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Message from the State Conservationist

Dr. William Puckett, AL NRCS State ConservationistDr. William (Bill) Puckett

It is good to be back on the mainland and at home. As most of you know, I have been on detail to the Pacific Islands Area (PIA) for 120 days. It was a great experience and I am lucky to have been chosen to do it.

PIA and Alabama were different in many ways-- tropical agriculture, high cost of living, flying to all field offices, piggeries, and culture--but they were similar in people and partners. People are always the common denominator and there is more commonality than differences. It reminded me of why I chose to be a public servant. I have included a collage of photos from my visit to the PIA in the Fall Edition of Alabama NRCS Current Developments newsletter.

I want to extend a big “THANK YOU” to Ben Malone and April Jones for the great job they did as Acting State Conservationist and Assistant State Conservationist while I was gone. I think the continuity of services was practically seamless and I hope you felt the same way.

We are under another Continuing Resolution (CR), which provides funding for the Federal government through December 11, 2014. The CR will allow us to continue our operations with just slightly less than what was provided in FY2014. Budget Officer Shirley told me that we will be ok during the CR in paying salaries and benefits, but we will not be able to do much more. I ask that we all be prudent in our spending for the duration of the CR.

As we close the books on another Fiscal Year, I see a lot of accomplishments that have been made. Because of challenges in funding, we are combining efforts with more and different partners to ensure our, and their, objectives are met. We are staying on track in providing good conservation programs and technical assistance to Alabama’s landowners.  

As we begin the new fiscal year, it’s critical that we help our customers remain good stewards of natural resources and that we remain diligent in delivering quality services. I am proud of the work we do and I know that you will continue to provide high quality customer service.