Tuesday, February 28, 2012

An Opportunity to Vote

Have you ever voted in Pierce County's Conservation District?

Are you aware of the work of the Pierce Conservation District? It is a public agency, chartered under state law and founded in 1949, whose function is “to make available technical, financial and educational resources, whatever their source, and focus or coordinate them so that they meet the needs of the local land manager with conservation of soil, water and related natural resources.”

Its mission is “to protect the natural resources and sustainable agriculture of Pierce County, by empowering local individuals and communities.”

The Conservation District works with landowners, municipalities, and other groups to help with various conservation projects – helping to maintain farmland, creating rain gardens, stenciling on storm sewers that the water drains to the Sound, etc. The Stream Team has many volunteers who conduct water quality testing throughout the District.

There are opportunities to volunteer, for those who are interested.

The Conservation District has a budget of about $2M, and is funded by an assessment of $5 per parcel of land, as well as grants from the County and the State and other conservation organizations. It works through its own staff, with some conservation contractors, and many volunteers. More information about the Conservation District, its strategic plan and its activities, and opportunities to volunteer are found at its website: http://www.piercecountycd.org/home.html, which includes a way to subscribe to its newsletter.

Very few people vote in its elections, at least partly because few people are aware that they are happening and how to go about voting. This year’s election for Pierce Conservation District Supervisor will be held on March 27th. Conservation District elections are held separately from all other elections, and being a registered voter does NOT make you a registered voter for its elections!

To register to vote in these elections, e-mail Selena Corwin (admin@piercecountycd.org). You must apply by 4:00 p.m. on March 6th. E-mail her your name and address and tell her that you are a registered voter. You will then receive a mail-in ballot every year. You may also vote in person at the Conservation District office on March 27th between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. The District Office is located at 5430 66th Avenue East, Puyallup.

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