- This event has passed.
AASCD Board of Supervisors Meeting
June 16 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Districts were organized and created by federal law in 1937 in
response to devastating soil erosion conditions that existed in the United
States during the late 1920s and 1930s.
In 1929, the United States Congress appropriated about $160,000
for erosion control experiments. The work of research centers established
with these funds expanded as the economic disaster of the Dust Bowl in
the Midwest became a cause for national concern.
The Soil Erosion Service (SES) of the U.S. Department of the
Interior was created as a temporary organization in 1933. Its purpose
was to demonstrate the values of soil and water conservation by placing
conservation measures on farms in cooperation with landowners. In
addition, the federally created Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was
assigned to aid in erosion control work across the country. Two years
later, in 1935, Congress established a federal policy concerning soil
By Act of Congress on April 27, 1935, the personnel and resources of
the Soil Erosion Service were transferred to the Soil Conservation Service
as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This was the first step in
creating a local voluntary system around a core of federal expertise and
support. On February 27, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a
letter to all state governors recommending enactment of soil conservation
The proposed act suggested that districts be established to direct and
manage soil erosion control programs using local citizens participating
voluntarily in planning and installing conservation practices. Each
district so designated would be empowered to determine local needs,
would have personal contact with local individual landowners within the
community, and would thus be able to encourage maximum cooperation
on a voluntary basis.
The first soil conservation district in the United States was organized
on August 4, 1937 in North Carolina by Hugh Hammond Bennett
(sometimes called the father of the conservation movement). Kent County
became the first soil conservation district formed in Maryland on May
11, 1938. Today, all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands have
passed enabling legislation necessary for the creation of approximately
3,000 local districts.