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Module #3 HISTORY OF THE CONSERVATION MOVEMENT. Conservation District History ► Early 1930s – Depression rocked the country ► Dust Bowl – unparalleled.

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Presentation on theme: "Module #3 HISTORY OF THE CONSERVATION MOVEMENT. Conservation District History ► Early 1930s – Depression rocked the country ► Dust Bowl – unparalleled."— Presentation transcript:

1 Module #3 HISTORY OF THE CONSERVATION MOVEMENT

2 Conservation District History ► Early 1930s – Depression rocked the country ► Dust Bowl – unparalleled ecologic disaster that drove people from their homes ► In 1933, President Roosevelt summoned Hugh Bennett, a soil scientist, to the White House to see what could be done ► Bennett said that 100 million acres had lost its topsoil, nearly half had been destroyed and could never be farmed again ► FDR gave Bennett $5 million in relief funds to start the Soil Erosion Service,a temporary agency intended to provide relief April 14, 1935 was known as Black Sunday, the largest dust storm in history

3 Conservation District History – cont’d ► In 1935, Hugh Hammond Bennett testified before Congress to persuade them to fund a permanent agency to heal the land.  He wanted there to be local control, with every farm community setting up a soil conservation district. ► While talking to Congress, he looked out the window – revealed a “cloud of dust” coming from Black Sunday, two days ago, on the Great Plains ► Congress unanimously passed legislationmaking soil & water conservation a national policy and priority

4 Conservation District History – cont’d ► 1937 – President Roosevelt wrote governors of all states recommending conservation district enabling legislation  Standard Soil Conservation Law – to persuade farmers & landowners to utilize soil conserving methods ► Brown County SWCD (NC) first conservation district established Today there are nearly 3,000 conservation districts nationwide.

5 SD Conservation District History ► The first “Soil Conservation Districts” to be organized in South Dakota were the Tri-County and Brown-Marshall districts. ► By Ten more districts were formed and that first dozen districts decided to form the State Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SDACD) in1943. ► District shall consist of five supervisors. ► There are 69 districts across the state.

6 SD Assoc. of Cons. Dist. History ► Prior to SDACD’s establishment, the US Soil Conservation Service worked closely with federal Civilian Conservation Corps on local projects from main camps in Alcester, Huron, Chamberlain and Sturgis and three side camps in Vermillion, Miller and Presho. ► A temporary organization first met ► Organizational meeting of the State Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts- (officially established in 1943)

7 SD Association of Conservation District Employee History ► SDACDE was formed  to encourage efficient, informed and motivated and district employees  sponsors annual training workshops, leadership conferences, informational materials, and improved communications between districts  membership open to all district employees ► District Employee handbook and filing system developed ► Long Range Plan ► Initiated Karst Memorial Scholarships ► District Employee Handbook revised

8 SD Association of Conservation Dististrict Auxiliary History ► Organized for Spouses of conservation district supervisors and staff  Top priority is conservation education for youth  Helped develop and distribute materials under the Ag in the Classroom program under the Ag in the Classroom program  Developed the Sammy Soil Saver mascot

9 SD Conservation Commission ► State Legislature established Soil Conservation Districts Law establishing the State Soil Conservation Committee, a citizen board appointed by the Governor ► State Committee authorized a revolving loan fund for district use (initial appropriation of $75,000) ► An additional $50,000 was added to the revolving loan fund ► Name changed to State Conservation Commission consisting of seven members ► Since then- Commission expanded to nine members, representing urban, tree industry, water development district, and farming interests

10 SD Conservation Commission- (cont.) ► Coordinated Soil and Water Conservation Plan established specific goals for soil and water conservation in SD ► Grants fund established using unclaimed gas tax ► First grants awarded ► Developed the Coordinated Plan for Natural Resources Conservation (revised 1991 plan) expanding goals to include not only soil and water, but also air, wildlife, and recreation ► Legislature established Soil Conservation Award program

11 NACD History ► In 1946, 32 soil conservation districts met in Washington, DC to form the National Association of Soil Conservation Districts (NASCD). ► Over 1600 districts had already formed across the nation. ► Early conservation district leaders recognized the need of a unified message to policy makers. This is still true today!

12 SD Dept. of Agriculture Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry (RC&F) ► 1973 Legislature- Conservation Commission shall be administered under the direction and supervision of Division of Conservation ► 1975 Legislature- Commission functions relative to conservation districts shall be performed by the Division of Conservation ► Coordinated Soil and Water Conservation Plan established specific goals for soil and water conservation in SD ► Legislature combined Forestry and Conservation divisions and changed name to RC&F ► Developed the Coordinated Plan for Natural Resources Conservation (revised 1991 plan) expanding goals to include not only soil and water, but also air, wildlife, and recreation ► Legislature established Soil Conservation Award program

13 Natural Resources Conservation Service ► Soil Erosion Service began ► Name changed to Soil Conservation Service ► Merger of Soil survey into SCS ► 1960s and 70s- Expansion of interpretations of the soil survey information ► Food Security Act tremendously increased the SDS workload ► SCS became increasingly involved in efforts to improve and enhance water quality


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