Monday, October 17, 2011

The Why and the How of Conservation

by Van Slack, district technician

Have you ever had the experience of knowing why you should do something but not knowing how? Or conversely, knowing how to do something but not knowing why you should. Conservation Districts are where the why and how of conservation come together. The mission of the Guernsey Soil and Water conservation district is to promote through education and technical assistance the sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations. Education and technical assistance are the backbone of most soil and water conservation districts. Education is the why and technical assistance is the how.

It seems like as a small child develops, the first word they learn after mamma and dada is WHY! And I think maybe the very next word might be HOW. Why daddy, or how did you do that mama, are a couple of phrases you might be familiar with. Conservation can be a lot like that. As a land owner or land user you might ask similar questions. Why should I install that access road? How do you install a spring development for livestock water? Why should I use no-till? How do I put a siphon system into a pond so I can water my livestock?

Soil and Water Conservation Districts are where the why and the how meet. Conservation districts are a valuable resource within your local communities. Every county in the State of Ohio has one. And there are over 3,000 conservation districts nationwide. They provide educational opportunities for school age children, youth, and adults. They work one on one with landowners and with land users to solve natural resource issues by providing technical assistance. They work with local governmental agencies to solve resource concerns on a larger scale. Conservation districts partner with other agencies such as the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the OSU Extension to meet the natural resource needs of local communities and individuals.

Each soil and water conservation district is governed by a locally elected five member board of supervisors. This local leadership allows programs to be customized to fit the needs and concerns of each individual county. Some districts have equipment rental programs that include no-till drills, planters, and brillion seeders. A few have lime spreaders, mulching equipment and sprayers. Other services offered by conservation districts are tree seedling sales, fish sales, and wildlife related seed and plant sales. Just contact your local district to see what it has to offer.

If you own land or know of somebody who does and they have a question related to natural resources and conservation, contact your local soil and water conservation district. A list of district contacts can be found on the web HERE

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