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					Autumn 2006                                             ohiodnr.com                                                    volume 41, No. 2




                                          NEWS
                        And through                                                                                By LEAPS and
                        the woods                                                                                  bounds
                        Shelby SWCD                                                                                 Livestock
                        accommodates
                        drainage,
                        woodland. P3
                                         & VIEWS                                                                    Environmental
                                                                                                                    Assurance
                                                                                                                    Program. P2
                                         ODNR Division of Soil and Water Conservation




      Calendar
              Conservation
                                       CO2ling with conservation
                                       Kirk Hines, Administrator, Conservation Engineering
                                       Human-caused or otherwise, global                 nies (on a voluntary basis for now)
    Oct 3-6 TDP II
               Molly Caren - FSR
                                       warming is now a widely recognized                would pay for carbon sequestration or
                                       problem. Atmospheric concentrations               methane capturing methods. Outside
  Oct 10-11 TDP III-V                  of greenhouse gas such as carbon                  funding to explore these possibilities
               Fountain Square
                                       dioxide and methane have risen sub-               has come from Environmental Defense
  Oct 17-18 TDP I                      stantially and temperatures are increas-          (ED), a national non-profit organization
               Horace Collins Lab      ing globally.                                     that provides funding for landowners
                                          Two interrelated ways to address               on agricultural and forest management
     Oct 18 AADP                       elevated carbon dioxide levels involve            demonstration projects nationwide to
               Columbus                1) capturing carbon in growing plant              reduce global warming while improv-
     Nov 16 AADP                       materials – trees and other crops – and           ing land and water quality.
               Columbus                2) avoiding tillage, thereby allowing                Recently, the Ohio Corn Grower’s
     Jan-16 AADP                       soil carbon to increase. Another poten-           Association has become a major
               Columbus                tial strategy for slowing the increasing          partner in this project and is commit-
                                       concentrations of greenhouse gases                ted to being an aggregator of farmers/
  Jan 16-17 OFSWCD Annual Mtg          involves capturing methane generated              acres. In the future SWCDs may be
               Columbus
                                       at large livestock operations.                    asked to play a support role, perhaps
    Feb 4-8 NACD Annual Mtg               Since 2003 the division has been               providing independent monitoring of
               Los Angeles             laying groundwork in Ohio for a                   practices.
                                       project under which utility compa-                                       continued on page 2




      Applause
                                       Building district capacity
                                       Justin Reinhart, Area 5 Engineer                                          Technician
                                       In February of 2003 ODNR introduced                                      Development
                                       the Technician Development Program                                         Program
                                       TDP) to provide consistent and
                                       detailed training for newly hired tech-
                                       nicians.Three years later it continues
                                       to be a success as the fourth series of
                                       Level 1 classes began with 19 techni-
Ohio Envirothon team placed            cians aiming to join the 137 who have
                                       already completed courses in engi-
5th at the Canon Envirothon            neering references, plan preparation,
in Manitoba. P4                        math refresher, hydrology, surveying
                                       with levels, and soils.
                                          Additionally, a third series of level
                                       2 classes, which include training in
    Watersheds
                                       hydraulics, surveying with transits,
Wayne County watershed                 construction inspection, soils engi-
project reaches out to                 neering, and designing ponds, grass
Amish. P3                              waterways, and grade stabilization
                                       structures, will be concluded in 2006,
                                       increasing the number of Level 2
                                                                                TDP students learn basic surveying skills
                                       certified technicians to 98.
                                                                                        by practicing with a laser level.
                                                             continued on page 3
2   SOIL & WATER CONSERvATION



