Discover the SWCD story

Creation of soil and water conservation districts

Dust Bowl

Dust Bowl – South Dakota 1936

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

Stop by our office for assistance with natural resource issues!

Our timeline is shown below. Click here to read more about us!

Download key Clackamas SWCD documents:

CCSWCD Boundary Change 2002
CCSWCD Boundary Change 2002
2.0 MB
CCSWCD Formation 1974
CCSWCD Formation 1974
0.1 MB
District Name Change Certificate - 22 June 2015
District Name Change Certificate - 22 June 2015
0.5 MB

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