Cedar Creek Bridge Installation/Construction Request for Bids

The Barry Conservation District is now accepting bids for the installation of a 44′ timber bridge on McKeown Road crossing Cedar Creek. Bids are due by 10am on August 8th, 2016.

lease click the following link to download the complete bid package, which includes all necessary application instructions and forms: Cedar Creek Bridge Construction Request for bids

Questions? Contact Sarah Nelson at sarah.nelson@macd.org or 269-908-4135

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Well Water Screening

The Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) is hosting an event to screen well water for nitrate and nitrite at the Barry Conservation District office on July 15th from 9am-5pm.

The screening is open to everyone who uses a personal well for drinking water; however, the number of samples that can be tested is limited to 3. Bring your samples to 1611 S Hanover Street, Hastings.

Please see the well water screening event announcement and form for more details!

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Bid Request for Bookkeeper Position

The Barry Conservation District is seeking a contract bookkeeper to work 8 regularly scheduled hours per week during normal business hours of Monday-Friday 7am-5pm.

Bookkeeper Job Responsibilities:
The Bookkeeper maintains district financial records of by updating accounts as needed; posting transactions; and ensuring legal requirements compliance. The bookkeeper is also responsible for filing and paying all district taxes.

Bookkeeper Job Duties:
• Accounts payable and accounts receivable (Both in Quickbooks and hard copies for historical records)
• Prepares annual budget with the Executive Director and Board of Directors and updates as needed and approved
• Prepares financial reports for board meetings and grant reports
• Establishes new accounts, classes, and items in Quickbooks as needed and approved. Updates district bookkeeping policies and procedures as needed and approved
• Balances subsidiary accounts and general ledger by reconciling entries as needed and approved
• Reconciles bank accounts monthly
• Files all district tax reports and pays all district taxes
• Complies with federal, state, and local legal requirements
• Other duties as needed

Bookkeeper Skills and Qualifications:
• Proficient with QuickBooks (minimum two years’ experience)
• Understands and is able to file and pay all applicable state and federal taxes
• Proficient with Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher, PowerPoint
• Can manage complex accounts thoroughly and with great attention to detail
• Highly organized

Compensation: Hourly rate of $20-$25/hour depending on skill level for up to sixteen hours per two-week pay period.

Application Procedure: Please submit a cover letter, résumé, and three professional references all together in a single .pdf format via email to the contact below. Applications that do not follow this specification will not be considered. Applications will be collected and processed until the position is filled. This position will start as soon as possible.

Barry Conservation District reserves the right to make changes to the content of this position announcement without notification and may at any time withdraw the announcement. BCD is an equal opportunity employer- Candidates will be considered without discrimination for any non-merit reason such as race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or familial status, or membership or non-membership in an employee organization.

Please submit bid, including hourly rate and schedule for the above described work to:
Sarah Nelson
Barry Conservation District
1611 S Hanover St
Hastings, MI 49058
(269) 908-4135

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Forester Position Available

Position Available: Conservation District Forester 

The Barry Conservation District seeks a Forester to work within the Forestry Assistance Program. Position requires a minimum of a B.S. or M.S. in Forestry. This is a grant-funded position, renewed annually. The wage ($40k – $45k) will be commensurate with candidate’s experience.

Send cover letter and resume by June 30, 2016 to:
Sarah Nelson, Executive Director
Barry Conservation District

The Forestry Assistance Program (FAP) provides private forested landowners with technical assistance and information regarding forestry, wildlife habitat, and related natural resource concerns, so that they may make informed decisions about the use and management of their forestlands.

Basic requirements for this position include:

  • Bachelor or Master of Science degree in forestry from a college or university with a forestry program accredited by the Society of American Foresters
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to read various types of maps and navigate through properties
  • Provide transportation to office and field visits (mileage reimbursement is provided)

Activities for this position include:

  • Serve as the initial point of contact for forest resource issues or concerns
  • Fulfill FAP grant agreement requirements and deliverables
  • Conduct on-site land examination and resource evaluation
  • Provide advice and options regarding forest management for timber production, windbreaks, wildlife habitat, etc.
  • Provide diagnosis and advice on the control of insects, disease, and wildlife pests for individual trees and woodlands
  • Provide information and make referrals regarding programs, agencies, organizations, and private sector interests that furnish technical and/or financial assistance for natural resource management activities
  • Prepare correspondence, reports, news articles, handouts, etc.
  • Maintain a collaborative working relationship with forest management professionals
  • Conduct demonstrations and workshops
  • Pursue certification with the Society of American Foresters
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Cedar Creek Bridge Request for Bids

The Barry Conservation District is now accepting bids for a 42′ timber bridge on McKeown Road crossing Cedar Creek. Bids are due by 10am on June 1st. Please click the following link to download the complete bid package, which includes all necessary application instructions and forms: Cedar Creek bridge Request for bids

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Phone Number Update

Please note that our phone numbers have changed.

For the general office, please dial 269.908.4139
For the director, please dial 269.908.4135
For the assistant administrator, please dial 269.908.4099
For the MAEAP technician, please dial 269.908.4136
For NRCS, please dial 269.908.4120 or 269.908.4133

Thank-you for your patience and understanding!

