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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.
Partnering with the Conservation Districts, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture strives to....
- Enhance abilities of Conservation Districts to protect surface and groundwater quality and enhance natural resources.
- Give districts definite responsibilities regarding watershed planning and natural resource management.
- Assist districts in developing coalitions with all natural resource users, managers, and owners.
- Continue comprehensive training program for Conservation District officials to be leaders in fulfilling the needs of constituents for water quality and enhanced natural resources.
- Improve recognition of quality district projects as examples of others.
- Utilize Conservation District Supervisors and Staff as leaders in the CRM program
- Provide grants and maintain election records for local conservation Districts.
- Obtain stable funding for active districts.