Golf Course Management

MAR 2015

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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36 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 03.15 Reaching far and wide As GCSAA's government relations director, I have the privilege of crossing the country to meet with GCSAA affliated chapters to dis - cuss all things related to the association's ad- vocacy efforts. In the past year, GCSAA's feld staff has helped me set up visits to 10 states: Connecticut, New York, Maine, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Wisconsin. Speaking of feld staff, they are a criti - cal component of GCSAA's advocacy efforts. They help the national association better un - derstand what issues are impacting the pro- fession at the state and local levels. They also help GCSAA better communicate its advo - cacy efforts and needs down on the ground in the states. I spread a bit of doom and gloom during my presentations. There are many issues im - pacting the profession, and the regulatory scru- tiny of the industry is high. Despite the doom and gloom, there is also much to be proud of. GCSAA and its members are standing up for the profession and game and pushing back against lingering misperceptions. Rest assured: GCSAA has its advocacy tentacles far and wide, and superintendents are "getting a seat at the table," a reoccurring theme in my presentations. Here is a snapshot of the incredible ad - vocacy activities our association is engaged in now. Central Plains. The health of the Missis - sippi River Basin watershed is a focus along with the development of comprehensive best management practice (BMP) programs in the region. Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska chap - ters are taking the lead. The Minnesota GCSA is also a constant presence at the statehouse in St. Paul with a focus on outreach related to water management. Relationships gained have put golf and the industry's responsible man - agement of its resources in a good light. Florida. The Florida GCSA participated in the 4th Florida Golf Day in early February. The state just released an updated economic impact study, which members used during ap - pointments with lawmakers. GCSAA mem- bers continue to attend city and county meet- ings to address proposed fertilizer bans and ordinances. Individual testing on the Florida BMP manual also continues in the state. Great Lakes. The Wisconsin GCSA and Ohio GCSA chapters are focused on develop - ment of BMP programs. Illinois superinten- dents are pushing back against legislation to roll back pesticide preemption. Mid-Atlantic. The Mid-Atlantic Associa - tion of Golf Course Superintendents has been pushing back on anti-pesticide legislation brew - ing in Montgomery County by showing up at public hearings and offering public testimony. Pennsylvania superintendents are organizing to hold a state lobby day in Harrisburg. Virginia superintendents are working with state regu - latory offcials to meet their 2017 compliance deadline for all golf courses to have a certifed nutrient management plan. Nort west. Superintendents have had their hands full watching the national pollinator debate play out in their region. Neonicotinoid insecticide ban legislation is common, and GCSAA members are participating in city and county hearings. The Rocky Mountain GCSA is working with the Coloradans for Responsi - ble Pesticide Application coalition to advance sensible legislation to implement the Colorado Pesticide Applicators' Act. Nort east. The Connecticut AGCS recently secured a seat on the state's Water Planning Council, which will focus in 2015 on develop - ing a statewide drought plan. The Long Island GCSA has also secured a seat on the newly formed Long Island Technical Review and Ad - (advocacy) Chava McKeel cmckeel@gcsaa.org twitter: @GCSAA visory Committee to advise the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on factors such as pesticide use patterns, aquifer vulnerability, and recommended alternatives and pollution prevention measures. The New Hampshire GCSA is planning a state lobby day in Concord. The Vermont GCSA is in the fnal stages of creating a nutrient management plan with the department of agriculture. New York chapters are developing a validation tool for their new BMP program. Sou Central. The Arkansas GCSA is or - ganizing to host an Arkansas Golf Day in Little Rock and has begun discussions to move for - ward on a BMP program. Texas superinten- dents are focused on drought and water man- agement issues and reaching out proactively to water offcials throughout the state to see where they can work together on water issues. Sout ast. The Louisiana-Mississippi, Car - olinas and Georgia chapters are lining up to implement formal BMP programs. The Ten - nessee GCSA is in the midst of preparing an economic impact study to assist members with their advocacy efforts. Sout est. Cactus & Pine GCSA mem - bers recently met with U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-04) and staff. With Arizona in the midst of a severe drought, the meeting focused on water use and conservation on golf courses. Golf allies in California are continuing to set up golf industry water conservation task forces in partnership with water regulators in order to secure golf 's long-term viability in a state plagued by water challenges. Task forces have been set up in the Coachella Valley, Los An - geles, San Diego, Ventura County and Sacra- mento County. Chava McKeel is GCSAA's director, government relations. Pictured are members of the Cactus & Pine GCSA with U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and his key staff members at Apache Sun GC in Queen Creek, Ariz. Photo by Jeff Jensen

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