Creation of soil and water conservation districts
During the Great Depression in the 1930s, farm families in the plains of mid America experienced a devastating six year long drought. With no moisture or plant roots to hold the soil, it blew away in billowing clouds which choked people and covered everything. Farmers were left without any natural or economic resources. They became “dirt poor,” and the area became known as the Dust Bowl.
Soil Conservation Service
Seeking a way to prevent additional loss of soil resources, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Hugh Hammond Bennett to employ his vision and knowledge of conservation to implement his coordinated, comprehensive plans for conservation farming.
In 1935, The Soil Conservation Service was established within the United States Department of Agriculture, through the Soil Conservation Act. The new conservation farming system provided farmers with money for seed, fertilizer, equipment, and labor to install terraces, waterways, and fences and to improve pastures.
Local conservation districts
At first, it was thought the federal government, through the Soil Conservation Service, could manage the whole program, but during the initial two years it learned the task needed local support and direction. The Soil Conservation Service needed farmer’s help and cooperation to put together an effective program. In 1937, President Roosevelt asked all state governors to promote legislation to allow the formation of soil conservation districts. This began a partnership that exists today.
And out of the dust rose Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District
Our timeline is shown below. Click here to read more about us!
- 1829 – Oregon City established
- 1843 – Clackamas District formed
- 1845 – Clackamas County
- 1848 – Oregon Territory formed
- 1849 – Oregon statehood
- 1935 – Federal Soil Conservation Act
- 1939 – Oregon legislation enabling conservation districts
- 1963 – ”Water” added to conservation districts
- 1974 – North and South Districts consolidated to form CCSWCD
- 2006 – District receives tax base
- 2006 – District wins Soil Conservation District of the Year
- 2007 – District named Outstanding Special District of the Year
- 2007 – District Strategic Plan created
- 2008 – District wins “Two Chiefs” Award
- 2008 – District Master Plan developed
Download a copy of our 1974 formation documents.