THE CONSERVATION DISTRICT
Providing grassroots solutions for protecting soil and water for future generations in Washington County, Minnesota... since 1942.
The Washington Conservation District (WCD) is a local unit of government in Washington County, Minnesota dedicated to soil and water conservation. Our mission to enhance, protect, and preserve the natural resources of Washington County through conservation projects, technical guidance, and educational services is governed by the state law and the Soil and Water Conservation Policy listed below. We have been providing local expertise on water quality, erosion control and natural resource information since 1942 through partnerships with individuals, local government units, and other organizations and agencies to meet our mission of the protection, conservation, and enhancement of natural resources.
103C.005 Soil and water conservation policy.
Maintaining and enhancing the quality of soil and water for the environmental and economic benefits they produce, preventing degradation, and restoring degraded soil and water resources of this state contribute greatly to the health, safety, economic well-being, and general welfare of this state and its citizens. Land occupiers have the responsibility to implement practices that conserve the soil and water resources of the state. Soil and water conservation measures implemented on private lands in this state provide benefits to the general public by reducing erosion, sedimentation, siltation, water pollution, and damages caused by floods. The soil and water conservation policy of the state is to encourage land occupiers to conserve soil, water, and the natural resources they support through the implementation of practices that:
- control or prevent erosion, sedimentation, siltation, and related pollution in order to preserve natural resources;
- ensure continued soil productivity;
- protect water quality;
- prevent impairment of dams and reservoirs;
- reduce damages caused by floods;
- preserve wildlife;
- protect the tax base; and
- protect public lands and waters.
HIST: 1990 c 391 art 3 s 2; 2003 c 104 s 2 Copyright 2004 by the Office of Revisor of Statutes, State of Minnesota.
Contact us: 455 Hayward Ave. N., Oakdale, 55128. Phone: 651-330-8220.
What is the Washington Conservation District (WCD) and what do we do?
In the 1930's, Soil and Water Conservation Districts were created in response to national concern over erosion, floods, and the sky-blackening dust storms that swept across our country. These Districts were organized along county boundaries with the purpose of managing and directing conservation programs and assisting landowners in conserving soil and water resources. The WCD was established in 1942 through State Statute 103C. The District is governed by five locally elected supervisors who hold monthly public meetings and is staffed by professionals dedicated to serving the public.
Protecting natural resources is paramount to the WCD. To bring this protection, the WCD provides technical and financial assistance to county residents, local government units, and watershed organizations as well as other agencies and organizations. We also assist these individuals and organizations with the planning, preparation, and implementation of natural resource management plans, implementation of the Wetland Conservation Act, natural resource education, and application of sound natural resource practices.
The impacts and environmental benefits of our programs are widespread. The partnerships we have with agencies within and outside the county encourages cooperation and efficiency in government. Monitoring data collected by our staff helps to detect issues affecting the environment before they become problems. The financial assistance made available through WCD programs and partnership facilitates natural resource protection that may not otherwise occur. Our education programs and information increase awareness and public support of conservation programs and environmental initiatives. And, our volunteer programs help promote environmental stewardship by engaging and involving citizens in natural resource management.
Our programs are funded through a variety of sources including county allocation, grants, contracts with local government units and watershed organizations, state and federal cost share, and a small amount from private industry. The projects implemented through our programs and partnerships benefit the environment countywide and in turn increase property values and aesthetic appeal for all. The WCD's goal is not to profit financially from our services, but to provide sound environmental services at cost to individuals and organizations, cities and townships, Washington County, and watershed organizations.