Monday, July 2, 2012

Now Accepting Applications for WRP


First Application Period for FY 2013 Funding Ends July 25, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation is soliciting applications from landowners interested in restoring or enhancing wetlands on private agricultural land in Louisiana through the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP). The first application period for Fiscal Year 2013 WRP funding ends July 25, 2012, and interested agricultural producers are encouraged to visit the one of the field offices servicing the Dugdemona SWCD (Winn Parish- Natchitoches Field Office, Jackson Parish- Ruston Field Office and for Caldwell Parish the Columbia Field Office) or the Dugdemona SWCD Office in Winnfield) as soon as possible to begin the application process.

The Wetlands Reserve Program provides financial incentives to landowners to restore their land to its natural wetland condition with an emphasis on enhancing wildlife habitats and environmental benefits. Participation in this program is voluntary, and restoration is accomplished in an environmentally safe, cost-effective manner.

“WRP is a popular program for farmers looking to conserve marginal cropland,” said Glenn Austin, District Conservationist in the Natchitoches Field Office. “NRCS provides technical and financial assistance through WRP to convert marginal or unproductive croplands to wildlife friendly habitats, and we guide landowners through all stages of the restoration process.”

Landowners have several options for enrollment in WRP, including restoration cost-share agreements, 30-year conservation easements, and permanent conservation easements—all designed to help landowners achieve personal land use goals.

Easement payments are based on the lowest of either the fair market value of the land using an appraisal or area-wide analysis, the Geographic Area Rate Cap, or an offer made by the landowner. The current Geographic Area Rate Cap for the Dugdemona SWCD which includes all of Jackson and Winn Parishes and Caldwell Parish west of the Ouachita River is $1,400/ acre.

Interested agricultural producers are encouraged to contact the local USDA Service Center/Natural Resources Conservation Service Field Office today to apply for Fiscal Year 2013 funding. You may contact the Natchitoches Field office at 318-357-8366 ext. 3 or stop by the office at 6949 Hwy 1 Bypass, Natchitoches, LA 71457 for assistance for Winn Parish; Contact the Ruston Field Office at 318-255-3136 ext. 3 or stop by the office at 1412 Celebrity Drive, Ruston, LA 71270 for assistance in Jackson Parish; Contact the Columbia Field Office at 318-649-2651 ext. 3 or stop by the office at 7128 Hwy 165, Columbia, LA 71418 for assistance in Caldwell Parish; Or you may contact the Dugdemona Soil and Water Conservation District Office at 318-628-4438 or stop by our office at 301 West Main Street, Suite 210, Winnfield, LA 71483 (Located upstairs above the Winn Parish Health Unit).

Program information is also available online at:

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

2012 LACD Scholarship

Each year the Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts (LACD) awards one scholarship to a Louisiana graduating high school senior who is planning to enter an institution of higher learning within the State of Louisiana as a full-time under-graduate student in the field of agriculture, natural resources or environmental sciences. The amount of the cash award will be set annually and awarded on a one time basis.

The purpose of the LACD scholarship is to provide financial support to broaden the educational opportunities for deserving students in Louisiana.

All graduating high school seniors in Caldwell, Jackson or Winn Parish who are planning to enter an institution of higher learning within the State of Louisiana as a full-time under-graduate student in the field of agriculture, natural resources or environmental sciences are eligible. Scholarship applicants should submit their application directly to the Dugdemona SWCD by April 18, 2012.

The Dugdemona SWCD will select one candidate from all applications received, then send its candidate to the Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts (LACD) to compete with 43 other Conservation Districts in the state for the 2012 Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts Scholarship.

Scholarship applications are available at our office or you can send us an email at Applications and additional information is also available on our websites “Teachers” page. Please visit our website at


High school seniors that have been accepted by a two or four year accredited Louisiana college or university in the field of agriculture, natural resources, or environmental sciences.


Each Dugdemona SWCD applicant must submit their entry form to the LACD District Scholarship Selection Committee before the 18th of April.

The Dugdemona SWCD will submit its candidate's application to the State Scholarship Selection Committee before the 20th of April.


