Nathan Brown took home top honors at this years’ 77th Annual Meeting by being named the 2019 Cooperator of the year by the Highland SWCD supervisors and staff. Brown was selected due to his devotion to agricultural and the determination to improve soil health and water quality throughout his farming operation. He has worked diligently with local landowners to install much needed conservation practices on their farms. Brown is a well-respected leader in the agricultural industry and serves as an example of how to incorporate best management practices that will protect our natural resources.
KEEP UPDATED ON THE LATEST NEWS!
2020 Summer Litter Clean-up
The Highland SWCD partnered with the Clermont and Brown SWCD’s to organize a virtual ‘’Do-It-Yourself” summer litter clean-up event throughout the month of July. We would like to thank Scout troops from across Highland County for stepping to the plate and participating in a clean-up event held in Lynchburg on July 25, 2020. Volunteers broke down in small groups near the Lion Club Park to collect litter and keep it from polluting our local streams. It was encouraging to see this clean-up event move forward and raise environmental awareness through our youth. Every little bit of trash collected will make a big difference in our community taking action towards litter prevention.
With the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) impacting everyone, we want you to be aware that the Highland SWCD office is open, with limited access to the public. We are operating under normal business hours via phone and email to help serve you during this difficult time. We have essential employees in our office daily with remaining staff working remotely for precautionary measures. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call.
Carroll Hired as The District Resource Specialist
Josh Carroll was hired this spring as the District Resource Specialist for the Highland SWCD. He graduated from Morehead State University in the winter of 2018. Josh spent most of his summers and weekends working for a local lawncare business and helping area farmers in the fields. He grew up in Rainsboro and is passionate about helping his community. Josh’s love for the great outdoors and the time he spent working with farmers lead him to the SWCD so he could not only help himself, but others learn and practice conservation techniques that will enhance our natural resources.
The Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Brown, Clermont, Clinton and Highland counties rolled out the new Southwest Ohio Agricultural Conservation Menu (SOACM) website recently. The SOACM website was created to be a one-stop clearinghouse for all agriculture resource programs and will provide information needed to choose the right Best Management Practices (BMP’s) that will enhance your farming operation. Visit www.soacm.com for more details.
ADDITIONAL PROJECT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE CLEAR CREEK WATERSHED AREA
The Highland Soil and Water Conservation District recently applied for a Clear Creek Water Quality & Wildlife Habitat Special Initiative in coordination between NRCS and its partners to deliver assistance for conservation and wildlife management practices in the Clear Creek Watershed. This Initiative will continue the conservation efforts of The Clear Creek Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to work with various partners including, Ohio Department of Natural Resources - Division of Wildlife, City of Hillsboro, US Fish and Wildlife, and Pheasants Forever, Inc. to maintain water quality, reduce soil erosion and improve wildlife habitat.
The Clear Creek Watershed is located in South West Ohio, Highland County and drains approximately 29,400 acres of land. There is nearly 16,400 acres of agricultural cropland within the watershed. The entire Clear Creek watershed is in the project area, which is unique in that it serves as the source water for the City of Hillsboro, and is the main drinking water source for 6,500 residents and businesses. The Clear Creek Watershed also encompasses Ohio’s first Bobwhite quail focus area. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife and listed partners have made sustaining the declining Northern Bobwhite quail population a priority. Within the Clear Creek watershed 9,900 acres have been designated as a focus area for quail habitat management.
This special initiative project will implement a series of agricultural best management practices to protect water quality, improve soil health and provide habitat for at risk species in the Clear Creek Watershed. It will also help protect the City of Hillsboro’s drinking water supply and provide prescribed habitat for Ohio’s diminished Bobwhite Quail population and native pollinators. Project goals for conservation practices include the installation of cover crops, nutrient management, grassed waterways, and certain prescribed wildlife management practices that improve habitat for targeted species. The project will utilize the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) to meet the project goals. Implementation of BMPs will be prioritized upstream of the City of Hillsboro’s drinking water intake and within the wildlife focus area for Bobwhite Quail. If you live or farm in the Clear Creek Watershed and would like more information on the program stop in the NRCS/SWCD office or call 937-393-1922 ext. 3.
