In 1939, the Washington Legislature passed the State Soil and Water Conservation Law. On February 15, 1941, Douglas Soil and Water Conservation District became the tenth district to organize in Washington State. Additional areas of Farmer, Withrow, and Orondo were added March 6, 1944.
East Wenatchee Conservation District organized April 2, 1946. Moses Coulee Soil and Water Conservation District, organized June 4, 1941 was merged between Douglas and East Wenatchee Districts October 7, 1969. East Wenatchee then merged with Douglas to form the South Douglas Conservation District on August 5, 1975.
Foster Creek Conservation District, organized June 27, 1942, remains intact.
William J Dahlke
John C. McDonald
George E. Grant
Jess R. Bell
For more than 75 years, conservation districts have helped as non-regulatory trusted local partners helping people with natural resource concerns. Every one of the 39 Washington State counties has at least one conservation district.
Conservation districts are considered a political subdivision; however they are not state agencies and do not receive an ongoing operating budget from the State general fund. Each year staff from the Washington Conservation Commission must go before the legislature to receive the dollars they use to promote natural resource conservation in the State.
As stated Districts are non-regulatory. They make recommendations to land owners on how to improve or conserve natural resources. They can provide technical assistance, cost share opportunities and education for the design and implementation of conservation projects.
Districts can help farms, forests, urban yards, rivers and lakes. They can provide assistance with erosion control, habitat restoration, wildfire prevention, irrigation efficiencies, noxious weed control, wildlife habitat, windbreak establishment and more. Each district is locally driven, working on projects important to their district and cooperators.
Conservation Districts are governed by a five member Board of Supervisors. Three are elected, and two are appointed. Most Districts also have Associate Supervisors, who are not as directly involved in the board operations, but are still very interested. They are often times past supervisors.