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Conservation District History

During the 1930's, the Dust Bowl made the need to conserve natural resources, particularly soil, very clear.  Agencies ranging from Land Grant Universities to the Federal Emergency Relief Administration researched and implemented conservation practices throughout the nation.  Eventually, the Soil Conservation Service, now named Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) was created under the Soil Conservation Act of 1935, to develop and implement soil erosion control programs.

Sometimes agencies working with conservation ended up competing with each other.  Local leadership was needed to coordinate their efforts and tie them into local conditions and priorities.  Because of this, the President developed a model Conservation District Law, for consideration by state governments.

In March 1941, the State Legislature passed an enabling act which established conservation districts in Wyoming.  Conservation districts were to direct programs protecting local renewable natural resources.   Wyoming now has 34 conservation districts in 23 counties.

Supervisor Elections
Each Conservation District is run by a 5 member Board of Supervisors. These Supervisors are elected during the general election. There are 3 rural members, 1 urban and 1 at large member on each District Board. These Supervisors serve voluntarily. Persons interested in filing for election should contact their local conservation district.
 

WACD Procedures Manual

Conservation District Board and Employee Training

Conservation District Funding
In 1987, the Wyoming State Legislature granted Conservation Districts the authority to tax up to one mill. Since that time, several Districts have obtained mill levy funding. Several Districts have also received the support of their County Commissioners and therefore have opted not to request mill levy funding. The Conservation Districts utilize their local funding to address publicly identified priority programs and concerns. Those programs initiated by Districts vary dependent on local needs. Currently, local people support conservation efforts to the tune of approximately $2 million.

Potential Funding Sources
     Local Funding Support
          Mill Levy Funding

     State Funding Sources
          Wyoming Department of Agriculture Water Quality Funding

          Wyoming Department of Agriculture Rangeland Health Assessment Program

          Wyoming Water Development Commission
          Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust
         
Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality - Water Quality Division

 

     Federal Funding
         
EPA Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection
          Land and Water Conservation Fund Grants
          Monsanto Fund - Support for Science Education, Environment and Agriculture

         
Natural Resources Conservation Service

     Other Funding
         
Wyoming Community Foundation

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Wyoming Assn. of Conservation Districts | 517 E. 19th Street | Cheyenne, WY 82001 | (307) 632-5716 phone | (307) 638-4099 fax

Mission: The Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts provides leadership for the conservation of Wyoming's soil and water resources, promotes the control of soil erosion, promotes and protects the quality of Wyoming's waters, reduce siltation of stream channels and reservoirs, promote wise use of Wyoming's water, and all other natural resources, preserve and enhance wildlife habitat, protect the tax base and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of this state through a responsible conservation ethic.