2013-01-24 / Front Page

Conservation district to receive outside help

Delta County organizations will provide some programs locally

MANISTIQUE – The Schoolcraft County Conservation District will now have the help of the Delta County Conservation District, as well as the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service from Gladstone. Representatives from both organizations were on hand to discuss the coverage during a recent meeting of the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners.

According to Rory Mattson, of the Delta County CD, explained he would be offering services through the local conservation office as part of a new partnership.

“You guys are actually, now, going to have somebody to help you with your natural resources in this county, and it won’t cost … anything,” he said. “Basically, you are going to get a forester that will be able to work with your landowners, and, hopefully, drum up a little business here in Schoolcraft County and get some timber on the market.”

He noted the Delta County CD would be able to assist Schoolcraft with economic development in the forestry division, as well as work on wetland and critical dune issues.

In addition, Tom Tauzer, from the NRCS in Gladstone, explained the Schoolcraft County CD would also have more assistance from his office. He explained Gladstone recently “absorbed” the area and would be working though the county’s CD to provide a natural resources professional to citizens.

“Right now, Gladstone is super busy, and we probably haven’t had as much presence over here as I’d like to get over here,” he said. “It’s going to be a learning experience for us, too – how we’re going to operate back and forth.”

Tauzer added the NRCS has numerous programs for the many areas of natural resources – including farming and forestry. These programs, he noted, could help with things like the cost of certifications and forest plans.

“Our goal is to … continue having an active program within Schoolcraft Conservation District,” he said. “Now we have this new avenue of using Delta Conservation District’s forestry grant program to extend over here.”

While neither the Delta County CD or NRCS will have regular hours at the Schoolcraft County CD office, located in the Schoolcraft County Courthouse, both Tauzer and Mattson explained they would tackle any requests coming in until a more accurate picture of the workload is painted.

“We’ll make sure that you’re being serviced,” Mattson said.

For more information, residents can contact Rory Mattson at (906) 553-7700 or Tom Tauzer at (906) 428-4076.

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