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About SWCDs

About Our District

Marion Soil and Water Conservation District is one of 45 Conservation Districts in Oregon. We have an independent governing board with seven elected director positions. Marion SWCD’s mission is to protect, conserve and improve the quality of soil and water in Marion County through planning, technical assistance, and education.

Special Districts

Special districts are a form of local government created to meet a specific need. ORS 198.010 and 198.335 authorize 28 types of districts, some examples of which are water control, irrigation, ports, fire, hospital, sanitary, cemetery, park and recreation, weed control, and soil and water conservation districts. Oregon has over 1,000 special districts, including 252 Fire Protection Districts, 97 Domestic Water Supply Districts, and 58 Irrigation Districts.

Conservation Districts

Across the U.S. almost 3,000 conservation districts are working to coordinate assistance to develop locally-driven solutions to natural resources concerns.

District History

In response to the 1930s Dust Bowl, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Soil Conservation Service in 1935. Within a couple years, the need for local leadership became apparent, which led to the establishment of the Oregon Soil Conservation Committee in 1939.  Between 1947-1953, three conservation districts were organized in Marion County  to work on problems associated with flood control, riverbank stabilization, weed control, improvement of fertility, and conservation.

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