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On July 31, 1940, the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors declared the need to preserve the county’s natural resources. The Supervisors authorized the creation of what is known today as the Schoharie County Soil and Water Conservation District, the first one to be created in New York State. The District works to assist individual landowners, groups, and units of government with any natural resource concerns that are brought before it. This includes providing technical advice, technical assistance or helping to find a solution through other means. Over the years, the District has striven to develop programs that deliver benefits to our municipalities, landowners and agricultural operations in the county. Today the Schoharie County Soil and Water Conservation District assists with:
Agricultural Conservation - We work with all sizes and types of local farms, with an emphasis on the implementation of conservation practices which preserve and enhance our natural resources. Some of these practices include the installation of structural practices such as heavy-use protection areas, roof and covers and fencing. We also work with farms to increase the adoption of riparian buffer areas, no-till planting, and planting cover crops.
Municipal Conservation -The District holds our annual tree and shrub seedling sale, held in April of every year. Twice a year, the district holds a fish sale for farm pond stocking of bass, trout and grass carp. These sales give rural landowners an opportunity to learn more about backyard conservation practices that can help promote healthy soil and water on their property.
Environmental Education –Each year the District makes an effort to participate in education and outreach events throughout the county. You’ll catch us at the Schoharie County Fair, Conservation Field Day, Ag and Energy Day, Ag Day at Schoharie CS. We also help Envirothon teams learn the skills needed for their competition.
Stream Conservation – While flooding may be a major concern for most residents, the loss of property, clean drinking water, and recreational uses are common concerns as well. The District assists landowners, towns, and villages with issues along their waterways with a back-to-nature type of approach, using methods that are highly effective, the least invasive, and cost effective. Since the stream program’s inception in 2008, the District has secured $8 million in grant funding to assist in paying for stream projects. For the smaller scale projects, we are very fortunate to have a great relationship with SUNY Cobleskill. They have been a tremendous resource for plant materials to aide in stream side plantings, as well as volunteers.
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