The Mission of Pope Soil & Water Conservation District is to promote, guide, and provide high quality technical assistance for Pope County and for the enhancement and protection of land and water resources through implementation projects that will lead toward effective conservation of soil and water.
There are over 3,000 conservation districts-one in almost every county. Minnesota has 91 districts with a board of elected supervisors that oversee the operations of the districts. There are 5 individuals that sit on this board. Now the conservation districts help to educate about conserving land, water, forests, wildlife, and other natural resource through different programs.
Conservation districts area subdivision of local government under state law to carry out a program for conservation, use and development of soil, and water related resources.
Local districts work with land managers, local government agencies, and others interested in addressing a broad spectrum of concerns: erosion control, flood prevention, water conservation and use, wetlands, ground water, water quality and quantity, non-point source pollution, forest land protection, wildlife, recreation, waste water management, and community development. This work varies in accordance with the needs and resources of the district. Each district has a governing body of local people, elected or appointed. They share their talents and experience and knowledge of the community needs and resources to guide districts in setting goals and priorities for carrying out programs. They work in cooperation with and in some states, under direction of a state conservation agency through which state funding and other assistance is provided.
What is a Conservation District?
In the 1930’s there was a great ecological disaster called the “Dust Bowl”. Which had huge dust storms that enveloped the countryside. A soil scientist by the name of Hugh Bennett in 1935 testified on Capitol Hill. He opened the curtains to show the blackened sky and Congress immediately declared soil and water conservation a national policy and priority. It was evident that this would have to be supported by private landowners, as the land was more than three-quarters privately owned. So this is how the idea of a soil and water conservation district was developed.