OCC Commends NRCS Employee Steve Clark

At the OACD Area III Meeting, from left, are OCC Area III Commissioner George Stunkard, NRCS employee Steve Clark and OCC Executive Director Mike Thralls.

Steve Clark, resource specialist at the NRCS Claremore Technical Service Office, received a Conservation Commendation from OCC for assisting OCC water quality staff in obtaining Level II Conservation Plan Writing certification. The certification program is offered and certified by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Bullit Farris, Jerry Starkey and Tashina Kirk completed certification including the pesticide and nutrient management qualifications in August, and Jill Ashbrener and Trampas Tripp were in process to receive certification at that time.

The commendation was presented at the OACD Area III Meeting in Bartlesville on Nov. 10, 2009. The text of the commendation read “For your training, mentoring, and professionalism in assisting �the Conservation Commission’s Water Quality staff in Northeast Oklahoma with obtaining their Level II Conservation Plan Writing �Certification. Your efforts have strengthened the Oklahoma Conservation Partnership.”

Steve Clark with OCC staff who had completed or were in process for Level II Conservation Plan Writing certification. From left are Jill Ashbrenner, Tashina Kirk, Marti Mefford, Steve Clark, Gina Levesque, Bullit Farris, Trampas Tripp and Jerry Starkey.

NRCS established the program to certify district conservationist, soil conservationist, range conservationist, G7-level conservation technicians and others with conservation planning as a duty in their job descriptions. In addition, nutrient management and pest management are required for the district conservationist, soil conservationist range management specialists, grazing land specialists, tribal resource conservationists, and biologists who have conservation planning as a primary duty in their position description.

Levels 1 and 2 are each self-paced course to be completed over the span of a year. For Level 1, Part I (online) must be completed in the first six months of the 12-month period; Parts II and III (field application) must be completed in the last six months of the 12-month period. Parts II and III are provided by either a state-offered course or by state specialists and/or resource specialists through on-the-job field training sessions.

For Level 2, applicants develop three or more conservation plans meeting the Resource Management System (RMS) level of criteria on a Conservation Management Unit (CMU) reviewed and approved within 12 months of Level 1 certification. Reviews are conducted by a Level 3 certified conservation planner. The Level 3 reviewer must directly observe the individual seeking certification and the client in either the planning phase or at plan delivery on at least one of these plans.

CREP Conservation Plan Writers Achieving Level 2 Certification