Congratulations to the 2016 Regional Envirothon
The Niagara County winning team included
students from the Niagara Career and Technical Center, Conservation
program in Sanborn, NY. Here is a link to one of the news articles
Union Sun and Journal.
If your school is interested in participating in the
Envirothon in 2017, please contact Darcy at (716) 434-4949.
SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICTS (SWCDs)
What is a Conservation District
Conservation districts are local governmental subdivisions established under state law to carry out a program for the
conservation, use and development of soil, water and related
resources. Districts are resource management agencies, coordinating
and implementing resource and environmental programs at the local
level in cooperation with federal and state agencies.
Conservation districts had their beginning in the 1930s when
Congress, in response to national concern over mounting erosion,
floods and sky-blackening dust storms that swept across the country,
enacted the Soil Conservation Act of 1935. The act stated for the
first time a national policy to provide a permanent program for the
control and prevention of soil erosion, and directed the Secretary
of Agriculture to establish the Soil Conservation Service to
implement this policy. The conservation district concept was
developed to enlist the cooperation of landowners and occupiers in
carrying out the programs authorized by the act.
To encourage local participation in the program, President Roosevelt
sent all state governors A Standard State Soil Conservation
Districts Law, with a recommendation for enactment of legislation
along its lines. On March 3, 1937, Arkansas became the first state
to adopt a law modeled on the Standard Act. On August 4, 1937, the
first conservation district, the Brown Creek District included the
birthplace of Dr. Hugh Hammond Bennett, the first Chief of the Soil
Conservation Service - commonly referred to as the father of soil
conservation. By 1938, twenty-seven states had followed suit, and by
the late 1940s, all fifty states had adopted similar legislation.
Districtís laws were adopted in the 1960s by Puerto Rico and the
Virgin Islands, and in the 1980s by the District of Columbia, Guam,
and the Northern Mariana Islands. Niagara County SWCD was formed on
November 3, 1954.
What Do Districts Do?
Districts work with landowners, land managers, local government
agencies, and other local interests in addressing a broad spectrum
of resource concerns: erosion control, flood prevention, water
conservation and use, wetlands, ground water, water quality and
quantity, nonpoint source pollution, forestland protection,
wildlife, recreation, waste water management and community
How Many Districts are There?
In New York, there are 58 conservation districts, one representing
each county and five districts represent the boroughs of New York
City. Collectively, the 58 districts are represented by the New York
Association of Conservation Districts (NYACD). Nationwide, there are
approximately 3,000 conservation districts, the number varying from
time to time as a result of the combination, division, or the other
restructuring of district boundaries. These districts, identified in
some states as soil conservation districts, conservation districts,
natural resources conservation districts, natural resource districts
or resource conservation districts, cover 98 percent of the
privately owned land in the fifty states, the District of Columbia,
Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Northern Marian Islands, and
Niagara County Soil & Water Conservation District
Niagara County is situated in the northwestern part
of New York, in the angle between Lake Ontario and the Niagara
River. Orleans County and a small portion of Genesee County form the
eastern boundary. Tonawanda Creek separates it on the south from
The County is roughly rectangular in shape, and
contains 349,952 acres or about 547 square miles. Viewed in its
physiographic relation to the remainder of New York State, the
county occupies portions of two great lake plains, which in this
region are separated by a sharp change in level of approximately 200
feet. These are the Ontario and Erie plains, which extend eastward
around Lake Ontario and westward into Canada.