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2016 Board Schedule Update


Please note that the following regular meetings scheduled for the Barry Conservation District Board have been cancelled:

May 20, 2016- 7:30 am-Pennock Hospital
June 17, 2016- 7:30 am-Pennock Hospital
July 15, 2016- 7:30 am- Pennock Hospital
August 15, 2016- 7:30 am-Pennock Hospital
September 16, 2016- 7:30 am-Pennock Hospital

The Barry Conservation District Board has changed its 2016 meeting schedule to the following:


The Barry Conservation District meets at 6:00 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Barry 911 Dispatch Center, 2600 Nashville Rd, Hastings, MI, unless otherwise noted:

May 24, 2016- 6:00 pm, Central Dispatch
June 28, 2016- 6:00 pm, Central Dispatch
July 26, 2016- 6:00 pm, Central Dispatch
August 23, 2016- 6:00 pm, Central Dispatch
September 27, 2016- 6:00 pm, Central Dispatch
October 25, 2016- 6:00 pm, Central Dispatch
November 22, 2016- 6:00 pm, Central Dispatch
December 27, 2016- 6:00 pm, Central Dispatch
January 24, 2017- 6:00 pm, Central Dispatch
February 28, 2017- 6:00 pm, Central Dispatch

The meetings will be held under the provisions of Open Meetings Act (Public Act 267 of 1976) at the Barry County Central Dispatch Conference Room, 2600 Nashville Rd, Hastings, MI

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As summer approaches, effort to stop oak disease continues

With the weather warming up, trees around the state will soon fill with leaves again.

But not for some red oak trees in the state.

Oak wilt, an invasive fungal disease that can easily kill red oak trees, has spread to trees across the state, mainly in northern Michigan. Once infected with oak wilt, red oak trees die within three weeks of infection — and there’s no treatment for the disease once it has spread.

“Oak wilt is probably one of the largest diseases I’ve been dealing with as a forester, and have been dealing with for quite some time,” said Kama Ross, district forester for Leelanau, Benzie and Grand Traverse conservation districts.

Credit Courtesy of Michigan's Department of National Resources

Credit Courtesy of Michigan’s Department of National Resources

The oak wilt infection occurs when fungus spreads through the roots of a healthy tree, and can be spread to trees around it through connecting root systems. The disease can also be transmitted by beetles, which can carry the oak wilt pathogen after they feed the sap from on infected trees.

The disease can also spread by moving infested firewood.

Bob Heyd, a forest health specialist with Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, told Michigan Radio the disease is quite infectious.

“It’s not really fast-moving, but as it goes from tree to tree, more trees have it and it will spread to more trees. It’s something you want to react to as quick as you can,” Heyd said.

While the department is working to detect all cases of oak wilt, Heyd says just “because we haven’t detected it doesn’t mean it’s not there.”

Red oaks play a valuable role in Michigan as an important part of a habitat for the acorns it produces. Additionally, according to Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, red oak timber is worth approximately $1.6 billion in the state.

Ross said looking into this issue specifically made her realize how interconnected ecosystems and habitats are, and how vital each part of them is.

“I just am now starting to get it — just how interrelated everything we currently have in our world is and how important we need to think about those things that we don’t necessarily see,” Ross said.

She pointed to how the red oaks serve as a valuable habitat for insects, a vital part of a food chain. Basically, if the red oaks are hurt by this disease, the surrounding habitat will suffer with it.

“We need to be good stewards of the land, and oak wilt is one of those that we do have some control over if we do actually get it,” Ross said.

While the infected red oaks are untreatable, both Heyd and Ross recommended ways to prevent the spread of the disease:

1. Leave trees alone. To prevent further infection across the state, Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources advises residents to not prune oak trees between April 15 and July 15 — the peak growing season for the red oaks. Pruning means cutting off any parts of the tree or exposing any sap — which oak wilt-carrying beetles are attracted to.

2.Don’t move your firewood. Oak wood can be spread by the movement of the infected wood.

3.Diversify your woods. Ross says she has told residents of her district to consider planting other kinds of oak trees — which are not as susceptible to the disease — to break up the types of roots capable of spreading the disease to other trees around it.

Perhaps the most important thing to know? Oak wilt isn’t going away any time soon.

“It’s not going to go away, so if you get a new outbreak of oak wilt, just letting it be is not an answer,” Ross said.

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American Chestnut Project

American Chestnut

American chestnut can grow to nearly 100 feet in height and 10 feet in diameter. Given the right conditions, it can begin producing nuts around 7-8 years and deer, turkey, pheasant, ruffed grouse, wood ducks, squirrels, and songbirds all crack open the spiny burs to reveal the tasty chestnuts within. The tree’s small green flowers arranged as long, drooping catkins also attract wildlife. Keep in mind that these trees require at least two individuals for pollination, but it is recommended you plant more than that in case not all survive to maturity. American chestnut is a great tree for timber harvest as well and, if you look hard enough, you can still find chestnut built into many of the barns in the county.

The American chestnut was once a dominant tree in its natural range, a belt stretching from Maine to Missouri across the Great Appalachian Valley. An airborne bark fungus causing chestnut blight was discovered in 1904 and it is estimated that three to four billion individual trees were lost to the disease in the first half of the twentieth century. The chestnut’s range now includes most of the US east of the Mississippi River and Michigan is blessed with one of the few remaining productive groves in the nation.

The American Chestnut Council, based out of Cadillac, is working with BCD to sell trees grown from the nuts produced by that grove. The council has been running this program for decades and the district is thrilled to be able to offer these trees in the spring. Although they are not guaranteed blight-free and are not hybridized to be blight-resistant, if adequately protected from drought and wildlife until mature, the trees should grow well for many years.

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New Board Directors!

Congratulations to Fred Flower and Jim Skipper, our newly elected board members!

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