utilized by all. Regional Supplement efforts and the members of NRCS and the Corps who participated in and/ or coordinated the Supplement Work Group and the Peer Review Team have continued to refine the procedures and application of principles and have disseminated updates both within the agencies and to private consultants in Alaska. The Corps is in the process of updating the field data form format and content to reestablish the 50/ 20 rule on an equivalent basis with the Prevalence Index. 8/31/2007 Q3-Collaboration
AK Phil Naegele The Corps and NRCS in Alaska continue to collaborate on these and many other issues to advance the science and accuracy of Alaska wetland determinations and provide timely and reliable assistance to our clients. 8/31/2007 Q3-Collaboration
AR Randy Busbea  Q3: The Grand Prairie Region, Arkansas Project was reauthorized by Section 3639(a) of the Water Resources Development Act of 1996. The Project consists of the construction of measures for ground water protection and conservation, agricultural water supply, and waterfowl management. The Project will protect and preserve the Alluvial and Sparta Aquifers in the Grand Prairie region of east Arkansas. The measures include a pumping plant located on the White River, a network of new canals, existing channels, pipelines, on-farm features, and environmental restoration and enhancement. In August, 2000 a Memorandum of Agreement was entered into between the USACE and NRCS. The Agreement provides NRCS the responsibility to design and construct on-farm storage, retrofitting existing irrigation systems, and conservation features to increase the on-farm efficiency of the Project. NRCS has assisted the Sponsor and 248 landowners in designing and installing over 37 million dollars of on-farm conservation measures to date.   8/31/2007 Q3-Collaboration
AZ Don Paulus Other outcomes for Virgin River suggested by the NRCS in Nevada were Water Quality Modeling, collaborative use of authorities and regulatory consistency. 8/30/2007 Q3-Collaboration
CO Frank Riggle Item 15:  Is or has the USACE been involved in the development of the 8 digit, and lower level hydrologic unit maps for the various states?  In Colorado, the EPA, USGS, Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, and NRCS are currently using an EPA funded employee under USGS, EPA, and USFS leadership to complete the certified HUA map for Colorado, but I don't believe USACE has been involved.  Is this an activity where they have an interest in data development and data sharing? 8/22/2007 Q3-Collaboration
CO Frank Riggle Has there been any discussion nationally about the possibility of NRCS, USACE, and others in acquiring some type of broad based digital elevation data over a period of years?  We contracted through USACE to get LiDAR digital elevation data for two small areas in Colorado to complete flood assessments, but the cost per acre is significantly higher doing small areas rather the larger areas.  I believe the cost for about 20 to 30 square miles for our two projects was about $30 to $40K each, and the latest estimates I heard for an entire state the size of Colorado or Wyoming was about $5 to $6 million.  Obviously a significant amount of money, but the digital elevation data is useful for a wide variety of conservation activities and would likely benefit many users.  This is not necessarily an item to add, but might be worth some discussion?   8/22/2007 Q3-Collaboration
CO Frank Riggle Colorado NRCS has no specific joint projects to report, however refer to the activities section for additional information. 8/22/2007 Q3-Collaboration
CO Frank Riggle We do not have any combined field demonstration projects that we are aware of in Colorado, although we have had significant involvement with USACE staff on wetland delineations, permitting questions, habitat restorations, stream restorations, and riparian improvement projects.  Typically the projects are initiated by a local group or landowner and involve a variety of federal, state and local partners. 8/22/2007 Q3-Collaboration
CO Frank Riggle We have been involved with the USACE locally for several years to do Reg-4 wetland delineation training as a combined activity for NRCS and USACE employees. 8/22/2007 Q3-Collaboration
CO Frank Riggle The USACE provided funds to support a new SnowTel site to provide additional snow-pack and stream flow forecast data for a sensitive flood prone area. 8/22/2007 Q3-Collaboration
CO Frank Riggle The NRCS Snow Survey staff meet with federal partners including USACE staff to discuss the waters supply and predicted flow information during potentially high water years. 8/22/2007 Q3-Collaboration
