Conserving Natural Resources for Our Future
430 Court Street New Castle, PA 16101 (724) 652-4512 (724) 657-2008
Copyright (C) 2009 Avanquest Software, Inc. All Rights Reserved
This section aims to provide a basic overview of the workings of a county conservation district.
What is a Conservation District?
A Conservation District is 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 Commissions 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 have to work
together to accomplish what’s needed: a volunteer board of district directors and a group of professional, well - trained staff.
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 farmers, and not less than two or more than four public members. The farmer-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.
of district staff varies from county to county depending on local needs and funding.
Why are Conservation Districts important?
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.