The California Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (CA SWCS) will kick off its annual conference with a keynote address from Sara Braasch, Regional Assistant Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), at the Red Lion Hanalei Hotel in San Diego on March 22-24.

The Nevada Chapter of SWCS, the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts, and the Western Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association (IECA) are conference co-sponsors. The annual event will begin with a pre-conference tour, showcasing various conservation programs in San Diego County and will conclude with a tour and dinner at the Wild Animal Park.

The conference title is "Putting Conservation Programs to Work". The agenda includes several training sessions for conservation professionals including Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC) certification, storm water management, and instruction critical for delivering Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs related to Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO), Animal Feeding Operations (AFO) and the Conservation Security Program (CSP).

Many notable speakers, including the former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Glenda Humiston will be addressing conference goers. Humiston will lead a session on the upcoming Farm Bill of 2007. Representatives from the International Erosion Control Association will conduct workshops on storm-water runoff on construction sites and re-vegetation on drastically disturbed soils.

The California Chapter will hold an awards ceremony at the annual business meeting and install officers for the next year. Conference attendees are encouraged to participate in a poster session, details which will be forthcoming. Registration information will soon be posted to the chapters Web site that can be found at www.caswcs.org

The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization founded in 1943 that serves as an advocate for conservation professionals and for science-based conservation practice, programs, and policy. SWCS has over 7,000 members around the world. They include researchers, administrators, planners, policymakers, technical advisors, teachers, students, farmers, and ranchers. Members come from nearly every academic discipline and many different public, private, and nonprofit institutions.