CO2ling with conservation                                       Farmers encouraged to TAKE A LEAP
continued from page 1                                           In fact, Ohio farmers can take their pick – LEAP 1 or
   ED has demonstration projects in several states where        LEAP 2…the Livestock Environmental Assurance
payments are made to landowners for engaging in con-            Program, that is.
servation practices such as no-till farming, converting            By participating in LEAP Level 1 or Pasture, livestock
marginal farmland to grassland or forest, and construct-        producers have an opportunity to take a pro-active
ing methane digesters for animal manure. Environmental          approach in blending sound production economics
Defense believes that a substantial portion of green-           with concern about environmental quality.The goal is to
house gas reduction can come from agriculture, with             minimize government regulations by providing produc-
funding from large greenhouse gas emitters.                     ers with an educational program that addresses relevant
                                                                environmental issues.
Why sequester carbon in the soil?                                  Pasture-based livestock systems can also pose a risk to
Reports indicate that the concentration of greenhouse           the environment, and also need to be managed in an envi-
gases in the atmosphere has increased from 280 ppm to           ronmentally friendly, responsible and sensitive manner.
370 ppm over the past few hundred years. Many experts              LEAP 2 is designed to help producers obtain and
(and much of society) link the accumulation of these            organize information and identify appropriate best man-
gases to changes in temperature, rain patterns and distri-      agement practices (BMPs) necessary to develop, adopt,
bution, snowfall, and other aspects of climate. Although        and implement a Comprehensive Nutrient Management
no national or international policy regulates greenhouse        Plan. Such a plan outlines how farmers will manage and
gas emissions (e.g. carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous        address issues related to manure and wastewater han-
oxide), in the United States there is a market for selling      dling and storage, feed management, land application
carbon offsets and credits.                                     practices, nutrient management, record keeping and
   While agriculture produces substantial amounts of            other utilization options.The plan’s BMPs address and
two greenhouse gases - methane and nitrous oxide - and          minimize the impact and effect of dust, noise, odors and
minor amounts of carbon dioxide, a number of practices          pests on the respective farm’s neighbors and community.
adopted by farmers and other landowners can also store             Helping horse and stable owners is the goal of the
or “sequester” carbon in the soil as organic matter and         Equine Environmental and Liability Awareness Program
in trees, helping reduce the amount of carbon dioxide           (patterned after LEAP).The program’s curriculum focuses
in the atmosphere. Practices that increase the amount of        on key issues that are critically important to the success
soil carbon also often reduce soil erosion and improve          of an equine operation developing and implementing
soil quality as well.                                           practices that are economically viable, environmentally
   Many businesses, such as large utility companies, are        friendly, and socially acceptable. Specific topics that
choosing to offset greenhouse gas emissions by purchas-         will be addressed during the training session include
ing credits from landowners – including farmers – who           protecting water quality, manure and nutrient manage-
are able to store or sequester additional carbon.               ment, pasture management, facility design, conservation
                                                                practices, neighbor relations, regulatory compliance and
What is the typical amount of soil carbon sequestered           Ohio’s equine liability law.
in Ohio?
This is highly variable and depends on a number of
factors including the soil type. Dr. Rattan Lal, Professor at    By the numbers - Participation to date
The Ohio State University, has suggested 300 to 500 lbs          LEAP Level 1 & Pasture – 6,040
of carbon/acre/year or ½ to1 ton of CO2 as an average            LEAP Level 2 – 169
number for soil carbon or CO2 sequestered for no-till in         Manure Management Issues, Challenges & Solutions - 483
Ohio. If a producer is converting cropland to trees, this        Equine Train the Trainer programs - 162
number may approach five or more tons of CO2.                    Equine Environmental & Liability Awareness Program - 322

What is the price paid per ton of carbon sequestered?
At present, no standard exists for calculating the tons of          Manure on horse farms is typically handled and stored
carbon sequestered, so price varies significantly from          very differently than other livestock farms. Additionally,
project to project. ED is currently working with Duke           many horse farms do not have a direct link to crops like
University to develop a “Gold Standard” – a technically         other livestock farms, nor do they usually have adequate
correct and transparent definitional standard for ter-          forage resources.Therefore, it is very important that they
restrial greenhouse gas offsets. Currently, contracts           learn to recognize the challenges that they face and
are approaching $10 - $15 per ton of carbon seques-             become acquainted with management practices that can
tered. Experts have estimated that offsets will need to         help address natural resource concerns and potential
approach $50 per ton of carbon to get significant inter-        liability issues.This comprehensive education and aware-
est from the agricultural community.                            ness program will help them do exactly that.
                                                                                           SOIL & WATER CONSERvATION         3



Building district capacity                                                                                   ing over the
continued from page 1
                                                                                                             past 50 years or
    And for the first time, 27 techni-                                                                       so. In fact, the
cians have reached level 3-certification                                                                     channel wasn’t
after completing training in special-                                                                        as unstable as it
ized topics such as TR-55, stream                                                                            first appeared.
morphology, GIS and designing dry                                                                               After careful
hydrants, wetlands, and subsurface                                                                           consideration, a
drainage.                                                                                                    new approach
    Participant feedback indicates the                                                                       was taken to
TDP is meeting its goals. Don Garver                                                                         address the
(urban conservationist, Mahoning                                                                             wooded section
SWCD) was 1 year into his job when                                                                           of the channel.
the program began. After completing                                                                          In order to
the level 1, 2, and 3 coursework, he                                                                         reduce project
says “TDP has been a great asset for                                                                         costs a ‘snag and
me.Topics such as hydraulic jump                                                                             clear’ operation
and soil compaction have helped me                                                                           was used to
communicate better with the County         What do you call a ditch through                                  remove logjams
Engineer and better understand the                                                                           and dead trees
plans I review.” Nearing completion        the woods? SUCCESSFUL!                                            from 1,500
of Level 2, Cody Hacker, (district         Terry Mescher, Area 4 Engineer                                    feet of channel
technician, vinton SWCD) offers,“The                                                  banks. Some minimal work was done
classes provide a good understand-         The Platvoet Ditch, albeit fairly large,   at the downstream end of this reach.
ing before going out into the field.       was a typical petition ditch project for   Riprap was used to protect the toe of
You’re not going out there completely      Shelby SWCD.The project has had its        the banks to minimize bank erosion,
blind.” Technicians also see a personal    ups and downs, its sometimes-heated        and a grade control structure had to
benefit from the TDP. Sara Morris (Soil    meetings with landowners, and no           be installed at the end of the section
Conservationist, NRCS, Union Co)           shortage of changes to the design.         since no excavation was conducted
started in the program shortly after          Due to the eroded condition of the      through the woods.
her NRCS career began 2 years ago.         channel, the original design called            Overall, this approach was a “win-
She believes “learning how to design       for straightening and channelizing         win” as the project’s price tag was
all the various conservation prac-         a wooded section of the ditch.This         greatly reduced and the channel was
tices, not just the ones I work with,      proposal would have been extremely         left to wander through the woods as
will better prepare me for a District      expensive due to the required tree         it always had.
Conservationist position some day.”        removal and excavation costs.              CONTACTS:
    To meet the growing demand for            Upon studying the section of            Terry Mescher, Division Engineer
training, sessions on Geographic           channel that passed through the            Jason Bruns, Shelby SWCD
Information Systems (GIS) and              woods and looking closely at historic        Administrator
Surveying with Total Station have been     photos, designers concluded that the       Dave Heilers, Shelby SWCD
added to the Level 3 curriculum for        eroded condition had been develop-           Technician
2006.


