Yell County Conservation District will provide technical assistance & guidance to all land users in the district on the wise & efficient use & conservation of soil, water, & related natural resources.  We will serve as the medium through which all individuals, agencies, organizations & institutions with conservation interest can work together in solving local land & water conservation problems.
*Assistance will be provided to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, age or handicap.
Copyright by Cheryl Barrett
102 E. 8th Street
Danville, AR  72833
479-495-2441 Ext.3
479-495-7651 (Fax)
Hours of Operation
7:00AM - 4:30PM
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This page was last updated: July 3, 2014
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What is a conservation district?  What powers do conservation districts have?  What responsibilities do conservation districts have?  How are conservation districts funded?  Who governs conservation districts?  These are questions often asked and seldom answered.  However, an attempt will be made to answer these questions and possibly others in the following paragraphs.

Conservation districts are political subdivisions of the State of Arkansas just as school districts are.  They are a creation of popular vote of resident landowners for the purpose of conserving our land and water resources as authorized by Act No. 197 of the General Assembly of 1937; the nation’s first conservation district law.  Yell County Conservation District was formed in 1939.

District boundaries generally coincide with county lines resulting in a total of 75 conservation districts in the State of Arkansas.

Conservation districts are local governments at work and their specific responsibility is management of our soil and water resources.  The idea behind their formation is to keep decision making on soil and water conservation matters at the local level.  Each district is governed by a board of five directors who serve without pay.  Two directors are appointed by the Arkansas Natural Resource Commission (ANRC) and three are elected by resident landowners.

Generally speaking, in addition to conservation district director appointments, the Commission supports districts administratively through the formation and discontinuance process of individual districts, by overseeing district elections and by removal of any director for neglect of duty or malfeasance.  It also supports districts financially....”for the purpose of aiding the development and general operation”....of districts.  However, to qualify for state funds, conservation districts must comply with certain Commission rules and policies.  A conservation district must submit an annual plan each year outlining proposed programs of work, etc. and must have local match money by a formula established by the Commission.

Act No. 197 of 1937, as amended, created an Arkansas Soil and Water Conservation Committee (predecessor to the present Commission) for the purpose of developing...” a program for Soil Conservation ...., which shall be recognized as the state’s policy on soil conservation....”.  As you can see, your conservation district and the Commission derive their authority from the same legislation to compliment each other for their mutual purpose.

Your district does not have to rely on what people in the State Capitol or Washington, D.C. might merely “think” may be your soil and water problems.  Local citizens who are familiar with local problems run the district’s affairs.  There are five local governing board members, known as directors.  The qualified electors in the district elect three directors to three-year terms and the other two are appointed by the Commission.  James E. Mitchell of Danville, and Johnny Foster of Havana hold appointed positions.  Frances Lofland of Rover, Jeff Gillespie of Danville and Brad Wear of Danville hold elected positions. The directors, although serving as public officials, do NOT draw a salary.

The district shares an office with the USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  Meetings are held every month by the local board and you not only are welcome, but are urged to attend these meetings, open to all landowners, operators and other interested persons.

In brief, the soil and water conservation district is here to place all its facilities at your disposal to help you conserve the natural resources which determines your economy now and will determine the heritage you and the rest of us will leave for future generations.