Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts

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Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts
Meeting Minutes
10:00am - January 12, 2006
Wyndham Hotel
North Little Rock, AR

Call to order

Sonny Jones, President called to order the special called meeting of the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts Executive Board at 10:00am on January 12, 2006 at the Wyndham Hotel in North Little Rock, AR.

Members Present:

Sonny Jones, President                                
James Mitchell, 1st Vice President
Andrew Wargo III, 2nd Vice President      
Roy Mahler, Secretary/Treasurer
Bill Rainwater, NACD Delegate/Past President
David Hillman, East Central Area President                  
Charles Glover, Northeast Area President
James Widner, Northwest Area President         
Troy Odom, Southwest Area President
Paul Whittington, West Central Area President   
Rocky Harrell, Central Area President
Eddie Scherm, Southeast AR Area President
Eddie Stewart, Northwest Area Vice President
Martha Manley, Northeast Area Vice President
Eric Stagg, Central Area Vice President
Randy Young, Executive Secretary, ANRC
Debbie Moreland, Program Administrator                                   

II. Approval of minutes from last meeting

Roy Mahler presented the minutes from the December 12, 2005 meeting. The minutes were approved as presented.  Motion to approve by Andrew Wargo III, seconded by Paul Whittington.  Motion Passed.

III. Treasurer’s Report was given by Roy Mahler, Treasurer. 

It was an End of Year accounting of all investments and bank accounts.  A full report was given at the Dec. 12th meeting.  Motion was made by James Widner to accept the report and pay all Executive Board expenses out of the Annual Meeting profits.  Motion was seconded by Andrew Wargo III.  Motion passed.

IV.      Wyoming Plan Discussion

Connie Burks, Guest, asked to be allowed to speak regarding her support for implementation of the Wyoming Plan in Arkansas.  Fulton County Conservation District stated they did not support the Wyoming Plan.  A letter from Fulton County regarding their dissent is attached.  Randy Young and Tony Ramick, ANRC spoke to the differences and the rationale for our current format for addressing watershed needs in Arkansas.  A resolution was read by Bill Rainwater for adoption by the board as AACD’s official position on the Wyoming Plan. 

The resolution read:

BE IT RESOLVED by the Executive Board of the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts that:

The Executive Board of the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts (AACD) sincerely appreciates the efforts to bring to its attention the successful non-point source programs in other states, such as Wyoming.

The AACD board acknowledges Arkansas’ efforts over the past several years to address non-point issues through voluntary programs administered locally by elected conservation districts boards.

The AACD Board notes that the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) fulfills the role of Arkansas non-point source lead agency and it depends on the cooperation and work of local conservation districts to carry out non-point source programs.

Wyoming’s non-point source plan is admirable and, despite some differences based primarily on differing geography and economics, it is very similar to the locally administered, non-regulatory program found in Arkansas.

Moving the responsibility for the administration of the Arkansas program from the ANRC to the AACD is not feasible or workable.  The staff and financial resources available to ANRC as a state agency are not available to AACD, a non-profit, non-governmental corporation.

THEREFORE, the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts supports the continued cooperative agreement between ANRC and local conservation district leadership.  The Association does not support or endorse resolutions currently being presented to county governments calling for fundamental changes in the non-point program.  Further, the Association does not endorse the use of its name without prior board approval.

The motion to adopt the resolution was seconded by Andrew Wargo III.  Motion passed.

V. Old business:

a) NACD 2006 Annual Meeting – a final program was provided to the board with areas of responsibilities designated.

b) NACD Spring Legislative Conference – the date has been changed to March 26-28, 2006 due to Congressional Recess.  Board members were asked to confirm with the program administrator their intentions to participate.

c) Crittenden County – Marion Lake Trail and Outdoor Classroom - Debbie Moreland reported that the grant was accepted and a resolution needs to be signed to begin the implementation.  Motion made by Andrew Wargo III to move forward with the grant process.  Seconded by Rocky Harrell.  Motion passed.

d) Conservation Education K-3 Program Update – the 319 grant contract between AACD and ANRC has been signed and Sebastian County Conservation District staff members are currently working on the K-3 curriculum per the grant application.  The curriculum will meet state and national education standards.

e) Arkansas Biomass Alliance Update – the conference has been scheduled for March 30, 2006 at the Wyndham Hotel.  The opening speaker is Richard Bell, Secretary of the Arkansas Dept. of Agriculture.  The program administrator noted that contact had been made with Potlatch concerning their efforts on Biomass and bioenergy.  They are seeking partners in their efforts. 

Rocky Harrell made the motion to partner with Potlatch as appropriate.  Seconded by Roy Mahler.  Motion passed.

VI. New business

a) Climate Change Committee Request – It has been requested that AACD partner with others to address climate change education throughout Arkansas.  Due to unanswered questions the board voted to table the request until the program administrator could determine the nature of the education.

VII. Committee Reports

a) Youth Conservation Workshop – Roy Mahler, Chairman of the Education Committee announced that the workshop would be held at Blanchard Caverns National Park on June 11-16, 2006.  He also recommended the following changes be made to the YCW.  The current position of YCW Coordinator be split into two positions:

a. Education Coordinator – this individual would be charged with the development of all the educational components of the workshop.  He/she would secure the instructors, working with our conservation partners, and materials necessary to implement the program using the currently existing format.

b. Logistical Coordinator – this individual would be charged with securing the food, lodging/campgrounds, transportation, t-shirts, canoes, etc. in cooperation with the Education Coordinator.  He/she would be responsible for coordinating these arrangements.

c. Six adult counselors will be hired in place of the 15 youth counselors that have been used in the past.  It has become increasingly harder to get youth counselors to commit. These adult counselors will be charged with the health and safety of the youth participants throughout the workshop.  Notice will be sent to the conservation districts to see if any district employee and/or district director would like to serve in this capacity.  They would be paid a set amount inclusive of travel.  Meals and lodging/tents will be provided.  Brian Helms, U of A Cooperative Extension 4-H State Office, made a presentation on the guidelines that are recommended when dealing the youth; medical, code of conduct, etc. forms.

d. Sonny Jones appointed a committee to work on the details to implement these recommendations.  They are:  Charles Glover, Chairman; Roy Mahler, Andrew Wargo, Eddie Scherm, Eddie Stewart and Debbie Moreland, staff support.

VIII. Special Actions

a) Paul Whittington made the motion to go into Executive Session, seconded by Andrew Wargo III at 1:00pm.  Motion passed.

b) Troy Odom made the motion to come back out of Executive Session at 1:20pm, seconded by Andrew Wargo III.  Motion passed.

c) Motion was made by David Hillman to raise the Program Administrator’s contractual hourly wage by $2.00 per hour ($22.00/hr) retroactive to Jan. 1, 2006.  Motion was seconded by Andrew Wargo III.  Motion Passed.

IX. Adjournment

Sonny Jones, President adjourned the meeting at 1:30pm.


Minutes submitted by:  Debbie Moreland, Program Administrator


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The Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts
4004 McCain Blvd, Ste. 201-B
North Little Rock, Arkansas 72116
Telephone (501) 904-5575