CO Frank Riggle We have used the USACE Missouri Office for two agreements to acquire LiDAR digital elevation data for flood assessment studies in Wray, Colorado and the Patterson Hollow area east of Rocky Ford, Colorado.  The USACE has the ability to contract with private vendors to acquire the digital elevation information needed to do a detailed flood assessment across a broad area with complex topography that makes a ground survey expensive.  The digital elevation data, combined with a ground truth of the elevation data provides the highly detailed elevation information needed to do a good flood assessment for the project sponsors. 8/22/2007 Q3-Collaboration
FL Rosalind Moore NRCS-FL has a Local Operating Agreement with the Jacksonville District as of Sept. 2005 concerning the coordination of wetland delineation and compliance activities.  Copy is attached.  Such agreements were recommended in joint national guidance upon the revocation of a national MOA in 2005.  We feel this has been a useful Agreement. 8/31/2007 Q3-Collaboration
ID Rob Sampson It would be great to identify a potential project to be included - but none seem to be popping up. 9/5/2007 Q3-Collaboration
MD Anne Lynn Maryland has an interagency training team (FWS, EPA, MDE, NRCS) that annually offers a wetland delineation training course (Corps IV). Differences between the Corps and Food Security Act Manuals are discussed. All Maryland NRCS soil conservationists are recommended to take the course. The NEDC may be able to use this course as a template for their course. 8/30/2007 Q3-Collaboration
NY Peter Wright We contacted the 5 USACE districts serving NY, New York, Buffalo, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Pittsburg. Although it was difficult to find a point of Contact for the Draft plan because it covered many functions within the USACE (and within NRCS) once we found an interested party most of the districts responded favorably that they would like to make an effort to improve our relationships and work together. We could not find any additional areas for collaboration other than the 24 that are enumerated in the draft action plan. Tony Friona was especially informative in the Buffalo District. He sent us a Local Partnering Agreement they have with Ohio NRCS and suggested we set up a similar arrangement with NY NRCS concentrating on the Niagara and/or the Genesee River Watershed. Working closer with the five districts would be a benefit to us but also take a time commitment on both our parts.  9/5/2007 Q3-Collaboration
NY Peter Wright There are several areas where we can see an immediate benefit. Working in the Chesapeake Bay watershed with the Baltimore District and the Delaware River Basin Commission with the Philadelphia District with our ongoing emphasis in these areas would be useful. Having a closer relationship with the USACE regulators in all the districts would be a benefit to those projects where we need a permit.  9/5/2007 Q3-Collaboration
OR Dave Dishman Sponsor a dialogue between both agencies to talk about and come to some common understanding of the importance of form & function in riparian areas and floodplains.  NRCS and USACE can look at ways to provide flood protection while maintaining the functions of riparian areas and flood plains.  This dialogue might also include looking at opportunities for rehab or new projects to re-connect rivers and streams to their floodplains, restore riparian functions, etc. as part of our holistic approach. 8/31/2007 Q3-Collaboration
RI Michelle Moore The identification and importance of wetland and aquatic resources functions; additional coordination of wetland projects/programs; and additional technology exchange and/or training.  Within this action item can be an identified task/need for additional collaboration with partners to explore how to define criteria for restoring degraded salt marshes[1].  9/6/2007 Q3-Collaboration
RI Michelle Moore Background: Restoration of degraded salt marshes is an important resource concern for much of the East coast. The WHIP and WRP programs are used to assist sponsors with restoration projects and many times this is coordinated through the Coastal America partnership. The USACE has plans, designs and constructs projects to restore degraded salt marshes. Currently several different criteria and methodologies are used to analyze and design restoration projects. This MOU could be used to facilitate a common approach to salt marsh restoration by the USACE, NRCS and others partners. With everyone limited staff time and the fact that benefits may be to a few states, this can be handled by states where this is a priority task for them.  9/6/2007 Q3-Collaboration
