Earlier today, the Idaho Soil and Water Conservation Commission gave their annual budget presentation to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. Administrator Teri Murrison gave the committee a brief history of soil conservation districts in Idaho and the birth of the Soil and Water Conservation Commission.
Teri said that we maximize the natural resources for our state, and our “Idaho Way” is not a heavy-handed, regulatory approach. She then listed some of the major trends driving conservation are urban growth, reductions in funding, and water quality.
There are a number of core functions of the SWC such as technical support to districts, conservation programs, and administration. Teri let JFAC members know the total CREP contracts were at 157, and had a total of 17,210 acres enrolled in the program.
Next, Teri spoke about the current TMDL workload, and the number of plans completed over the last five years. She explained some of the backlogged plans and how long it takes a staff member to complete a TMDL.
“We’re passionate about the land, natural resources and locally-led, voluntary conservation,” concluded Teri. She then took a few questions from committee members.
Like last year, Representative Ringo said she is concerned that the full 2-to-1 match was note funded, and asked Teri what could be done with a full match. Teri said IASCD provided her a list of possible district projects, and that will be submitted to Representative Ringo.
Representative King asked for further explanation of the TMDL program and the requested full-time position. Teri provided the Representative with the needed background, and then took a question from Senator Nuxoll about how match funding works.
There were no further questions, and the presentation wrapped up about 8:55am.
Thank you for all who attended or listened online!