BUTTE — The Lower Niobrara Natural Resource District (NRD) in Boyd County recently announced that it has been awarded funding through a 2019 NACD technical assistance (TA) grant made possible through a partnership with National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to build and strengthen technical capacity nationwide.
Lower Niobrara NRD will use the TA grant funding to help fund the salary for an NRD technician. The duties include assisting the Boyd County NRCS office with all aspects of getting conservation practices on the ground and inspecting those practices to insure they have been completed properly. The technician also is available to assist the district staff with summer work.
“Having this technician has been a win-win for the district as well as the NRCS office,” said Lower Niobrara NRD General Manager Terry Julesgard. “The NRCS office has been able to maintain customer service in a timely manner even though one of the full-time staff has moved to another office.”
NACD and NRCS established the Technical Assistance Grant Initiative in 2018 through a cooperative agreement to help conservation districts hire staff where additional technical capacity was needed to improve customer service and reduce workload pressure.
In 2018, NACD and NRCS awarded $9 million in funding to further enhance conservation district technical assistance across the nation. To date in 2019, NACD and NRCS have awarded grants totaling $9.9 million in 47 states and two territories, funding nearly 210 positions, including 10 tribe-related positions.
“Building and strengthening technical capacity on a grassroots level is crucial when it comes to local natural resources management,” said NACD President Tim Palmer. “Every acre and every district employee counts when it comes to the conservation puzzle, whether it’s a soil conservation technician, forester or program support specialist.”
“NACD is proud to help put more boots on the ground and offer support to bolster the important work conservation districts accomplish on America’s landscapes every day,” Palmer said.