A check from LACD will be sent to the student after the LACD Secretary-Treasurer has received proof of the student completing their first quarter or semester of college and proof of registration for the next quarter or semester. Award checks will be made payable to the student. It is the district’s responsibility to assist the student in notifying the Secretary-Treasurer that they have met the requirements so as to be awarded the scholarship check.

If the 2012 LACD Scholarship winner is from the Dugdemona SWCD a representative from the local district board will attend the school’s awards or graduation ceremony to present a certificate of achievement to the scholarship recipient.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Becoming a Member of the Board

Becoming a Member of the Dugdemona Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors

The Dugdemona Soil & Water Conservation District encompasses all of Winn and Jackson Parishes and a portion of Caldwell Parish. Concerned and eligible landowners have an opportunity to help manage and conserve the natural resources in this area by serving on the Dugdemona Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) Board. If the issues and programs stated in this document interest you, please call Vikkie Lafollette at 628-4438.

I. Mission: To provide leadership, education, and technical assistance through conservation planning and programs to assist all land-users in solving the needs to conserve, sustain and improve the soil, water, and other natural resources in the

Vision: To be recognized as the community leader by establishing partnerships and coordination plans of action to achieve soil and water conservation.

II. Goals and Objectives:
· Establish soil and water conservation policy for the SWCD.
· Assess resource needs.
· Develop strategies to address these needs.
· Provide quality conservation education to Parish educators and school children.
· Provide land users with technical assistance.
· Develop programs to address local natural resource problems.
· Serve as a focal point for addressing local natural resource issues and coordinating various programs to help solve identified concerns.

III. Legal Authority:
Title 3, Section 1201-1219 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes defines a Soil & Water Conservation District as a governmental subdivision of the State of Louisiana, and a public body corporate and politic.

IV. Current Major Issues:
· Landowners needing technical assistance
· Surface Water Quality
· Coastal wetland loss
· Cropland erosion
· Invasive/Non-native plant species
· Urban storm water runoff
· Insufficient operating funds

V. Major Programs and Activities:
· Federal Farm Bill conservation programs
· CWA Section 319 agricultural cost-share program
· Conservation equipment rentals
· Tree seedling sales
· Approval of conservation plans
· Review of Parish planning proposals
· Conservation educational programs for Agricultural producer, school, and civic groups
· Publish SWCD newsletter
· Revise and publish annual business plan and annual report.
VI. Funding Sources:
· State government
· Local governments (Police Jury, Drainage Board)
· Local business and organization donations
· Competitive grants
· Federal grants, cooperative interagency agreements
· Tree sales and equipment rentals
· Educational workshops and seminars

VII. Expectations of SWCD Supervisors:
· Take advantage of SWCD supervisor training opportunities
· Attend board and conservation related meetings
· Participate in district programs and activities
· Serve on a LACD (Louisiana Assoc. of Conservation Districts) committee
· Be involved and responsible for SWCD program direction
· Promote soil and water conservation in the community
· Help manage SWCD staff
· Represent the SWCD in public
· Help secure financial resources

VIII. Benefits of being a SWCD Supervisor:
· Representing locals resource concerns
· Providing a voice and a service for the citizens within your SWCD
· Satisfaction of providing your time to improve the environment and sustaining local resources
· Being actively involved with assistance and educational programs
· Provide leadership in community resource conservation

For additional information call the SWCD office at 318-628-4438, or contact a current SWCD board member.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Caldwell, Jackson and Winn Parishes- Resting in the hands of our local community members is the future of our valuable natural resources and the decisions that are made to conserve, enhance and sustain the integrity of soil, water and air quality in Caldwell, Jackson Parish & Winn Parishes and throughout Louisiana. Conservation of our resources can not be achieved by one group, government agency or the individual – it takes cooperative conservation.

Cooperative conservation starts first with the active involvement of the individual community member who helps to identify the resource needs of the community. Community involvement helps local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) assess and prioritize resource concerns on a community level. Local natural resource priorities help direct technical and financial assistance decisions that NRCS and SWCD make throughout the year.

Locally led conservation efforts are successful with the help from our residents. Please, become involved in locally led conservation. A Locally Led Conservation Meeting will be held on March 8th at the A. Leonard Allen Building, 104 West Main Street, Winnfield, LA 71483. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and the purpose of the meeting will be to identify resource concerns for your local SWCD. Your involvement is significantly important to the locally led conservation process and all partners involved in conservation. At the Locally Led Conservation Meeting you will be able to voice concerns, provide comments and help to identify conservation issues. Save the date, and help our community make sound conservation decisions – become an active part of locally led conservation and cooperative conservation efforts.

