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What is the Starke County Soil and Water Conservation District?

The Starke County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) is a legal subdivision of state government. It is an independent body formed under and subject to the Indiana Soil and Water Conservation District Act (IC-13-3-1). the district is managed by a board of five local supervisors and is therefore an example of local self-government. Three of these supervisors are elected by landowners of the district and two are appointed by the State Soil Conservation Board, upon recommendation of the leadership of the district. All serve without pay.

The Starke County Soil and Water Conservation District was officially organized on January 15, 1962. This organization occurred through the efforts of local landowners and upon completion of a successful referendum. The district's boundaries conform with those of the county.

The district does not have the power of eminent domain, does not have the power to tax or bond and does not have any regulatory power. It cannot replace or duplicate the functions of other local government units.

The supervisors of the Starke County SWCD are responsible for providing leadership in the conservation and development of soil, water and related resources within the district's boundaries. The major purpose of the district is to analyze needs and develop and carry out both short and long range programs aimed at solving resource problems, primarily dealing with soil and water resources. The ultimate district objective is to cause soil and water conservation practices and systems to be implemented upon the land.

The district supervisors and staff work with both rural and urban dwelling landowners or occupiers, groups, local agencies and others to prevent resource problems, correct existing soil and water conservation problems and help utilize the county's natural resource capabilities. Through the district, local people are also better able to organize and coordinate their efforts in obtaining technical and financial assistance from state and federal agencies with responsibilities and expertise in natural resource use and development.