Local Organization of Districts
On June 13, 2006, the voters of Grand Forks County determined the existing two Soil Conservation Districts (SCDs) in Grand Forks County should consolidate to become one new district, Grand Forks County Soil Conservation District.
In Grand Forks County, two SCDs were originally organized. The Western Grand Forks County SCD organized in 1941 and the Eastern Grand Forks County SCD in 1944. The division line of the two districts in the county was a line running north and south, through Emerado, along township boundaries to the north and south of Grand Forks County.
SCDs were a direct result of the dust bowl years commonly called the “Dirty Thirties.” The public rapidly became aware that erosion was not just a problem for farmers, but concerned all individuals in the world.
The original concerns that resulted in our organization’s formation were drainage, water and pasture developments, tree planting (farmstead and field windbreaks), and landowner education of conservation practices. Many of the issues of the past are still priorities of the present and future. Our goals have changed as we have learned more about the resources we have. As Conservationists, we strive to help individuals make “wise management decisions” about the resources they have.
In early years the focus of our district was on agriculture and farming practices. As some of our urban communities have expanded, we have begun to look at the issues of natural resources and urbanization. The city of Grand Forks for example, has greatly expanded into prime farmland in the past twenty years. How can we best help these new residents to make the wisest use of their natural resources?
One of the first concerns in these new areas of the city and rural settings is to install trees to reduce impacts of our North Dakota winds. We assist rural homeowners with windbreak designs that will reduce wind erosion, assist in conserving energy and reduce heating costs. Care has to be taken when installing new trees so that they will not interfere with utilities, septic systems, or cause snow to accumulate on roads.
Education continues to be a priority. The district believes it is important to provide education for current landowners and future landowners. Today’s landowners focus on current resource concerns. However, our future lies in the hands of today’s youth. They will be tomorrows conservationists and it is important to also provide them with the tools to do a good job.