For more information on the Locally Led Conservation Meeting, contact your local NRCS Natchitoches field office 318-255-3136, ext. 3, Ruston field office at 318-255-3136 ext. 3 or the Columbia field office at 318-649-2651 or the Dugdemona SWCD at 318-628-4438 today. You can also get more information on the Dugdemona SWCD’s website at or check us out on facebook at Dugdemona Swcd.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tree Sale will be Rescheduled

The Dugdemona Soil and Water Conservation District’s Annual Tree and Shrub Sale scheduled for February 22-24, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Winn Farmers' Market, located at the corners of Main and St. John Streets in Winnfield, Louisiana will be rescheduled. It will not be on February 22-24, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Just as soon as we have the rescheduled date we will notify you via facebook, flyer, fax, press release, our blog and on our website. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Friday, January 6, 2012

January Meetind Rescheduled

The Dugdemona SWCD’s January Board meeting has been rescheduled. The meeting has been moved to Thursday, January 19, 2012. The meeting will take place at the Dugdemona Soil and Water Conservation District office, located at 301 West Main Street, Suite 210 in Winnfield, Louisiana. The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. The Board meetings will take place in room 219; the Winn Parish Genealogical Historical Association’s meeting room.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Office Closed

The Dugdemona SWCD office will be closed January 10-13, 2012 due to attending the Annual Meeting in Lafayette, LA

Time for the 66th Annual Meeting of the Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts

The 66th Annual Meeting of the Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts (LACD) will be held on January 11-13, 2012, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Lafayette, Louisiana. Louisiana farmers will be recognized for their comprehensive approach to sustainable agriculture at the Master Farmer Awards Luncheon. The luncheon will be moderated by Dr. Mike Strain DVM, Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry. Each Soil and Water Conservation
District Supervisor and employee are strongly encouraged to attend the annual meeting. This meeting provides an opportunity for supervisors to strengthen their capabilities as local soil and water conservation leaders
and for employees to enhance their abilities to carry out their duties in implementing the district’s programs.

2012 Annual Conservation Tree & Shrub Sale

The Dugdemona Soil and Water Conservation District will be having its Annual Tree and Shrub Sale at the Winn Farmers' Market, located at the corners of Main and St. John Streets in Winnfield, Louisiana. The tree sale is our largest fund-raising event of the year. All proceeds of this sale directly benefit our community. Funds raised sponsor projects such as, Conservation Essay Contest, Conservation Poster Contest, Soil and Water Stewardship Week, conservation education, our Community Tree Planting project, Earth day, Arbor Day, Project WET and restoration of wildlife habitat.

We will have a variety of bare root and potted trees, shrubs and perennials. Some of the varieties available will include: Abelia, Agapanthus, Azaleas, Bald Cypress, Bridal Wreath, Camellias, Crape Myrtle, Flowering Dogwood, Flowering Quince, Hydrangea, Snowball bushes, assorted varieties of Magnolias, Sasanqua, River Birch, Sawtooth Oak, Vitex, and many others. Our selection of perennials and fruit trees is great too. Fruit selections include Apple, Blueberry, Blackberry, Fig, Lemon, Mayhaw, Pawpaw, Peach, Pear, Persimmon, Plum, Pomegranate and others.

The sale will be February 22-24, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visit our website at or live and in color on Facebook (search for Dugdemona SWCD) or for additional information or you may call our office at 628-4438 or email us at prior to the sale for availability and prices. For best selections please come early. This year we look forward to having the Winn Parish Master Gardeners teach some mini workshops during the sale.

The Dugdemona SWCD will be at the Dugdemona SWCD/Columbia Field Office located at 7128 Highway 165 South in Columbia on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

You can help protect the environment and add beauty and interest to your surroundings. Planting trees and shrubs will give us fresh clean air, reduce heating and cooling bill, prevent soil erosion, enhance water quality, cut down noise pollution and provide food and shelter for wildlife. So come on by and beautify your surroundings while you help to conserve our natural resources.