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Soil & water conservation districts build on Oregon's past
10/23/2013

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Oregon’s soil and water conservation districts continue to play a big role in protecting the state’s natural resources, but these days, can use all the help they can get:


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Way before today’s baby boomers were even born, there was a concerted effort to protect the state’s natural resources on a local level, according to John Byers of the Oregon Department of Agriculture:

BYERS:  “Soil and water conservation districts represent the farming community. They are the original stewards of the land and they are exceedingly relevant today as they were 75 years ago because they continue to do water quality improvement statewide.”  :15



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The state’s 46 soil and water conservation districts have been instrumental in completing a variety of effective, on-the-ground projects that help landowners be good environmental stewards. But they aren’t doing it alone:

BYERS:  “Water quality improvement is everyone’s responsibility. If we can work in tandem with our partners– which means soil and water conservation districts, watershed councils, and our other state and federal partners– we can accomplish more on the ground working collectively.”  :15



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Next month, Oregon’s soil and water conservation districts and watershed councils will meet jointly to help identify partnership opportunities, recognizing that financial resources are limited and both share a responsibility of improving watershed conditions at the local level. And with district director elections on the ballot in many places in a few weeks, it’s a good time for Oregon voters to get more acquainted with the issues and the candidates. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.



Additional audio: Audio 03
BYERS says SWCDs have nearly 75 years of experience helping landowners complete effective on-the-ground projects that make a difference in protecting land and water:

“Soil and water conservation districts have been for many years specifically improving water quality by working with the agricultural community by conducting conservation projects on the ground.”  :13



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BYERS says the November election often gives Oregon voters a chance to have a say in local conservation efforts:

“Soil and water conservation district directors have been on the ballot for many, many years. It’s important that the general public have a say in how conservation is conducted in their community. I encourage everyone to look at the issues and pay particular attention to the candidates.”  :15



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