Community Agriculture Alliance: Routt County Conservation District board reborn
Routt County Conservation District board members
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Did you know the West Routt County Conservation District was formed 77 years ago on December 7, 1942? A few years later, the East Routt Soil Conservation District was formed on June 23, 1947. The two districts were merged in 1972, renamed the Routt County Conservation District and covers most of Routt County.
The establishment of conservation districts was a result of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. The widespread use of heavy annual tillage coupled with severe drought left the soil bare and open to erosion.
Due to the dramatic nature of the dust storms, Congress authorized the creation of the Soil Conservation Service — now the Natural Resources Conservation Service — in 1935. It soon became apparent that successful conservation required input from local farmers and ranchers. This local input came in the form of conservation districts. There are currently more than 3,000 of them nationwide and 76 in Colorado.
Conservation districts provide many valuable services to communities around Colorado. What those services are can vary and is largely dependent on the history of the district, needs of local landowners and the local board of supervisors. The stated mission of the Conservation District is, “To encourage stewardship of our natural resources which will ensure the preservation and sustainability of working landscapes through education, financial and technical assistance.”
Recently, the Conservation District went without a board for more than two years. A new board was appointed at a special landowner meeting in April 2019. Since then, the board has had their hands full catching up on the required legal proceedings and paperwork that had been neglected.
Now that the enormous task of getting back in business is almost complete, it is time to reestablish the Conservation District’s niche in the conservation community. Having an entirely new board is both an advantage and a disadvantage.
Free of previous conceptions, the board has the opportunity to find new and innovative ways to implement conservation programs and outreach. It also means that any new efforts must, essentially, be built from the ground up.
How you can participate
The new board is always looking for input from local landowners, ranchers, farmers and the citizenry at large. The board is also cultivating important partners. Because the website was lost during the down time, a new and improved website is being developed and will soon be launched.
The board meets monthly, and everyone is welcome to attend. Meeting notices and forthcoming projects will be posted on the new website. The board members hope to create meaningful, collaborative projects and programs and are currently working on a short and long range plan. An email distribution list is also being formulated. To be added, you can provide your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Routt County Conservation District looks forward to serving you now and into the future.
Routt County Conservation District board members are Lyn Halliday, president; Krista Monger, vice president; Cam Kuelthau, treasurer; Kent Sandstedt, secretary; and Tyler Snyder, board member.
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