The State Soil and Water Conservation Board was organized on May 29, 1939, as the State Soil Conservation Board. It came about as a result of a soil-conservation bill passed by the Texas legislature earlier that year. Its purpose was to implement state conservation laws and organize and assist soil-conservation districts across the state. State headquarters was established in Temple, and a five-member board served as the agency's policy-making body. The board was elected by conservation-district directors at conventions held in the five conservation zones of the state. Shortly after the board was established V. C. Marshall, an original board member, became the agency's first executive director. Sixteen soil-conservation districts were organized by 1949. In 1965 the agency's name was changed to State Soil and Water Conservation Board. Over the years the board has coordinated a variety of programs. In cooperation with other conservation and agricultural agencies, over a billion feet of terraces have been constructed to prevent soil erosion. The board also works with the Railroad Commission to examine and care for areas affected by mining operations. The agency has initiated programs of matching funds for individual districts, provides free technical assistance to landowners, and administers a brush-control program under the Federal Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act to assist in flood prevention along small watersheds throughout the state. The agency has conducted a number of studies to identify potential conservation problems, such as the effects of salinity on agricultural land and water. It has also implemented programs to fight agricultural and silvicultural pollution. In 1991 the board had a budget of more than $3 million and 211 conservation districts were in existence.
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Laurie E. Jasinski, “State Soil and Water Conservation Board,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 20, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/state-soil-and-water-conservation-board.
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.