Joint Annual Meeting Drive Thru a Success
The 78th Annual Meeting of the Highland Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) was held in collaboration with the Highland Farm Bureau on September 19, 2020 at the Good News Gathering in Hillsboro. This years’ meeting featured a drive thru set up for the safety of everyone and it deemed to be a great success with over 100 participants taking part in the event.
The Highland SWCD was honored to have representatives from the Highland County Health Department, Highland County Recycling and the East Fork Little Miami River Watershed on hand to set up booths throughout the drive thru route to educate participants and provide unique giveaways.
The election of Supervisors for the Board of the Highland Soil & Water Conservation District was also held during the Annual Meeting. There were three candidates running this year for two available positions serving a three-year term beginning January 2021. The candidates on the ballot were Dan Chambers, Jeff Roehm and Chris Cox. When the election results were tallied both Dan Chambers was re-elected to serve another term and Jeff Roehm was elected to begin a new term. Other members of the Highland SWCD Board of Supervisors include Larry Shannon, Jim Carr, and Kyle Mustard.
PUBLIC COMMENT WILL BE ACCEPTED THROUGH OCT 31ST
The East Fork Watershed Collaborative is in the process of updating action plans for the Glady Creek and Solomon Run subwatersheds in Brown, Clermont, Clinton and Highland Counties, and would like to hear from residents about the water quality needs for this area.
The Glady Creek watershed encompasses the land area that drains to the East Fork from a point downstream of Turtle Creek to just downstream of the point where the East Fork joins Solomon Run near Fayetteville. The Solomon Run watershed includes the drainage area from downstream of Solomon Run to a point just upstream of the East Fork’s confluence with Five Mile Creek in Clermont County. In May 2006, the East Fork Watershed Collaborative completed a watershed action plan that summarized the existing conditions and laid out strategies for protecting or improving water quality for these and other areas. Several items listed in the 2006 plan have been accomplished, but new challenges and regulations have arisen since the plan was completed, necessitating an update.
The East Fork Watershed Collaborative will accept public comments through Saturday, October 31, 2020. Copies of the draft watershed plans are posted on Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District’s website at https://www.clermontswcd.org/east-fork-watershed-programs/. Comments or questions can be addressed to Becky McClatchey, SWCD Natural Resource Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (513) 732-7075 ext. 6. Written comments can also be sent to Clermont SWCD, P.O. Box 549, Owensville, OH 45160.
Pictured are members of the Lynchburg-Clay Eagles team (l-r): Bridget Wilkin, Sydney Hamilton, Tiah McLean, Matthew Gossett and Sam Hamilton. The team placed second in the Ohio Envirothon competition.
Lynchburg-Clay Competes in Virtual Envirothon
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all levels of the high school Envirothon competition were canceled this year. However, the Ohio Envirothon Committee graciously hosted a virtual state competition for schools wanting to compete.
The competition consisted of teams of five students, who completed online tests of aquatics, forestry, soil, wildlife and the environmental topic of “Water Resource Management: Local Control and Location Solutions.” Once the test scores were tabulated, the top six scoring teams were invited to create a five-minute presentation addressing a scenario that was created for this year’s environmental topic.
Lynchburg-Clay High School had two teams which competed. Both teams placed in the top six and created the oral presentation competition, which was held online.
The Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs team, which consists of Leah Bauer, Kurt Hamilton, Allison Kohus, Austin Leininger and Kara Williams, finished in fourth place.
KARNES FAMILY HONORED AT ANNUAL MTG
Charles and Kay Karnes and Family were presented with a Bicentennial Farm award at the Highland Soil and Water Conservation District’s 77th Annual Meeting. It was a privilege to have the Ohio Department of Agriculture Assistant Director, Tim Derickson in attendance to present this award to the Karnes Family as part of the Ohio Historic Farms program.
All Highland Soil and Water Conservation District programs and services are offered on a non-discriminatory basis without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status.