Camden County Soil and Water Conservation District
Soil and water conservation districts are local units of government responsible for the conservation activities within their county boundaries. The purposes of the districts are to focus attention on land and water resource problems; to develop programs to solve those problems and to coordinate help from public and private sources. Soil and water districts rely primarily on voluntary action and cooperation to achieve their objectives. The districts receive guidance from the Missouri Soil and Water Districts Commission, whose members are appointed by the governor.
A soil and water conservation district is established by a vote of the landowners within a county. In Missouri, all 114 counties have established districts. In Camden County, the SWCD was established in 1969. Serving on the first board of supervisors were Dean Mauss, Malcolm Osborn, Allen Willey, Hiram Shepherd and Leon Chilton. Mr. Chilton was the ex-officio member appointed by the University Extension Service while local citizens elected the other members. SWCD supervisors receive no salary and donate their time.
Over the years, the local SWCD has provided educational seminars and events and technical and financial assistance for erosion control. Some of the projects include: poster contest for youth, photo contest for youth and adults, conservation education days for youth, field days and tours, no-till drill rentals, multi-flora rose control, Women in Agriculture organization, prescribed burn workshops, grazing schools, farm and home safety camp for youth.
The SWCD works in cooperation with several other agencies in providing service to local landowners. Those agencies include the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Services Agency, University Extension, Missouri Department of Conservation, and the County Commission.Local soil and water conservation districts receive funds from the 1/10 of 1 percent parks, soils and water sales tax.