Dust rolling in the 1930s
Conservation Districts help landowners and operators develop conservation plans which include grazing and cropping systems, irrigation water management, rangeland improvements and tree planting to prevent another Dust Bowl.
Boulder County Today
What is a Conservation District?
In the early 1930s the United States experienced an unparalleled ecological disaster known as the Dust Bowl. Severe, sustained drought in the Great Plains caused soil erosion and huge black dust storms that blotted out the sun. The storms stretched south to Texas and east to New York. Dust even sifted into the White House and onto the desk of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After seeing the sky black with dust in Washington, the U.S. Congress unanimously passed legislation declaring soil and water conservation a national policy and priority. Since about three-fourths of the United States was privately owned, Congress realized that only active, voluntary support from landowners would guarantee the success of conservation work on private land. In 1937, President Roosevelt wrote the governors of all the states recommending legislation that would allow local landowners to form soil conservation districts.
How We Work
The Longmont and Boulder Valley Conservation Districts were formed after the State of Colorado passed the Colorado Soil Conservation Act. The governing boards of supervisors are elected by local landowners. Each supervisor serves a four year term and gives of their time and talents voluntarily. The boards meet once per month to discuss strategies and goals for the district. The programs and projects selected for implementation in the district are determined based on inputs from local landowners.
The local liaison from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to the Longmont and Boulder Valley Conservation Districts is Boyd Byelich, District Conservationist. Mr. Byelich ensures that all selected programs and projects are well coordinated with NRCS. The Districts also partner with Colorado State University Extension and other county agencies. The District Supervisors meet once each year with the Boulder County and Weld County Commissioners to discuss agriculture issues in those counties.
The Longmont Conservation District and the Boulder Valley Conservation District will each develop and implement a cooperative program for the conservation and sustainability of the natural resources within that Districts boundaries.