A Brief History

Conservation Districts are comunnity-based, grassroots conservation agencies that identify local natural resource issues and develop local, voluntary solutions. Conservation Districts take available technical, financial and educational resources, whatever their source, and focus or coordinate them to meet the needs of the local land user for conservation of soil, water and related resources

As a result of the national devastation brought on by the Dust Bowl in the early to mid 1930’s, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made large recommendations that each state government sign the Standard State Soil Conservation Districts Act into law, in order to prevent Natural Resource disasters within the United States. Within this act, states were given a step-by-step guide to the creation of Conservation Districts, or “CD’s”,  along with their powers and responsibilities.

Established in North Carolina on August 4, 1937, Brown Creek Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) was the very first Conservation District created. Soon after, the Governor of Arkansas signed legislation regarding conservation districts, becoming the first state to do so. paving the way for the remaining states. With diligence in mind, it did not take long for other states’ governors to follow suit. By July 1, 1945, all 48 states had passed district-enabling acts. 

More information regarding Conservation districts and their functions is available on the Washington State Conservation Commission’s website, linked below.


Washington State Conservation Commission

Conservation Districts Provide

  • Non-regulatory services that are tailored to meet the needs of local people, local properties, and natural resources.
  • Site-specific plans for your property designed to help you achieve your land use and conservation goals.
  • Grant funding and free or low-cost services that make it more affordable for you to take actions that make our water, soil, air, landscapes, and habitats healthier for all.
  • Technical expertise for project planning, permitting, and construction

There are currently 45 Conservation Districts located within Washington state. For more information regarding what Conservation District is yours, visit the Washington State Conservation Map and Directory!


Washington State Conservation Map and Directory

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