Conservation Districts

Severe soil erosion problems during the Dust Bowl prompted the passage of the Conservation District Law by the Kansas legislature in 1937. This legislation lead to the formation of conservation districts in Kansas. The first Conservation District was formed in Labette County in 1938 and the last, Shawnee County, in 1954. Through the years additional natural resources conservation challenges have emerged. Across the state, 105 Conservation Districts (one in every county) provide local leadership by helping local people address local natural resource needs.

USDA Service CenterThe Conservation District is the primary local unit of government responsible for the conservation of soil, water and related natural resources within the county boundary. Kansas Conservation Districts are political subdivisions of state government charged with this vital role. Funding comes from county and state allocations, with some districts generating funds by providing conservation goods and services.

The district's governing board is comprised of five elected local citizens known as supervisors. They establish local priorities, set policy and administer non-regulatory conservation programs during monthly board meetings. The supervisors, although serving as public officials, do not draw a salary. Conservation District employee(s) are hired by the supervisors to provide day-to-day coordination of district activities.

Each Conservation District has an annual meeting either in January or February where the public are invited to come listen about the accomplishments of the district and learn more about the programs offered in the county. Also, an election is conducted for the position(s) of supervisor to fill the expired three-year term. In this election, every qualified elector residing in the county is eligible to vote.

Conservation Districts address a wide range of environmental concerns those interests include agricultural and urban erosion and sediment control, water quality, water quantity, range and pasture management, fish and wildlife habitat, and other natural resource management issues. Conservation Districts work cooperatively with local citizens to solve local conservation problems. This benefits both the agricultural community and society as a whole. Clean water and productive soil are basic to our quality of life now and in the future.

Because conservation districts are citizen-directed organizations, they are practical partners to coordinate local, state and federal initiatives to protect natural resources and enhance water quality. In addition to local programs, conservation districts administer the state cost-share programs which provide financial assistance to landowners to install conservation practices. Conservation district employees work closely with employees of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and cooperate with other federal and state agencies to help protect and conserve natural resources in Kansas.

Conservation districts provide information and education to landowners, schools and the general public about soil and water conservation issues. Some districts offer conservation-related items for sale such as grass seed and trees. Many districts have equipment available to rent that promotes conservation by preventing erosion and improving water quality. This equipment may include grass drills, tree planters and no-till seeders. Services and activities vary with each conservation district.

Please contact your conservation district for program availability or to see how you can become more involved in conserving soil and water for future generations.

Kansas Conservation Districts Directory

Conservation District Websites

Tools

  • CSIMS Login

  • Project Mapping

Conservation District Law

Conservation District Programs Manual

SCC Spring Workshop Presentations

KACD Fall Workshop Presentations