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Warren County Conservation District and its role in ‘wise land use’

This is Conservation District Week. The Times Observer will be publishing a series of articles on the history of Conservation Districts and how they work today; the effect of Conservation Districts on agriculture; their role in dirt and gravel road projects, stream stabilization projects, and the benefits of having project permits done locally; as well as education efforts and outdoor recreation opportunities with the Warren County Conservation District at the Hatch Run Conservation Demonstration Area.

The Warren County Conservation District is a local conservation organization formed to promote the protection and wise use of land and other natural resources.

Conservation Districts were first formed as local grassroots groups to encourage farm conservation planning in response to the Dust Bowl in the 1930’s. The idea behind these small local groups was that they would know best how to handle local soil and water problems in their own areas. The emphasis of these groups was to educate landowners about wise land use and proper soil stewardship.

Technical conservation expertise was made available to all landowners through the United States Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) Soil Conservation Service. A big help in getting the Warren County Conservation District started were the members of the Upper Allegheny Young Farmers Association. Most of this association consisted of members who were World War II veterans taking farming courses under the G.I. Bill.

The District dates back to April 12, 1948 and is governed by a board of eight directors. The primary goal of the District is the protection, improvement, and conservation of the county’s soil, water, and related natural resources as well as educating the community in various conservation and environmental practices and methods.

The District coordinates educational events, completes conservation projects, and provides assistance to farmers, citizens, land owners, partner organizations, municipalities and more. District staff implements these activities, often in cooperation with a number of partnering agencies and organizations.

Some of our partnering organizations are actually co-located in the Warren County Conservation District office. These organizations include the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Penn Soil Resource Conservation and Development Council (Penn Soil RC&D) and Conewango Creek Watershed Association (CCWA). The Warren County Conservation District office is located in Warren, PA at the corner of Hatch Run and Conewango Ave.

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