Charring Experience Helps Conservation Planner Assist Others

Taylor Hillman USDA-NRCS

California’s Natural Resources Conservation Service named Andrew Loganbill it’s 2017 Conservation Planner of the Year for his workload and post-fire expertise that was called on well outside of his home county. Loganbill is honored by the acknowledgment but said there is some irony to his story as a fire helped put him in the position he is in.

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Taylor Hillman

Taylor Hillman

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AgNet Media Operations Manager and Farm News Director for AgNet West.

From the Natural Resources Conservation Service:
DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 14, 2017—Andrew “Drew” Loganbill has been selected to receive the 2017 Conservation Planning Excellence of the Year Award for California’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The award will be given at the annual partnership award dinner of the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) conference in Sacramento on Nov. 16.

Loganbill was singled out for his broad-ranging and sensitive use of skillful conservation planning on diverse land types across eight counties and especially for his forestry assistance in post-fire landscapes.

Despite a heavy workload in his home office of Petaluma, Loganbill volunteered for assignment in numerous post-fire situations where his forestry expertise was in high demand. In the course of a year, he served in Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Marin, Monterey, Santa Barbara, and Sonoma counties as well as serving as Acting District Conservationist in Del Norte County for 10 weeks.

“Drew has the passion and skill to help landowners all across the state including many suffering from traumatic loss,” said Acting State Conservationist Curtis Tarver. “Drew is sensitive to landowners needs and helps them make sound landscape decisions,” said Tarver. “While he knows the full range of options, he never pushes a Mercedes plan on a landowner more comfortable with a Ford.”

In Lake County alone Loganbill added 11 landowners to his workload, completing forest plans for them on their fragile fire-damaged landscapes to prevent erosion and protect other resources. Meanwhile, he continued to balance 101 contracts with customers in his home counties of Sonoma and Marin, said his supervisor Jennifer Walser, district conservationist in Petaluma.

Walser said that Loganbill is also adept at working with partners from the Gold Ridge RCD to Farm Bureau to CalFire and many, many others. He often leads conservation assistance in group settings to address erosion control, forest management plans, threatened and endangered species issues, GIS and more. “He also looks for mentors and generously mentors others,” she said.

Loganbill says he loves learning about different landscapes, different landowners and how conservationists can be successful in differing situations. The biggest take-home lesson from his experiences this year? “Listen to landowners—really listen, and don’t act like you know everything,” he says with a smile.