What is a Conservation District?
Conservation Districts are a unique unit of government. They are local organizations with local ties to conservation efforts, but they are also political subdivisions of state government. They receive monetary and other needed assistance from local, state, federal, and private entities. This allows conservation districts to draw from many sources to carry out their responsibilities in their county, making them efficient and effective.
Pennsylvania conservation districts are organized in accordance with Act 217, the Conservation District law, and operate with the assistance of the State Conservation Commission and their county government. The law defines a conservation district as a “public body, corporate and politic, exercising public powers”, meaning that conservation districts are run by appointed members of the community who have different ideas and feelings, but form a unified body to develop conservation programs for their county.
How is a Conservation District organized?
Conservation Districts are comprised of two halves that work together to accomplish what is needed: a volunteer board of directors and a group of professional, well – trained staff.
Each conservation district board of directors, as stated by the Conservation District Law, shall consist of one member of the county governing board, not more than four or less than two ag industry-related members, and not less than two or more than four public members. The ag industry-public director ratio is determined by the county governing body and the State Conservation Commission.
Overall, Pennsylvania has sixty-six (66) conservation districts managed by over 475 directors who volunteer their time and talent to their communities’ conservation efforts.
The make-up of district staff varies from county to county depending on local needs and funding.
Why are Conservation Districts important?
Conservation District’s were created to promote the protection, maintenance, improvement, and wise use of land, water, and other related natural resources within their commonwealth. The guiding philosophy helping conservation districts to promote the well-being of our natural resources is that decisions about conservation issue should be made at the local level by citizens who understand their local environment.
Mission: The Lawarence County Conservation District is committed to the protection, stewardship and conservation of the County’s natural resources to ensure a wise balance between the protection of the environment and the benefit of the landowners of the County.