History of Soil Conservation Districts in Colorado

Soil Conservation Districts in Colorado trace their formation to the 1930’s when national attention was focused on the soil erosion crisis of the Dust Bowl. From that point, soil conservation districts have evolved into a “unique” unit of local government that utilizes state, federal and private sector resources to solve today’s natural resource problems ranging from water quality to flood control to wildlife habitat and beyond.

 

Eachof the seventy seven soil conservation districts is guided by a governing board of supervisors elected by the local landowners. These officials serve four year terms and give their time and talents voluntarily.

 

To conserve our natural resources, SCD’s work to prevent soil erosion; promote the conservation, development, use and disposal of water; help control flooding, relieve sedimentation of ponds and reservoirs, preserve wildlife habitat; improve rangeland; protect groundwater; and conduct public conservation education programs.

 

SCD’s are local organizations through which state and federal agencies provide service to private landowners. SCD’s receive assistance from numerous local, state and federal agencies to address the concerns in their long range and annual plans of work.

 

Soil Conservation Districts in Yuma County

 

 

Current Board of Supervisors
Dustin Wise, Ronald Richards, Ronald Brown, Margaret Lenz, Chester Zwirn

 

Formation of soil conservation districts in Yuma County began in 1949. On May 9 of that year the Hale Soil Conservation District was formed. The district covered approximately 727,000 acres in southern Yuma County. The Northeast Yuma Soil Conservation District was formed on January 6, 1950 and contained approximately 320,000 acres in northeast Yuma County. The Yuma Soil Conservation District was formed in 1958 covering the northwest portion of the county.

 

The first board members for the Northeast Yuma District were: Ivan Leech, Harvey Nickel, E.H. Kinnie, Raymond Anderson, Lawrence Wisdom, T.E. Brophy, Ray Merritt, and Henry Bledsoe.

 

The first available list of board members for the Hale District is from 1955 and includes: Clarence Stults, Gerald Zion, Clifford Like, Herman Reitmeyer, Harold Renzelman, Robert O’Brien, O.G. Gurss and Clifford Akey.

 

Hale SCD and Northeast Yuma SCD consolidated in 1970 forming Yuma County Soil Conservation District with an area of 1,044,087 acres of land and 2,367 acres of surface water. Land uses include native rangelend, irrigated cropland, nonirrigated cropland, nonirrigated pastureland, urban lands, recreation and wildlife. The landownership consists of private, state and federal.

 

The first board members for the newly formed Yuma County SCD were: Richard Wisdom, Dean Witte, Chester Wingfield, Warren Noffsinger, Harold Kamla, Harry Fonte, Joe Connally, Dallas Oestman, Oscar Stults, and Bill Reitmeyer.

 

In 2002 the name was changed state wide to drop the word soil. The District is a member of the Republican River Watershed Association, the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts and the National Association of Conservation Districts.