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About the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board

Overview

The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) is the state agency that administers Texas’ soil and water conservation law and coordinates conservation and nonpoint source water pollution abatement programs throughout the State. The TSSWCB was created in 1939 by the Texas Legislature to organize the State into SWCDs and to serve as a centralized agency for communicating with the Texas Legislature as well as other state and federal entities. Each SWCD is an independent political subdivision of state government and is governed by five directors elected by rural landowners. Local SWCDs are actively involved throughout the State in soil and water conservation activities such as operation and maintenance of flood control structures; sponsoring pesticide workshops, producer field days, land and range judging contests, and scholarships; and securing money for the construction of outdoor classrooms.

Headquartered in Temple, the TSSWCB offers technical assistance to the 216 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). A seven-member State Board governs the TSSWCB. The State Board is composed of two Governor appointees and five landowners elected from across Texas by the more than 1,000 local SWCD Directors. The TSSWCB is the lead state agency for the planning, management, and abatement of agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint source water pollution, and administers the Water Supply Enhancement Program. The TSSWCB maintains regional offices in strategic locations in the State to help carry out the agency’s responsibilities.

The TSSWCB provides assistance to SWCDs in financial and program matters, as well as the administration of grants. Also, the TSSWCB provides SWCDs with information and guidance on planning and implementing projects and regulatory issues related to nonpoint source water pollution. The TSSWCB employs ten Field Representatives that regularly meet with SWCDs and provide assistance in areas such as the Texas Open Meetings Act, the Texas Open Records Act, audits and financial reporting, wage and hour laws, and assistance in coordinating programs carried out in neighboring districts. In addition, the TSSWCB assists SWCDs in obtaining funding for a wide variety of special conservation initiatives. The TSSWCB administers a state-funded technical assistance program and provides additional assistance to SWCDs through offices located in Hale Center, Harlingen, Mount Pleasant, Nacogdoches, San Angelo, Dublin, and Wharton.

Agency Mission

It is the mission of the TSSWCB, working in conjunction with local SWCDs, to encourage the wise and productive use of natural resources. It is our goal to ensure the availability of those resources for future generations so that all Texans' present and future needs can be met in a manner that promotes a clean, healthy environment and strong economic growth.

Agency Philosophy

The TSSWCB will act in accordance with the highest standards of ethics, accountability, efficiency, and openness. We affirm that the conservation of our natural resources is both a public and a private benefit, and we approach our activities with a deep sense of purpose and responsibility. We believe the existing unique organizational structure of SWCDs, whereby owners and operators of the state's farm and grazing lands organize and govern themselves through a program of voluntary participation, is the most realistic and cost-effective means of achieving the State's goals for the conservation and wise use of its natural resources.

Enabling Legislation

"Protecting and Enhancing Natural Resources since 1939."

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