What is a Conservation District?
Conservation districts are local units of government established under state law to carry out natural resource management programs at the local level by providing technical assistance and tools to manage and protect land and water resources in U.S. states. There are more than 3,000 conservation districts in the United States. In Wyoming, there are 34 conservation districts in 23 counties.
Conservation districts may go by different names such as Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Soil Conservation Districts, Resource Conservation Districts, or other similar names. However, they all share a single mission: to coordinate assistance from all available sources; public and private, local, state and federal, to develop locally-driven solutions to natural resource concerns.
History of Conservation Districts
During the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s, it became clear that there was a need to conserve natural resources, specifically soil. Intensive efforts were made by state and local governments to develop adequate programs for soil conservation. However, those agencies often ended up competing with each other and local leadership was needed to coordinate their efforts as well as tie them into local conditions and priorities. In March of 1941, State Legislature passed an act to establish conservation districts in Wyoming. As subdivisions of the State of Wyoming, conservation districts were to direct programs that protected local, renewable natural resources.
The Uinta County Conservation District was organized on June 4, 1948, as the Bridger Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, in accordance with Wyoming State Law. The original District included only the eastern portion of Uinta County, however, several landowners petitioned and were included in the District. The District now includes and services all of Uinta County and the name of the District was changed to the Uinta County Conservation District in 1993.
The Uinta County Conservation District is responsible for directing conservation programs that aim to conserve the soil, water and vegetative resources within our county. This is accomplished through Conservation programs that promote sustainable use of our natural resources. Success and advances in conservation in Uinta County is due to the stewardship of the local landowners and concerned citizens of the county. Funding for programs is received through a mill levy that was passed during general election in 1988. UCCD also receives grant funding through other local, state and federal agencies and partners to get projects on the ground.
It is the mission of the Uinta County Conservation District to be a leader in NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION by providing resources, education, technical assistance and information for the development and improvement of our natural resources, to promote and protect agriculture, protect the tax base and promote the health, welfare and safety of Uinta County residents.