The Foster County Soil Conservation District is here to promote soil and water conservation by offering financial, technical, informational and educational assistance and opportunities to the people of Foster County. 
Take a look around and get in touch with us if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or are interested in participating in one of our programs!
What is a Soil Conservation District?
Locally Led Conservation of Resources
The SCD is a political subdivision run by a board of supervisors, three of whom are elected  to six-year terms in county elections.  The other two are appointed for one year terms.  The monthly business meetings are open to the public, and interested residents are welcome to attend.  The district helps local landowners and producers accomplish conservation goals and include conservation as a part of their operations.  The district also provides education, information, and technical assistance.  The SCD cooperates with state and federal agencies, private organizations, individuals, and businesses to accomplish these goals. The district also provides trees and other services to help residents with their conservation efforts.
Soil conservation districts were established following the Dirty Thirties to provide locally driven and controlled support for conservation efforts by landowners.  The Foster County Soil Conservation District was organized in 1944.  The District was formed to assist people in Foster County with control and prevention of erosion and conservation of soil and natural resources.

Not the Dirty Thirties, Spring of 2017!!

Photo: Storm Tracker Weather

Photo: Bev Nesler

These photos were taken this spring, showing that soil erosion is still a threat to our farmland.  Parts of eastern North Dakota have lost over half of their topsoil since 1964.  

"Most of what we call topsoil today is a mixture of the remains of the original higher organic matter topsoil mixed through tillage with some subsurface horizon.  Loss of soil in millions of acres can be measured in feet over the past 120 years...Most lost soil...is going high into the air, and only a small amount lands in a roadside ditch." (Dave Franzen, NDSU)  For more information, see the video "The History of Soil Erosion in North Dakota" on YouTube.

There are things we can do to prevent sights like this.   Windbreaks that help decrease wind erosion are being removed and not replaced. There are other practices as well that promote soil health and will also help decrease erosion, such as keeping the soil covered with vegetation or residue, minimizing soil disturbance, and keeping  live roots in the soil for as long as possible with practices like cover crops. 
Besides the District's regular monthly board meetings, the schedule may include  outreach and educational events for agricultural producers, landowners, local youth, and the general public. 
Watershed projects assist producers with installation of Best Management Practices that also  improve water quality in the watershed.
Besides several services and products for tree planting and care, the District has  a no-till drill and manure spreader available for rent and also provides rain barrels and rain barrel parts.
The district participates in several conservation education programs and also provides local workshops and events.
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Applications for Tree Planting Assistance

Currently, there are two programs other than NRCS and FSA conservation assistance programs for planting trees.  One is the Outdoor Heritage Fund Tree Planting grant administered by the ND Association of Soil Conservation Districts.  The application form is available  by clicking on the link below and can be brought to our office for assistance in planning your planting and completing the application.  The other link leads to the Renovation Program from the ND Forest Service, which is completed online, but our office can also assist with this application.  
At present, the application deadline for financial assistance in 2018 is past.   We can still begin planning your tree planting for a future application.   Please call or stop in to discuss these or any other conservation programs. 
Outdoor Heritage Tree Planting Assistance Application
ND Forest Service Renovation Program

Information on Federal Conservation Assistance Programs

NRCS ND Conservation Programs
FSA Conservation Programs (CRP)
The Function of The Conservation District:
To take available technical, financial, and educational resources, whatever their source, and focus or coordinate them so that they meet the needs of the local land user for conservation of soil, water, and related resources.
                              Adapted from Pete Nowak
Contact Information