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  1. Conservation District Partners

  2. Main Partners in Conservation Conservation Districts partner with many local and statewide groups and organizations. (The Building Partnership module in this Certification Program will discuss that in more detail.) The two main agencies that assist with Conservation Districts are the Colorado State Conservation Board (CSCB), and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS). There are also two main non-profit organizations that assist Districts: the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts (CACD) and the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD).

  3. CSCB Relationship The Conservation District Act provides for CSCB to coordinate programs of the various Conservation Districts, assist in planning local programs, assure that each District is operated and maintained as an entity of government and, administer state and federal allocated grants and funding to Conservation Districts. CSCB is a sub-program of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, housed in the Conservation Services Division. Local District administration assistance and program coordination functions are carried out by the Conservation Specialists under CSCB.

  4. CDA History In October of 1954 Governor Dan Thornton designated the State Soil Conservation Board as the official state agency to carry out the state functions as required under Public Law No. 566. In 2002 legislation was passed to move the State Conservation Program from the Colorado Department of Natural Resources to the Colorado Department of Agriculture and to remove “soil” from the names of districts to better reflect the current broader activities of the conservation districts in this state. Today there are 76 Conservation Districts with the state agency housed in the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), Conservation Services Division. The Districts continue to work for constructive land use providing for the conservation and preservation of natural resources, including adequate underground water reserves, the control of wind and water erosion, noxious weed control and the reduction of damage resulting from floods across the entire state.

  5. Colorado State Conservation Board (CSCB) The CSCB is created in C.R.S. 335-70-103 and consists of nine members. One member is a qualified elector of the State appointed by the Governor from the State at large for four-year terms. The remaining eight positions on the Board are filled by elections held within the watersheds as listed below for four-year terms. A candidate for the Board shall be or shall have been an elected supervisor of a local Conservation District. The number of members to be elected and the watershed from which they are to be elected are outlined on the next page.

  6. Watershed Representation +1 Governor Appointee Board Member Colorado State Conservation Board (CSCB) is comprised of one representative from each of the following Watersheds:

  7. CSCB Vacancies Any vacancies occurring in the elected positions on the Board are filled by the Board appointment of a person who would be qualified to stand for election for the board and who is from the same area in which the vacancy occurred, and the appointee holds office until the expiration of the term of the office to which he/she was appointed. Members of the CSCB serve without pay except for their actual travelling and living expenses while on official state board business. The Board provides administrative and financial assistance to Colorado’s 76 conservation districts. It also coordinates various programs with state and federal agencies on natural resource issues, provides guidance and assists districts on various water and energy programs. One board member serves as a representative on the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board. The Director of CSU Extension, the Director of the State Experiment Station, the Commissioner of Agriculture, and the Execute Director of the Department of Natural Resources serve in an advisory capacity to CSCB. The Board also works in partnership with NRCS and the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts (CACD).

  8. CSCB Powers & Duties Part 1 The CSCB Powers and Duties Part 1: (see CRS 35-70-103 for more details) • To promote and assist in the organization of conservation districts in any section of the state where erosion damage exists or is threatened; • To accept petitions for the organization of conservation districts; • To prepare and present to the qualified voters uniform bylaws for the conduct of the business of such districts; • To act in an advisory capacity with the board of supervisors of each district and to coordinate the programs of all conservation districts; • To act as the state board of appeals; • To prepare a uniform and adequate system of accounting for districts, which may be adopted and used by all districts within the state; • To administer and disburse any funds that may be made available to the state board of assisting conservation districts in the conservation of soil and water resources of the state of Colorado and to defray expenses of the state board and its duly appointed or employed agents in carrying out the provisions of this article;

  9. CSCB Powers & Duties Part 2 • To loan money to conservation districts to assist such districts in furthering the purposes of this article; • To undertake studies of watershed planning and to undertake development of watershed flood prevention and underground water storage projects, both on its own initiative and in response to requests submitted to the board by one or more soil or water conservation districts, flood prevention or control districts, boards of county commissioners, municipalities, drainage or irrigation districts, or other legally constituted bodies having authority under state law to carry out, maintain, and operate the works of improvement; • To hold public hearings at any point within or without each proposed watershed for the purpose of determining the extent of public interest, the degree of anticipated cooperation, and any other data and information needed by the state board in making decisions as to each project; • To plan, in cooperation with the United States government or any of its agencies, the state of Colorado or any of its political subdivisions, and private individuals or corporations, conservation districts, and others, watershed improvement, underground water storage and flood prevention projects, conservation and erosion control practices, and other projects not inconsistent with this article; • Within the limits of available funds, to administer, direct, and operate such watershed improvement, underground water storage and flood prevention projects, conservation and erosion control projects, and other similar activities;