RI Michelle Moore Background: Both agencies have mission areas that include watershed planning and implementation.  State and local partners may or may not be aware of the complexities of how each federal agency is authorized to carry out its responsibilities in these areas.  This action item would require NRCS state leadership, regional USACE office and state partners will explore collaborative opportunities to provide federal assistance on projects that come to the table, mapping out how best to provide federal assistance to the local/state sponsor.  Often agencies can be seen as competing for sponsors for local projects as opposed to working together. 9/6/2007 Q3-Collaboration
AZ Don Paulus In the arid western states earthen dams built by NRCS and COE are susceptible to earth fissures due to over mining of the groundwater table posing an extreme safety issue.  The Federal Government has a high interest in how Sponsors and State Dam Safety Agencies set requirements for rehabilitating these dams.  NRCS and the COE should evaluate this failure mode to determine appropriate and consistent investigations, testing, and modeling for alternative solutions.  8/30/2007 Q3-Collaboration
SD Shaun Vickers The Corps is vastly understaffed.  They need more on the ground folks to help with the Clean Water Act issues.  We would like to have more opportunity to work with the Corps on site with wetland issues. 8/3/2027 Q3-Collaboration
CO Frank Riggle The USACE also holds an annual in-state wetland meeting for a variety of partners. 8/22/2007 Q3-Collaboration
NHQ Jan Surface Collaboration Regarding Use of Authorities and Funding:  Who's on the core team?  You need to have NRCS NHQ program managers that understand our authorities for each program engaged in this action.  Once the core team develops recommendations on how improved collaborative use of authorities can be used in various programs, then each Nat'l program manager can get the information out through bulletins, manual update, or other means. 8/27/2007 Q3-Collaboration
KS Janelle Heiser State level NRCS personnel communicate with Corps personnel regularly according to NRCS Policy, and to predict and mitigate potential problems.  Referring to the list of 24 items in the bulletin, most items are  appropriate to the NRCS relationship in Kansas. We know of no items that need to be added or deleted. 8/27/2007 Q3-Collaboration
AL Perry Oakes Alabama is currently working with the USACOE offices in Alabama to develop a Field Level Agreement between the USACOE, Mobile District and the Alabama NRCS Concerning Wetland Determinations and Determinations of Regulated and Unregulated Activities in Alabama.  We are following Georgia's lead who has already completed such agreements.  Alabama NRCS is pursuing this because we feel like due to the drought there may be an emphasis in the future to construct irrigation storage reservoirs in the state.  This agreement will help to make this process easier. 9/25/2007 Q3-Collaboration
NE Steve Chick Also, NRCS is working with the Army Corps of Engineers on a planning effort called the MISSOURI River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC.) The first goal of the MRRIC is to develop a broadly based consensus on a recommended Charter for the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Plan. Ultimately, MRRIC will make recommendations to recover threatened and endangered species in the Missouri River Basin and to restore the Missouri River ecosystem. The recommended Charter is expected to describe and explain important aspects related to the future work of MRRIC that will be used to focus and guide its direction and operation. The Charter is scheduled for completion by December  9/27/2007 Q3-Collaboration
NE Steve Chick MRRIC is a huge planning effort for the Corps, within the Missouri River Basin. Perhaps something should be included in the MOD about NRCS and the Corps partnership effort and appoint Doris Washington to work with them on MRRIC, since she is the official NRCS Partnership Representative.  9/27/2007 Q3-Collaboration
NV William Elder This is also a good direction, with potential - the MOU authorizes the agencies to enter into Operational Agreements to pilot studies/projects to accomplish the tasks listed in this item. 8/30/2007 Q3-Collaboration
ME Dan Baumert 2.  Issues or concerns encountered with NRCS/USACE partnering activities;  Could use better coordination and participation for streambank/channel stabilization/restoration projects between NRCS/USACE/USFWS and other reviewing agencies early in the initial planning process.  This could avoid conflicts or delays further in the implementation process 8/31/2007 Q2-Concern
MI Vicki Anderson 1. What issues have been encountered with NRCS/USACE partnership activities? Michigan is unique in that the State of Michigan implements Section 404 provisions of the Clean Water Act through the State wetland provisions in the interior portions of Michigan. We have excellent relations with the Detroit District Office.  We occasionally have issues related to acquiring permits in a timely manner from the State of Michigan for wetland restoration activities. 8/29/2007 Q2-Concern
NV William Elder  Both NRCS and COE acknowledge a data standard issue with respect to information that could be used as source data for efforts in #13, above. Precautions would need to taken to assure that sensitive information would not be available openly, but on a 'request' basis. This very well could accelerate watershed level planning efforts, and facilitate data consistency, a key for multi-agency planning. 8/30/2007 Q2-Concern
AR Randy Busbea 2.  What issues and /or concerns have been encountered with NRCS/USACE partnering activities, or potential collaborative efforts and how can these issues/concerns be minimized or resolved in the future?  In a joint collaboration the funding, timing of funding and the manpower to put a project on the ground has been a real challenge.  Each agency has a different background in how project implementation is accomplished.  More attention and talks are needed to develop the input and application of project works jointly worked on to minimize bottle necks in the implementation. 8/31/2007 Q2-Concern
CO Frank Riggle There are no particular partnering issues we are aware of in Colorado other than the general lack of time complaint.  The working relationships have been productive at the field and state levels, although not as frequent as may be desirable for better coordination.   8/22/2007 Q2-Concern
ND James Scmidt We have not experienced any issues that need to be minimized or resolved. 8/30/2007 Q2-Concern
OR Dave Dishman 2. Oregon doesn't have any issues or concerns related to our encounters with the USACE 8/31/2007 Q2-Concern
WY Gerald Jasmer What issues and/or concerns have been encountered with NRCS/USACE partnering activities, or potential collaborative efforts and how can these issues/concerns be minimized or resolved in the future?  Most of our activities with USACE have centered around 404 permitting.   Most of the time we work well together, but not always.  When USACE and NRCS local staff do not clearly understand each agencies roles and processes, including the NRCS environmental evaluation process, then permitting decisions slow to a crawl.   NRCS- WY suggests that within the USACE regulatory program within each state one or more USACE staff be designated to work on all projects involving NRCS technical or financial assistance.  Additionally NRCS personnel should receive periodic briefings and training on 404 processes and requirements.   These two actions would facilitate understanding and familiarity between agency personnel. 8/31/2007 Q2-Concern
WY Gerald Jasmer Additionally it is interesting that when we contacted the local USACE office a regulatory office, they had no knowledge of the Draft Action plan or of their responsibility to review and comment on it.   We were told that communications from Civil Works do not necessarily make their way to Regulatory folks. 8/31/2007 Q2-Concern
LA Britt Paul 2. What issues and/or concerns have been encountered with NRCS/USACE partnering activities, or potential collaborative efforts and how can these issues/concerns be minimized or resolved in the future? We have found most all issues/concerns encountered during partnering activities can be resolved with better communication and understanding of each agencies function and mission related to the specific activity. It is very important for personnel with the authority to make decisions for each agency to be involved if a critical issue arises. 8/31/2007 Q2-Concern
AK Phil Naegele #1. Review of the draft Action Plan (dAP) by Alaska NRCS and members of the Regulatory Division of the Alaska USACE District did not identify any additions, deletions or amendments to any of the dAP 24 items. 8/31/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
AR Randy Busbea 1.  Based on your review of the draft action plan, what items should be added or deleted.  Please document why items should be added or deleted to the USACE/NRCS partnership draft action plan.  Any proposed new action items should have an accompanying, short summary of explanation included in your feed back response.  Development of surface water impoundments for drinking water supply is a needed item.  Bottled water can cost as much as $8.00 a gallon when purchased in 16 ounce increments.  NRCS and USACE have two different sizes when water impoundments are involved as a project, rural water versus mega impoundments. These have similar cost differences associated with the impoundments also.   NRCS funding and policy for water supply limits its involvement in developing serious water supplies to the rural areas.  This is one area that more study and consideration is needed.     8/31/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