 North Fork Watershed                                           watershed of only 20,000       other farmers began taking
  Building trust first                                          acres.
                                                                   According to former
                                                                                               an interest in addressing
                                                                                               conservation needs on
  Jeff VanLoon                                                  watershed coordinator          their own farms. While
                                 and protection in the          Rachel Webb, this chal-        EQIP funds were not
  North Fork Watershed,          beginning was establish-       lenge was overcome             acceptable to the Amish,
  located in Wayne County        ing trust and acceptance       when a few Amish leaders       and endorsed watershed
  and centered around            with the Amish community.      installed conservation         plans were not of interest
  Kidron, is a commercial        Their inherent reluctance      practices such as fencing      to them, the project has
  hub for a large Amish          to work with government        livestock from stream          proven successful in its
  population. A big challenge    agencies needed to be          banks, thereby raising con-    own way – getting conser-
  for watershed planning         addressed, even in a small     servation’s visibility. Many   vation “on the land.”
4      SOIL & WATER CONSERvATION                                                                   Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts




Ohio team takes 5th
It’s all in the presentation
First, they won a weeklong trip to Canada.Then they each
got $1,000 for college. Not bad for doing something they
enjoy anyway.
   At least that’s how five students from Chardon High
School in Geauga County felt about their Envirothon expe-
rience this summer.
   The students took first place at the Area 2 Envirothon
on May 3rd.Then they captured the Ohio Envirothon title                    the highest oral presentation score, and a 5th place finish
in June, with high scores in Soils, Current Issue (tied with               overall.
Putnam County’s Fort Jennings) and Oral Presentation.                         Team coach and Chardon High School teacher Marilyn
This victory entitled them to represent Ohio at the Canon                  Rohr said,“The students had a great time and have learned
Envirothon in Manitoba July 23-29. A record 52 teams                       so much through their involvement in this program. We
competed this year from 44 states and eight provinces.                     appreciate everything that soil and water conservation
And when the smoke cleared, the Ohio team finished with                    districts do to make this experience possible.”

                                                                           spring developments,           land judging contests, the
                                                                           grazing fencing, mobile        state-level Ohio Envirothon,
                                                                           water systems, and livestock annual Environmental Days,
                                                                           management.                    Summer Supervisor School
                                                                              The property is also one    tours, and many other educa-
                                                                           of only three sites in Ohio    tional events on the farm.
                                                                           with a grove of Super Sugar       The district has
                                                                           Maple trees to                             recognized
                                                                           ensure a seed          Malabar Farm Malabar Farm
                                                                           source for future and Richland SWCD as Cooperator
                                                                                                share long history of the Year and
    Growing up together
                                                                           generations.
                                                                              SWCD board                              named Park
    Jeff VanLoon                                                           members have served on         Manager Louis Andres as
                                                                           the Malabar Farm advi-         Conservationist of the Year.
    Since 1939, Malabar Farm              the land from 1939 until         sory board for years and       Current SWCD supervisor
    (now an Ohio state park)              his death in 1956. Early         recently the district con-     Charles Winger and past
    has been a work in progress           practices like contour           tributed over $5,000 to the    Supervisor Dick Forbes
    for the Richland SWCD.The             strips, crop rotations, green    Malabar Farm Foundation        contributed untold hours
    district worked with previ-           manure, tiling, windbreaks,      toward construction of a       to the farm advisory com-
    ous owner Louis Bromfield             and forest management            new Education Center. The      mittee and Foundation, and
    (a Pulitzer Prize-winning             were used to build soil tilth.   district, in conjunction with  members John Hildreth and
    author and conservation               More recently the district       Malabar Farm Park officials,   Diana Kelley have assisted
    promoter) who farmed                  has assisted with wetlands,      has held state and local       with many Park projects.




Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Soil and Water Conservation
2045 Morse Road, Bldg B-3
Columbus OH 43229
614-265-6610 614-265-6994 (TDD)

Bob Taft, Governor
Sam Speck, Director
David Hanselmann, Chief
Nelson Strong, News & Views Editor

An equal opportunity employer-M/F/H
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