  10. CSCB Powers & DutiesPart 3 • To administer and expend funds made available to the state board by the United States government or any of its agencies or by the state of Colorado or any of its political subdivisions or funds derived from any other source for the purpose of planning, developing, and putting into operation practices and projects undertaken in accordance with this subsection; • To obtain options upon and to acquire, or acquire control of, by purchase, exchange, lease, gift, grant, bequest, devise, or otherwise, any property, real or personal, or rights or interests therein; to maintain, administer, and improve any properties acquired, to receive income from such properties, and to expend such income in carrying out the purposes and provisions of this article; and to sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of any of its property or interests therein in furtherance of the purposes and provisions of this article; • To erect suitable structures and maintain any facilities, so as to arrest or prevent the erosion of soils or lands, to improve the watershed and prevent floods, and to increase underground water reserves, with due consideration to established water rights; • To accept grants, services, and materials and to borrow money from the United States or from any corporation or agency created or designed by the United States to lend or grant money, or from the state of Colorado or any of its subdivisions; • To report annually at such times and on such matters as the commissioner of agriculture may require; • To place any funds it receives pursuant to paragraph (e) of this subsection (6) into a trust and to administer and expend any moneys in such trust.

  11. CSCB Staff Duties • Advise CD supervisors & employees on policies and programs • Consult with local CDs relative to their authorities & procedures of operation • Confer with CD supervisors on programs and needs of the district • Provide technical advice in preparation of district programs, work plans, etc. • Assist in planning and coordinating Area Association of CDs meetings • Perform CSCB responsibilities pertaining to CD Supervisor elections and appointments CSCB Program Staff implement and deliver technical, administrative, and financial assistance under the direction and guidance of the CSCB and the CDA. The CSCB, Staff and districts work in a cooperative effort to offer assistance to landowners and citizens of the district to help solve natural resource problems including soil erosion, water quality and quantity, noxious weed control, wildlife habitat, and much more. Contact information is available on the CSCB website:

  12. Who is the specialist for my district?

  13. Natural Resources Conservation Services Our mission: To help people implement local solutions that sustain and improve Colorado’s natural resources through partnerships, planning, and programs. • NRCS provides assistance to land users, communities, units of state and local government, and other Federal agencies in planning and implementing conservation systems. • The purpose is to reduce erosion, improve soil and water quality, improve and conserve wetlands, enhance fish and wildlife habitat, improve air quality, improve pasture and range condition, reduce upstream flooding and improve woodlands. • Provides technical assistance through staff, standards & specs, technical training, etc. • For a full listing of available programs, please visit: The NRCS has a long and extensive tradition of work with conservation districts. The NRCS provides personnel, equipment, office space, and counsel to districts. It also provides technical assistance and financial assistance to the land users through the conservation districts.

  14. Colorado Association of Conservation Districts (CACD) CACD and CSCB form a strong partnership to serve the best interests of the conservation districts and landowners to ultimately provide for the conservation and preservation of natural resources. For more information on the CACD Board of Directors, staff and programs go to P.O. Box 4138 Woodland Park, 80866 Phone/Fax: 719-686-0020 CACD is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization representing the 76 conservation districts in the State of Colorado. Conservation Districts are represented by the CACD at the state level and the National Association of Conservation Districts at the national level. CACD serves as a state voice for conservation districts on state policy, legislation, communication, and funding for conservation activities and has a strong lobbying component. Each of the ten major watersheds elects one supervisor to serve as director on the CACD board. CACD has program areas with committees including: District and association outlook, Soil and Land, Education and Public Outreach, Small Acreage and Urban Interface, And Water.

  15. National Association ofConservation Districts NACD represents the national interests of conservation districts in the area of policy development and program delivery. The NACD leadership and staff are available to you at any time. If you have a concern that needs to be addressed, please pick up the phone and call their staff or officers or send them an email. The more they are aware of your needs, the better equipped they are to represent districts in Colorado. • NACD Priority Issues: • Public awareness and public relations • Education & Stewardship program is high priority • Support for state & local members • Capacity building, training, and resources • Working with partners to increase opportunities • Contribution agreements, computer network & connectivity, grants, federal programs for producers, etc. • Grassroots advocacy • Farm Bill deliberations • Federal Appropriations • Influence from the ground up! Contact: NACD is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization representing over three thousand districts and their state associations in the fifty states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

  16. Simplified Relationship Chart

  17. KEY POINTS • The Colorado State Conservation Board (CSCB) is housed in the Colorado Department of Agriculture. • There are 10 watersheds in Colorado. • The local Conservation Specialist (employees of CSCB) are the “local” contacts for CSCB and are there to assist districts with questions/concerns/etc. • The two main non-profit organizations that assist Districts are: the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts (CACD) and the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD).