The Middle Park Conservation District (MPCD) was formed by a group of ranchers from Grand and Summit County initially met at Jerry’s Cafe on February 9, 1956, to discuss the formation of a soil conservation district. Then, on August 12, 1957, the certification of organization was issued by the Secretary of State and was recorded with the County Clerk and Recorder of both Grand and Summit counties.
Since then, our focus has expanded to include smaller landowners who may not be ag producers. The District is under the operation of a locally elected 5-member Board of Supervisors and is required to obey the regulations of the Colorado Soil Conservation Act (as overseen by the Colorado State Conservation Board). MPCD employs one District Manager/Executive Director and one District Conservation Technician (DCT). The District’s funding comes from the state’s Direct Assistance Fund; grants; and the sale of grass seed, tree seedlings, tire tanks, and polyacrylamide.
History of Conservation Districts (in general)
The following summary is provided to you by the National Association of Conservation Districts (http://www.nacdnet.org/about/districts/history). Dust Bowl Photo By: Chris Johns, NatGeo, Getty Images
“In the early 1930s, along with the greatest depression this nation ever experienced, came an equally unparalleled ecological disaster known as the Dust Bowl. Following a severe and sustained drought in the Great Plains, the region’s soil began to erode and blow away, creating huge black dust storms that blotted out the sun and swallowed the countryside. Thousands of “dust refugees” left the black fog to seek better lives.
On Capitol Hill, while testifying about the erosion problem, soil scientist Hugh Hammond Bennett threw back the curtains to reveal a sky blackened by dust. Congress unanimously passed legislation declaring soil and water conservation a national policy and priority. Because nearly three-fourths of the continental United States is privately owned, Congress realized that only active, voluntary support from landowners would guarantee the success of conservation work on private land.
In 1937, President Roosevelt wrote the governors of all the states recommending legislation that would allow local landowners to form soil conservation districts. The movement caught on across the country with district-enabling legislation passed in every state. Today, the country is blanketed with nearly 3,000 conservation districts.”
The Colorado Soil Conservation Act (HB 258) was passed on May 6th, 1937.CO Soil Conservation Act