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Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) were first created in 1938 in response to the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s as intensive farming during a time of drought allowed high winds to erode the landscape and carry clouds of dust from the Great Plains all the way to Washington, D.C. Districts were subsequently developed across the country to encourage landowners to alter their farming techniques in order to more wisely use our soil and water resources.

Over the years, soil and water conservation districts expanded their focuses beyond agriculture to also provide assistance in forested, lakes and urban areas of their communities. Districts have also expanded their base of clientele to include not only private landowners, but also other units of government such as counties, cities, townships and watershed districts. One crucial niche districts fill is that of providing soil and water conservation services to owners of private lands. Privately owned lands make up 78 percent of the land surface in Minnesota.

Managing these private lands, whether agriculture, forest, lakes, or urban, is key to Minnesota’s quality of life. The Koochiching Soil & Water Conservation District partners with state and federal agencies to leverage additional funding for conservation practices, allowing us to provide a variety of services to assist landowners throughout Koochiching County.

For more information on the history of SWCDs, visit