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 Soil and Water Conservation District
Our timeline is shown below. Click here to read more about us!
- 2015 – District changed name to Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District
- 2014 – District named Cooperator of the Year by Oregon Department of Agriculture
- 2014 – District employee receives Special District Service Award from the Special Districts Association of Oregon
- 2013 – District purchases 15-acre farm in Beavercreek, Oregon
- 2013 – Another local landowner selected as Oregon Cooperator of the Year by the Oregon Association of Conservation Districts
- 2012 – Local landowner selected as Oregon Cooperator of the Year by the Oregon Association of Conservation Districts
- 2012 – District recognized by USDA NRCS with Soil and Water Conservation District Partnership Award
- 2008 – District wins “Two Chiefs” Award
- 2008 – District Master Plan developed
- 2007 – District named Outstanding Special District of the Year
- 2007 – District Strategic Plan created
- 2006 – District receives tax base
- 2006 – District wins Soil Conservation District of the Year
- 1963 – “Water” added to conservation districts
- 1939 – Oregon legislation enabling conservation districts
- 1935 – Federal Soil Conservation Act
- 1849 – Oregon statehood
- 1848 – Oregon Territory formed
- 1845 – Clackamas County
- 1843 – Clackamas District formed
- 1829 – Oregon City established
Download key Clackamas SWCD documents: