MI NRCS Technical Assistance Initiative Position Opening

MI NRCS Technical Assistance Initiative Soil Conservationist

The Michigan Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Clinton Conservation District are seeking an applicant to serve as Soil Conservationist with the St Johns USDA Field Office located in Clinton County, Michigan. This position would support Farm Bill program initiatives with a focus on the Maple River watershed. The ideal candidate has a bachelors degree in natural resources or agriculture-related sciences and a familiarity with Clinton County agricultural practices. The candidate should have a good aptitude for customer service, the ability to multitask and be willing to do site visits on farms and to woodlots.

NRCS and conservation districts provide technical support for producers and landowners wanting to do conservation. The Soil Conservationist would provide outreach to residents about available programs and funding, help landowners develop management plans for their lands and assist NRCS and District staff with office support as needed. This position is funded by a three-year grant though NRCS and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation with potential for continued funding, depending on available resources.

To apply, provide a cover letter, resume, copy of transcripts (unofficial is okay) and three references. Please review position description below and direct any additional questions to Clinton Conservation District Executive Director, Kelcie Sweeney, at 989-224-3720 x5 or kelcie.sweeney@macd.org. Please drop off your application packet to the Clinton Conservation District office, 2343 N US 27, St Johns, or email your application materials to Kelcie Sweeney by Wednesday, June 13 at 4:30pm.

Position Description

Important Tree Sale Notification

Due to the extended cold and snow much of Michigan is still receiving this spring, some of our tree suppliers are still dealing with very frozen ground conditions. As a result, some of the trees ordered in our Spring Tree Sale will be delayed by a couple weeks. If you ordered with us this spring, you will be receiving your printed receipt and more information about this matter next week.  In the meantime, we will do our best to keep you informed of the situation. Thank you for your patience as we all weather this continued winter-y …weather.

 

Clinton CD Seeking CTAI Specialist

CONSERVATION TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE INITIATIVE (CTAI) SPECIALIST POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT

The Conservation Technical Assistance Initiative (CTAI) Program is seeking interested applicants to serve as a CTAI Specialist serving Clinton, Eaton and Ionia counties. The position will be located in St. Johns, Michigan.  The individual will be employed by the Conservation District and the work station will be located with the local office of the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  The work will be performed under the technical guidance of the NRCS District Conservationist. The applicant must possess a Bachelor of Science Degree in a natural resource or agriculture related field.

 

The CTAI Specialist position will be focus on practice implementation and construction inspection.  The position will have responsibility to work with individuals in the agricultural community to implement a variety of agricultural practices that are funded under the 2014 Farm Bill.  These practices may include, but are not limited to, pest management, nutrient management, prescribed grazing, irrigation water management, and tree/shrub establishment.  The position will also work with landowners on risk reduction assessment and implementation for environmental stewardship.

 

Starting pay rate will be dependent on experience $19-21/hr.  Benefit package includes paid holidays, sick leave and a flex plan.  A valid Michigan driver’s license is required.  Interested applicants should submit a resume, transcripts, up to 3 references, and a cover letter indicating relevant experience no later than 4:30 p.m. on April 18, 2018 to Kelcie Sweeney, Executive Director. Full details in position description linked below.

CTAI Position Description

64th Annual Meeting

It’s time for the Clinton Conservation District to host our annual meeting. We would like to invite you to join us for dinner, our annual review, board elections, as well as a presentation titled, “Projected Climate Changes in the Great Lakes Region and their Potential Impacts on Agriculture” given by Dr. David Lusch. The meeting will be held at AgroLiquid (3055 M-21, St. Johns) on March 28th and will start with dinner at 5 pm. If you are a Clinton County resident and unable to attend the Annual Meeting but still want to participate in the board elections, Absentee ballots are available at the Clinton Conservation District office. You may also request an absentee ballot be sent to you via phone or email. Please contact Kelcie Sweeney at kelcie.sweeney@macd.org or 989-534-3107 with any questions or to request a ballot.

Looking Glass River Log Jam Removal

The Looking Glass River Intercounty Drainage Board recently completed a river cleanup project. The details of the project as well as a list of frequently asked questions are included below.

Q: How did a portion of the Looking Glass River become an Intercounty Drain?
A: A portion of the Looking Glass River was established as a drain by acts of the Michigan
Legislature as early as 1881, Public Act 239 of 1881 and Public Act 84 of 1885, to address
water conveyance issues. In 1886 improvements were made to approximately 36 miles
of the river/drain based on an Order Establishing Improvements that included dredging
and log jam removal.

Q: Why does this make it an established drain today?
A: Current state law provides that any watercourse established as a public drain in
accordance with the law in existence at the time it was established is recognized as a
public drain today.

Q: Where does the Looking Glass River Intercounty Drain begin and end?
A: Based on the 1886 Order Establishing Improvements, the point of beginning of the
Looking Glass River Intercounty Drain is approximately the point where the river crosses
the township line between Dewitt and Olive Townships in Clinton County and the point
of ending is the county line between Shiawassee and Livingston Counties.

Q: What areas does the Looking Glass River Intercounty Drain serve?
A: The Looking Glass River Intercounty Drain serves portions of Bath, Dewitt, Olive and
Victor Townships in Clinton County; portions of Sciota, Woodhull, Bennington,
Shiawassee, Perry and Antrim Townships in Shiawassee County; portions of Meridian,
Williamstown and Locke Townships in Ingham County, and a portion of Conway
Township in Livingston County.

