Raymond Lee Eurquhart | Candidate Questionnaires - Durham County | Indy Week
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Raymond Lee Eurquhart 

Full Legal Name: Raymond Lee Eurquhart
Name as it Appears on the Ballot:
Office Sought/District: Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor
Date of Birth: 19 Feb 1948
Home Address:
Mailing Address (if different from home):
Campaign Web Site:
Occupation & Employer: Retired
Home Phone: 919-682-2821
Work Phone:
Email: r.eur@frontier.com

1. Why are you seeking the office of Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor?

I seek re-election to continue work in the following areas but mostly to assist the District in reaching its overall mission.

• Environmental Education

• CCAP (Community Conservation Assistance Programs)

• Watershed Protection (Falls and Jordan Rules)

• City/County collaboration (eliminate or reduce duplication of services)

• Marketing of local food producers through GAP Certification (Good Agricultural Practices) and

• Creation of environmental related job skills through our BETC/OCS (Bionomic Education Training Center/Occupational Course of Study (@ Southern High)

2. What are the most pressing natural resources issues in the county?

Meeting the requirements of the Falls/Jordan Watershed Rules. With predicted population growth, water quantity and land use become a big issue. The Cost and changing nature of the political situation in Raleigh impacts all thinking on this issue.

3. How do you plan to address these issues? Please be specific.

• Working with land owners/users to notify/educate them of the watershed rules.

• Lobbying the Fed, state and local governments for funding to install BMP’s (Best Management Practices).

• Addressing water quantity issues through, CCAP (installation of Cisterns). In farming communities, we address it through, AgWRAP(constructing ponds), digging wells and installing drip irrigation.

4. Identify examples of how the district can best balance agricultural/rural and urban interests in regards to soil and water conservation.

Reduction of nutrients and sedimentation in our water supply through voluntary nutrient reduction programs; storm water projects and stream restoration to stabilize stream banks to keep sediment out of our streams.

5. How should economic incentives be used to protect the area’s natural resources? What are the financial resources for these incentives?

We have many programs that use financial incentives to encourage protection of our natural resources:

• NCACSP (AG Cost Share Program)

• EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program) through USDA

• AgWRAP (Agriculture Water Resources Assistance Program)

• CCAP (Community Conservation Assistance Program) through the State

• Applying for mini grants through various entities

All of the above programs offer a 75% cost share, costing the landowner/farmer only a 25% match in funds.

6. Land use policy impacts the quality and quantity of our natural resources. How should the conservation district work with planning and zoning departments to protect the area’s soil and water from urban runoff?

Through our Conservation Easements, we ID farmers/landowners interested in preserving their land/farm for perpetuity (Easements offer a financial incentive as well).

We also work with the City/County on the planning of buffer zones.

7. What are the pros and cons of voluntary and mandatory conservation programs? Which do you think is more effective and why?

A big pro for voluntary conservation is, it puts the decision making in the hands of the landowner/farmer. In other words, they take ownership because they have skin in the game.

A big downside or con, some folk may not be able to comply (cost wise) and my fold their operation or business.

In the end, I think voluntary programming is the way to go.

8. What, if any, permanent water conservation measures should be implemented in Durham County? What usage goal, in gallons per day, should be set for residential customers? Industrial/ commercial customers? How can the county achieve these reduction goals?

The District is not a regulatory body and on tough issues, we refer to the State.

9. Many Durham County residents rely on groundwater and domestic wells for their drinking water. How should the county address the quantity and quality needs of those customers? What is the district’s role in protecting the quality in Falls Lake and Jordan Lake?

The Agricultural community has done a stellar job in protecting and using our natural resources. The District works with various owners through the many environmental education programs we offer, most, I have already mentioned.

I don’t feel the District should oversee private usage of water resources. That is a City/County government matter.

10. What is your stance on fracking? If fracking does happen in Durham County, what is the district’s role in protecting farmland, water quality and other natural resources? What is the district’s relationship with DENR on this point?

Personally, I’m opposed to Fracking! DENR has not taken a stance on Fracking in terms of giving direction to our office, one way or the other. But I’m sure we will dive in when the time is appropriate, using all our resources to protect the City/County of Durham. 11. Evaluate the effectiveness of the Farm Protection Program. What are the successes and challenges of that program? How do you suggest that it be improved?

Presently, 2500 acres has Conservation Easements attached and we look to improve on that success. Challenges always come down to funding and, we seek Fed/Sate and other outside funding sources to continue this work.

12. What funding issues are facing the Soil and Water District? How do you propose to ensure the district receives full funding? Are there alternative funding sources the district could explore? If so, what are they?

The District is always in need of more resources in general. Specifically, we need two FTEs; two vehicles; field equipment (GPS); up to date office technology, etc.

We conduct farm tours and tours of our BMP installations as an education tool along with intensive lobbying of the BOCC/Managers Office and, our local legislative delegation.

Lastly, we collaborate with the City/County/State/Fed to obtain resources needed.

  • Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor

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