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Resources for CDs

Annual Financial Report to the Department of Administration

Mill Levy

Audits and Reviews

Filing thoughts

Administrator Timelines and Duties

Grant Billing/Reports/Tracking

Personnel

Accounting Tools

QuickBooks Specific

Other Policies

Partners to Districts

Districts partner with a variety of organizations and agencies. The list includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • DNRC-Conservation Districts Bureau
  • Montana Association of Conservation Districts
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks
  • County Extension
  • County Weed District
  • Land Trusts
  • Farm Bureau Chapters
  • Local Education Groups

Don’t limit yourself to the traditional partners, think outside the box!

Annual Training

We are working on setting up a committee to plan annual training in spring/summer 2024. We’d like to do it in central Montana, preferably someplace that has multiple training rooms available so that we can break into groups for different training.

If you would like to be part of the planning committee, please contact eo@macdnet.org.

Employee Roundtables

While Conservation District Employees have always met, it was usually only quarterly for Areas, or semi-annually or annually at the Spring Board meeting and MACD Convention.  Born of the Covid pandemic, the Roundtables happen on a monthly basis, on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 10 am.  The meeting link is sent out via email to those on the MACD Administrator and MACD Alternative Administrator list serves prior to each Roundtable.

The list below contains the dates and topics (may change if necessary) for Roundtables for 2024.

Date Topic Facilitator
January 17 Supervisor Elections from the Employee Perspective Chris Evans-Lewis & Clark CD
February 21 Emotional First Aid Kody Ramler, ComPsych
March 20 District Planning & Succession Planning Terry Profota/Steph Criswell
April 17 Onboarding and Managing New Employees Becky Clements-Gallatin CD
May 15 Grants-Writing, Management (reporting and financial) & Project mgt. Bryan Vogt-Missoula CD, Caroline McDonald-Lake County CD
June 26 Canva Madi Larson & Solomon Garza-MACD
July 17 Stream Permitting-Working the program and using Gilly too Samantha Tappenbeck-Flathead & Becky Clements-Gallatin
August 21 Cancelled due to NCDEA
September 18 Realtor Workshops Radley Watkins-Missoula CD
October 16 Creating and Running Education Programs Sydney Lyons-Gallatin CD
November 20 TBD
December 18 TBD

If you have ideas for Roundtable Topics or other training requests, please fill out this form.

More and more, Conservation Districts are having to negotiate the perils of the SAM.Gov (system awards management) system for accessing federal grant funds.

Deanna Langman with Big Sky Economic Development recently had some tips for Conservation Districts and their SAM.gov registrations.

  • FAQs, guides and renewal instructions can be found at this LINK.
  • SAM will send reminders, but she recommends making a reminder tickler on your calendar.
  • You may want to book mark the link above and print out the Quick Start Guide for your SAM folder.
  • Your organized SAM “folder” should contain login information, UEI, CAGE Code, MPIN, etc.
  • To avoid future delays and confusion, she recommends linking SAM registration duties to a job description.
  • Also, she recommends creating a second “user account” and linking it to the CD user’s account so that more than one person has access.
  • Instructions for adding a user can be found at this LINK.
  • Each user should have a primary and secondary method of “two factor” authentication set up in the primary “Login.gov” account (SAM user account).

If your CD is having trouble with your SAM.gov account, Deanna can be reached by calling 406-869-8410 or by emailing deanna@bigskyeda.org.  Her address is 222 North 32nd St., Suite 200, Billings Montana, 59101.

This section of the website is for sharing education tips and tools.

List of Conservation Themed Books for children

Educational Resources on Invasive Species

Many years ago, MACD purchased 4 Rolling River Trailers to be used for youth and adult education events in regard to stream form and function.

These trailers do a really great job at simulating natural processes.  They do require some training to be used though.

Trailers are located at the Richland County CD (julie.goss@mt.nacdnet.net or richlandcd@gmail.com) office, the Cascade County CD (tenlee@cascadecd.com or secretary@cascadecd.com)  office, the Flathead CD (samantha@flatheadcd.org) office and the Lewis and Clark CD (chris@lewisandclarkcd.org or joe@lewisandclarkcd.org) office. Spring, Summer and Fall, the trailers can book up pretty fast, so plan ahead and get your time reserved for one of the trailers as soon as possible. Some Districts will provide the presenter, most do not have that capacity.

If a District would like to get some training and use the trailers, they need to contact one of those offices to set up a user agreement. Typically, most trailer hosts will provide this training, but the Employee Organization may work on organizing a training on how to use the trailer. Trailers should not be operated without training.

Currently, there is no fee to use the trailers (Cascade’s trailer requires a damage deposit), though the Trailer Team, a subsidiary of the MACD Work Group, will be meeting soon to discuss some potential changes.  The Lewis and Clark CD currently sponsors a Trailer Maintenance Grant, but the trailers are aging and the grant doesn’t cover abuse or accidental damage.  A damage deposit or user fee may be the end result.

There are 2 guides that were put together in 2020 with more information on the use and transport of the trailers; the User Guide and the Transport Guide.

The Employee Organization worked with the NRCS to put together some standard processes for onboarding a new CD employee in a co-located building. Which paperwork you need to use depends on whether your District is on the USDA computer network or not.

Building Access Only Process

Network AND Building Access

FORMS

Person Model PII Sheet

e-Quip Invite

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There are some work-arounds for districts on the USDA Network for new employees to get access to Conservation District files, if they have not been backed up to a non-network computer or drive.

The SAAR-System Authorization Access Request can be made by the Conservation District to the District Conservationist in the NRCS Field Office. This should give access to the District’s files on the One Drive, or Sharepoint.

The LincPass 30 Day Exemption can be requested by the Conservation District multiple times through the District Conservationist at the NRCS Field Office. This should minimize the wait time for the new CD Employee to access the District Owned computer that is on the USDA network. These can be requested multiple times until the new CD Employee gets their LincPass.

CD employees met with the regional USDA IT person in 2022 to better understand limitations when CDs are on the USDA Network. It was recommended that districts utilize external drives as backup systems between CD Employees, but it needs to be noted that any of those devices plugged into the USDA Network will automatically encrypt. It is critical that the bitlocker code that is created by that encryption be passed on to the new CD Employee so that they can access those backed up files.

Notes from the 2022 meeting

The Employee Handbook is a more thorough take on what we CD Employees do.  However, for those new to the office, we wanted a more succinct “First Week on the Job” crash course.  We’ve done some edits on the original “field guide” and will be getting these out to District soon!

New Employee Orientation Guide

New Employee Orientation Checklist

2023 Handbook-NEW!!!!

If you see a need for an addition or changes, please email chris@lewisandclarkcd.org.

There have been a number of CD Employee Wage Surveys done over the years by DNRC.

2023 Wage Survey

2021 Wage Survey

2019 Wage Survey

2016 Wage Survey

2008 Wage Survey

2004 Wage Survey

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