Module #3HISTORY OF THE CONSERVATION MOVEMENT
Conservation District HistoryEarly 1930s Depression rocked the countryDust Bowl unparalleled ecologic disaster that drove people from their homesIn 1933, President Roosevelt summoned Hugh Bennett, a soil scientist, to the White House to see what could be doneBennett said that 100 million acres had lost its topsoil, nearly half had been destroyed and could never be farmed againFDR gave Bennett $5 million in relief funds to start the Soil Erosion Service,a temporaryagency intended to provide reliefApril 14, 1935 was known as Black Sunday, the largest dust storm in history
Conservation District History contdIn 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 PlainsCongress unanimously passedlegislationmaking soil & water conservation a national policy and priority
Conservation District History contd1937 President Roosevelt wrote governors of all states recommending conservation district enabling legislationStandard Soil Conservation Law to persuade farmers & landowners to utilize soil conserving methodsBrown County SWCD (NC) first conservation district establishedToday there are nearly 3,000 conservation districts nationwide.
SD Conservation District History1937- The first Soil Conservation Districts to be organized in South Dakota were the Tri-County and Brown-Marshall districts. By 1941- Ten more districts were formed and that first dozen districts decided to form the State Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SDACD) in1943.1953- District shall consist of five supervisors.There are 69 districts across the state.
SD Assoc. of Cons. Dist. HistoryPrior to SDACDs 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. 1941- A temporary organization first met 1942- Organizational meeting of the State Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts- (officially established in 1943)
SD Association of Conservation District Employee History 1973- SDACDE was formed to encourage efficient, informed and motivated and district employeessponsors annual training workshops, leadership conferences, informational materials, and improved communications between districtsmembership open to all district employees1975- District Employee handbook and filing system developed1983- Long Range Plan1995- Initiated Karst Memorial Scholarships2007- District Employee Handbook revised
SD Association of Conservation Dististrict Auxiliary History1952- Organized for Spouses of conservation district supervisors and staffTop priority is conservation education for youthHelped develop and distribute materials under the Ag in the Classroom programDeveloped the Sammy Soil Saver mascot
SD Conservation Commission1937- State Legislature established Soil Conservation Districts Law establishing the State Soil Conservation Committee, a citizen board appointed by the Governor1949- State Committee authorized a revolving loan fund for district use (initial appropriation of $75,000)1951- An additional $50,000 was added to the revolving loan fund1968- Name changed to State Conservation Commission consisting of seven membersSince then- Commission expanded to nine members, representing urban, tree industry, water development district, and farming interests
SD Conservation Commission- (cont.)1991- Coordinated Soil and Water Conservation Plan established specific goals for soil and water conservation in SD1992- Grants fund established using unclaimed gas tax1993- First grants awarded2007- 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 recreation2008- Legislature established Soil Conservation Award program
NACD HistoryIn 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!
SD Dept. of AgricultureDivision of Resource Conservation and Forestry (RC&F)1973 Legislature- Conservation Commission shall be administered under the direction and supervision of Division of Conservation1975 Legislature- Commission functions relative to conservation districts shall be performed by the Division of Conservation1991- Coordinated Soil and Water Conservation Plan established specific goals for soil and water conservation in SD1995- Legislature combined Forestry and Conservation divisions and changed name to RC&F2007- 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 recreation2008- Legislature established Soil Conservation Award program
Natural Resources Conservation Service1933- Soil Erosion Service began1935- Name changed to Soil Conservation Service1952- Merger of Soil survey into SCS1960s and 70s- Expansion of interpretations of the soil survey information1985- Food Security Act tremendously increased the SDS workload1988- SCS became increasingly involved in efforts to improve and enhance water quality