The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) was created in 1939, by the Texas Legislature to organize the state into soil conservation districts where there was a need expressed by local landowners. The TSSWCB was also designed to serve as the state-level administrative agency for local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) once the districts were organized.
Today, there are 216 SWCDs organized across the state. Each district is an independent political subdivision of state government that is governed by five directors elected by landowners in the district. The TSSWCB provides assistance to the districts through field representatives that meet regularly with districts, through TSSWCB regional offices and through programs administered by the TSSWCB.
Conservation Assistance - Matching Funds Program
The Texas Legislature initiated a program in 1969 through which funds are appropriated to the TSSWCB for allocation to SWCDs on a matching basis. To receive money under this program, a district must raise funds from sources other than State funds or earnings from State funds.
Technical Assistance Grants
Since 1984, the Texas Legislature has appropriated funds annually to the TSSWCB for the purpose of assisting SWCDs in their efforts to provide technical assistance to agricultural producers.
This grant may be used to pay technical employees for performing the duties of an SWCD soil conservation technician. An SWCD soil conservation technician for an SWCD works with owners and operators of agricultural or other lands on the installation and maintenance of various conservation practices.
SWCD Program Specialists (TSSWCB Field Representatives)
Field Representatives meet with districts at monthly meetings, providing SWCDs advice and consultation on various state and federal laws applicable to all districts and provide general leadership on conservation programs available through the district program.
SWCDs are furnished assistance in such areas 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.