Q: Who has jurisdiction over the Looking Glass River Intercounty Drain?
A: An intercounty drain board chaired by a representative from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and the Drain Commissioners from
Clinton, Livingston, Ingham and Shiawassee Counties oversee the operation and
maintenance of the drain.

Q: What is a drainage district?
A: A drainage district is a land area benefitting from an established drain. Under Michigan
law, a drainage district is a public corporation authorized to build and maintain a drain, and to own land and hold property rights necessary for that purpose. It is also authorized to assess lands within its boundaries.

Q: Why is a property included within a drainage district?
A: Generally, a property is determined to be in a drainage district if runoff from that property drains to, or has the potential to drain to, an established drain.

Q: Why are changes to the drainage district boundaries being considered?
A: In many cases, drainage district boundaries were established decades or even a century ago. Since that time, changes in land use, surface composition, and topography may have
occurred that alter historic drainage patterns. These alterations can change whether, and to what extent, properties are now benefitted by a drain.

Q: How does property included in a drainage district benefit from the drain?
A: County drains are an important part of public infrastructure in much the same way as roads, water mains, and sanitary sewers. Although drains may not be visible, they provide an outlet for storm water runoff and reduce the risk of property damage caused by flooding.

Q: How will we know if our property is located within the Looking Glass River
Intercounty Drain Drainage District?
A: A map has been prepared based on topographic and other information identifying the
land served by the established portion of the Looking Glass Intercounty Drain depicting
the boundaries of the proposed revisions to its drainage district. You will receive a Notice
for Day of Review indicating the date, time and place when these proposed boundary
revisions will be reviewed.

Q: What happens on the Day of Review of Drainage District Boundaries?
A: On the Day of Review, historical drainage district boundaries will be updated so that all
properties currently benefiting from the drain are included, and the properties not
benefiting from the drain are excluded. The Day of Review of Drainage District
Boundaries provides property owners with an opportunity to provide input and participate in the decision-making process and share information and local knowledge about lands involved.

Q: What maintenance work does the Drainage Board intend to have done on the Looking
Glass River Intercounty Drain?
A: The maintenance work proposed for the drain involves removal of log jams and flood
wood from the drain channel. It also will include selective clearing of trees (leaners) along
the drain right-of-way and drain banks. Clearing of trees will reduce the occurrence of
trees falling into the river/drain reducing the incidence of future log jams.

Q: What are the benefits of the maintenance work proposed?
A: Removing trees and log jams will allow the water along the river/drain to move freely,
reducing the extent of soil erosion and sedimentation causing damage to the river and
flooding to surrounding areas. Clearing the river from debris and improving conveyance
along the river channel will create indirect benefits to wildlife, hunting, recreation, and
fishing.

Q: How much will the maintenance work cost?
A: Maintenance cost is limited by the Michigan Drain Code to $5,000 per mile of drain per
year. For the Looking Glass River Intercounty Drain, the maximum annual cost would be
$180,000 ($5,000 x 36 miles = $180,000) per maintenance project.

Q: Who will pay the cost?
A: In accordance with the Michigan Drain Code, the maintenance costs will be assessed to
those who benefit from the existence and operation of the drain. Those benefiting include
the counties for benefit to county roads, MDOT, railroads, townships and the landowners
within the drainage district.

We Want Your Bid!

The Clinton Conservation District is seeking bids for habitat improvement work in the Rose Lake and Maple River State Game Areas.

Through a Wildlife Habitat Grant awarded by the DNR, the District is looking to establish and improve 126 acres of small game and pheasant habitat. This is the second Wildlife Habitat Grant managed through the Clinton Conservation District, and this project will build upon work already completed in the previous project. All sites slated for improvement are open to public hunting.

For more information and bid packets, please stop by the office, give us a call or email Kelcie Sweeney kelcie.sweeney@macd.org for more information.

Clinton Conservation District Receives Habitat Grant

The Clinton Conservation District is happy to announce the award of a Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Habitat grant to restore and create habitat in the Rose Lake and Maple River State Game Areas.  The Clinton County Pheasant and Small Game Habitat Enhancement Project officially started in October 2017 and continues through September 2019. The project total is $62,330 and will be completed through the partnership of the Gratiot Conservation District, Clinton Lakes Pheasant Co-op and the Clinton County Chapter of Pheasants Forever.

Two sites in the Rose Lake State Game Area and one site in the Maple River State Game Area will receive improvements. All three sites are open to public hunting.

The work scheduled to be done in the Rose Lake State Game Area spans 94 acres.  A site located off Upton Road will have a perennial five-acre food plot adjacent to a cool season grass field covering 16 acres.  An additional 73 acres of habitat will consist of a 34 acres warm season grass planting, 14 acres cool season grass restoration, 15 acres warm season grass enhancement, and 20 acres switchgrass.

The site within the Maple River State Game Area is located off West Hyde Road and spans 22 acres.  Two switchgrass plots are divided by an acre that will be planted with native fruiting shrubs.  This site will provide winter cover and food for small game and pheasants.

The District will be seeking local contractors to complete this work this winter.