Conservation Day held at state Capitol
Supervisors from 14 conservation districts and other leaders in the West Virginia conservation community met with state senators and delegates Monday, Jan. 16, as part of the second annual Conservation Day events at the state Capitol Complex.
A reception for legislators on Monday evening followed Conservation Day activities earlier in the morning and afternoon at the Capitol Rotunda.
The day was an opportunity for supervisors to speak on behalf of their districts and to encourage legislators to support major dam rehabilitation projects across the state, as well as agricultural enhancement cost-share funding, which allows the districts to partner with cooperators like farmers and other residents who are putting conservation best management practices on the ground.
The West Virginia Association of Conservation Districts (WVACD) and the West Virginia Conservation Agency (WVCA) co-hosted the reception at the Gaston Caperton Training Center in Building 7 of the state Capitol Complex.
“Conservation Day presents an opportunity to share the work of the West Virginia Conservation Agency as well as the state’s 14 conservation districts,” said Jennifer Skaggs, WVCA’s Interim Executive Director.
The WVCA and the WVACD are encouraging legislators to support a $55 million request in supplemental funding that will allow the state to secure federal dollars available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to repair and rehabilitate multiple small-watershed dams across West Virginia over several years.
Both organizations also are encouraging the legislators to approve a $1.6 million improvement package to support conservation best management practices across the state.
Skaggs joined West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt, WVACD President Donnie Tenney, WVACD Executive Director Heather Duncan, and others in speaking to legislators during the reception Monday evening.
“There are so many things happening right now in our conservation districts, including new and exciting agricultural best management practices, educational outreach and partnerships to improve conservation,” said Tenney, who is also a Tygarts Valley Conservation District supervisor.
The Ware family of Jefferson County, whose farm Green Horizons Turf Farm won the 2022 West Virginia Conservation Farm of the Year award in October, were also on hand during Conservation Day and were recognized in the House of Delegates by Delegate Paul Espinosa.