What are conservation districts?

conservation district window to healthy lands logo

Washington conservation districts help people take care of everything they can see outside their windows – from farms, to forests, to urban yards, to rivers, lakes, and coastline.  For more than 75 years, they have served as trusted, non-regulatory local partners helping people care for natural resources. Every one of Washington’s 39 counties is represented by at least one conservation district, and their staff stand ready to help.

Districts offer a range of voluntary services including assistance with: erosion control, habitat restoration, manure management, wildfire prevention/mitigation, stormwater management, forest plans, irrigation efficiency, noxious weed control, fish barrier removals, livestock stream crossings, and more.

King Conservation District conducts water quality testing

King Conservation District conducts water quality testing

Reasons to contact your local conservation district:

  • Conservation districts are trusted partners. They are non-regulatory entities that do not enforce compliance or impose penalties, but instead work collaboratively with landowners to help them responsibly and efficiently manage their land.
  • Conservation districts have a personal investment and interest in improving the quality of life in their communities. Because they live where they work, staff have deep, firsthand knowledge of the issues and challenges faced by landowners.
  • Conservation districts are repositories of natural resource expertise, knowledge, education, and dedication. Staff offer landowners expertise in fields such as soil resource management, conservation biology, forest and ecological engineering, and more.

Underwood Conservation District assists a landowner

Local leadership

Conservation districts are locally led. Each district is directed by a five-member board of supervisors. Three members are elected locally, at least two of whom must be landowners or operators of a farm. The SCC appoints the remaining two members, including at least one landowner or farm operator.

There are 45 Conservation Districts in the state of Washington. Find yours today! Visit the District Locator Map or go to the Conservation District Directory.

Chapter 89.08 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) is the enabling statute for conservation district work in Washington and was adopted by the legislature in 1939.