History of Conservation

Updated November 4, 2020

Photo from  Dustbowl EraDuring the 1930's, the Dust Bowl made the need to conserve natural resources, particularly soil, very clear. Agencies ranging from Land Grant Universities to the Federal Emergency Relief Administration researched and implemented conservation practices throughout the nation. Eventually the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) was created under the Soil Conservation Act of 1935, to develop and implement soil erosion control programs. It was soon evident that local leadership was needed to encourage local participation and coordinate efforts of conservation agencies. As a consequence, the U.S. Congress developed a model Conservation District Law, for consideration by state governments.

In 1937, the State Conservation Committee was established by the Kansas legislature with the enactment of the Kansas Conservation District Law. In 1972, the State Soil Conservation Committee's name was changed to the State Conservation Commission (SCC). The desire of Conservation District supervisors to share their experiences with other districts and promote conservation statewide led to the organization of the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts in 1944. In 2011, Governor Brownback combined the SCC into the Kansas Department of Agriculture. The change left the Commission as a policy making board and incorporated the SCC into the new Division of Conservation (DOC) within the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

Chronologicial Timeline of Conservation

In 2011, the SCC staff was consolidated into the newly formed Division of Conservation (DOC), Kansas Department of Agriculture.  The following is history of the SCC and DOC from 1937 - 2011.

  • Timeline