AZ Don Paulus Create a technical forum in the west for arid region needs. 8/30/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
CO Frank Riggle Item 1:  We would suggest including multiple contacts for each state by function.  Possibly as a minimum, both the Program Manager/Administrative type contact for each state as well as the person responsible for the wetland and related activities.  In Colorado, the items listed actually cross Water Resources, Ecological Sciences, and Engineering.  Water resources has overall responsibility for the water quality aspects and watershed activities, ecological sciences for the wetland delineation and other related wetland issues, and engineering for the disaster recovery programs, structural issues, and rehabilitation of aging dams.  We suspect other states may have a similar crossing of functions. 8/22/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
DE Sally Kepfer Overall the document is too wordy and tries to cover everything.  By addressing so many diverse areas, there is the possibility that no one area will be effectively addressed.  Delaware suggests that the document be simplify to 5-10 action items that are measurable and can be accomplished in 12-18 months.  Otherwise the documents as written, allows for little measurement of success. 8/29/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
MA Karen Regish 1.      The draft action plan is primarily a list of topics/activities under consideration (should be would beand need to or being implemented at a national and/or local level. Ideally an action plan consists of a number of action steps to be made.  Each action step should include the following information: What actions or changes will occur; Who will carry out these changes; By when they will take place, and for how long; What resources (i.e., money, staff) are needed to carry out these changes; and Communication (who should know what?). 9/4/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
MA Karen Regish 2.      There are too many topics/activities (24).   The activities in this agreement should be reduced to 5 or 6 that are the most needed by the states, directly link to the agency strategic plan and have the highest potential for success.   And then only if specific collaborative actions can be identified and leadership commits to make it happen. 9/4/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
MA Karen Regish 3.      The Partnership Agreement identifies three primary areas for collaboration:  1) Watershed Planning and implementation; 2) Wetland creation, restoration and enhancement and; 3) Natural disaster recovery.  The activities in this draft action plan should be aligned under one of these three strategic areas.  Many of the ongoing and proposed actions in the draft plan can be placed within these strategic areas.  If a listed item does not fit within one of these three strategic areas, it may need to be excluded unless there is a need to expand the three strategic issues and thus update the Partnership Agreement.  Within the structure of this format, national action items can be listed and then those state and/or local action items listed in support of the larger strategic issue.  This will allow those topics that may be a state priority task fall under the appropriate issue with the appropriate time, resources and objectives defined by those responsible.  9/4/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
MA Karen Regish This detailed action plan format will allow NRCS state and Corps district offices to identify those local priority tasks that support the three strategic issues.  Ideally the action plan will identify collaborative projects that will include NRCS state leadership, the regional USACE office and state partners.  Due to limited staff and fiscal resources in New England, it is critical that the New England NRCS states collaborate together as well as the agencies. 9/4/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
NC Mike Hinton We do not recommend adding to or deleting any of the action items listed. 8/30/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
ND James Scmidt We do not recommend adding or deleting any item  8/30/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
NHQ Dan Lawson all items that require significant action, would need to be vented through the national business planning process and agreed to by leadership, since we have more items than we can work on in any given year.
