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History of Conservation

WACD recognizes conservation districts for their extraordinary work by promoting their stories, supporting their initiatives, and by being the unifying voice of conservation.

During the 1930s, 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.

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