What is a Conservation District?

Known in various parts of the country as “soil and water conservation districts,” “resource conservation districts,” “natural resource districts,” “land conservation committees” and similar names, they share a single mission: to coordinate assistance from all available resources-public and private, local, state and federal- in an effort to develop locally-driven solutions to natural resource concerns. The districts work directly with millions of cooperating land managers nationwide to manage and protect natural resources.

Conservation Districts (CDs) are units of local government designed to assist citizens conserve their soil, water and other renewable natural resources through prevention of soil erosion; promoting the conservation, development, use and disposal of water; preserving wildlife habitat, improving rangeland; and conducting public conservation programs.

CDs have been entrusted by the state with mandated activities such as implementation of the 310 Law, water reservations, stream access portage routes, county planning board participation, and local Total Maximum Daily Load, (TMDL), consultation. In addition to the long-standing CD roles such as educating landowners about sound conservation practices, tree planting and organizing outdoor classroom education activities for school children.