 
8/27/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
NHQ Jan Surface National Subject Matter Contacts:  only NRCS contacts are listed, not USACE as the action plan states.  NRCS technical contacts are not completely up-to-date.   8/27/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
NHQ Jan Surface Stream Restoration/Mitigation Design:  What's ERDC?   8/27/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
NHQ Jan Surface Real Estate and Related Issues, Impediments, Opportunities:  I don't understand this item.  NRCS does not own any real estate.  We hold conservation easements but do not own land. 8/27/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
NHQ Jan Surface National Ecosystem Restoration Conference Series:  I strongly encourage the NRCS/USACE liaison to engage appropriate NHQ folks in this action plan discussion before presenting it again at the next National Ecosystem Restoration Conference.  It's unfortunate that the action plan was already presented at the 2nd National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration without letting those NRCS folks it effects see it first. 8/27/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
NV William Elder Much of the current COE modelling efforts have been centered around urban areas, while NRCS' (and others) have focussed on rural areas - simply put, there is a tremendous opportunity here for synergy. Independent development of tools by agencies is rapidly becoming a 'luxury' that no one agency can afford. 8/30/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
OR Dave Dishman Based on the review of the draft action plan, Oregon doesn't have any items to add or delete. 8/31/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
RI Michelle Moore Our first comment is that the action plan presented for review is primarily a list of topics/activities (24) under consideration (should be would be and need to or being implemented at a national and/or local level. Ideally an action plan consists of a number of action steps or changes to be brought about.  Each action step or change to be sought should include the following information: What actions or changes will occur; Who will carry out these changes; By when they will take place, and for how long; What resources (i.e., money, staff) are needed to carry out these changes; and Communication (who should know what?)? 9/6/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
RI Michelle Moore Background: The Stream Corridor Restoration Handbook provides a lot of information and has been widely distributed to agency staff and the conservation partnership. Basic awareness training has been by others provided to many groups and individuals on the Rosgen stream classification systems. General stream hydrology curves are currently used for guidance in classifying the streams. Regional stream hydrology rating curves are needed to efficiently apply the handbook. Training is needed on classifying streams and analyzing stream restoration projects to get NRCS personnel familiar with applying the handbook procedures. With everyone limited staff time and the fact that benefits may be to a few states, this can be handled by states where this is a priority task for them.  9/6/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
UT Karen Fullen Western States Watershed Study - This paragraph contains a typographic error.  It's the Snow SURVEY and Water Supply Forecasting Program, not Snow Recovery. 8/17/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
CO Frank Riggle Item 20: the Corps and NRCS are jointly pursuing drought management issues within this study effort through the NRCS Snow Recovery and Water   I think this should be Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program./td> 8/22/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
UT Karen Fullen We do not recommend adding or deleting Collaborative Activity Descriptions, however we do recommend some edits to those listed in the draft as discussed below.  We believe these edits will assist us in resolving issues between USACE and NRCS in Utah which have hindered NRCS implementation of Farm Bill and EWP programs, as well as partnering and potential collaborative efforts. 8/17/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
LA Britt Paul Based on your review of the draft action plan, what items should be added or deleted.  Please document why items should be added or deleted to the USACE/NRCS partnership draft action plan.  Any proposed new action items should have an accompanying, short summary of explanation included in your feedback response. We feel the action plan adequately covers the wide range of existing and potential collaborative activities between NRCS and USACE. 8/31/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
NM David Pacheco We have no comments other than to say that this should provide a good framework for NRCS and the Corps to utilize each other's technical specialists.  We do not have a project at this time to include in the national action plan. 9/21/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
NE Steve Chick Need to address sloughing issues for WRPIWREP. This is a very beneficial use for the Corps and we need to find a way to make the process easier/allowed.  9/27/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items
WY Gerald Jasmer Based on your review of the draft action plan, what items should be added or deleted.  Please document why items should be added or deleted to the USACE/NRCS partnership draft action plan.  Any proposed new action items should have an accompanying, short summary of explanation included in your feedback response.  No changes suggested. 8/31/2007 Q1-Add or Delete Action Items

 

 

 

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