Land & Water Conservation Department
TO ASSIST THE PUBLIC IN PROTECTING, ENHANCING AND RESTORING THE NATURAL RESOURCES OF BAYFIELD COUNTY
"The estimated amount of topsoil that erodes away each day in the United States would fill a line of dump trucks 3,500 miles."
Wisconsin's Soil Conservation District was enacted in 1937 as Chapter 92 of the state statutes. This enabled the state to receive technical assistance from the federal Soil Conservation Service. Most of Wisconsin's counties formed conservation districts through the 1940's and 1950's. The districts remained in place until Chapter 92 was revised. Wisconsin's policy makers wanted to improve the capability of county government to administer conservation programs and establish links among all county departments involved in natural resource protection. In 1982 the conservation districts were abolished and their authority was transferred to the newly created Land Conservation Committees (LCCs).
LCCs are a potent force for conservation because unlike conservation districts, the LCCs are part of the county board, and they possess legislative authority. To view the Wisconsin Soil & Water Conservation Statutes under Section 92, follow this link: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/statutes/Stat0092 (pdf).
The primary role of the LCCs is create and implement their own county conservation programs. Most choose to implement state and federal conservation programs as well. The land conservation department (LCD) was created to advise the LCC, administer policies, prepare the budget and workplan, and provide technical assistance. Most LCD staff are county employees and most LCCs have a direct role in hiring the LCD staff to implement their programs. Although the LCC and LCD have individual responsibilities, they function together with a common purpose of conserving the county's natural resources.