About the Division of Soil & Water Conservation
The division provides programs, technical services and educational outreach promoting voluntary natural resource management and conservation on the private lands of NC through a non-regulatory, incentive-driven approach.
The division cooperates with federal and local partners to administer a comprehensive statewide program to protect and conserve the state's soil and water resources. The division serves as staff for the North Carolina Soil and Water Conservation Commission to help deliver conservation programs at the local level. The division provides leadership and assistance in locally-led conservation to the state's 96 local soil and water conservation districts and their state association by providing financial, technical and educational assistance to districts, landowners, agricultural producers and the general public. The division delivers programs in nonpoint source pollution management, cost share for agricultural best management practices, technical and engineering assistance, soil surveys, conservation easements, and environmental and conservation education.
Soil and Water Conservation Commission
The commission provides leadership in the partnership between the division, local districts, federal and other agencies. The commission is the policy and rule-making board for state programs, and establishes cost share procedures, allocates funds, considers programmatic changes and settles contract disputes.
The division is recognized as having one of the nation's top soil and water conservation programs for private lands. This effort is achieved through a conservation partnership comprised of the state division, local soil and water conservation districts and the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service, as well as private and nonprofit entities. The partnership is successful in putting conservation measures on the ground across the NC landscape, largely due to the strong local district infrastructure.
Local conservation districts help the division meet NCDA&CS goals
The division is statutorily connected to NC's 96 local conservation districts through General Statue 139 and delivers its programs through the comprehensive district infrastructure. The division cost shares on 116 county-employed district technician positions throughout the state.
Districts partner with federal, state and local entities to deliver state and federal conservation programs related to water quality practices, farmland protection, wetlands restoration and wildlife habitat enhancement. Districts assist with community conservation planning in natural resource management areas such as erosion and sediment control, stormwater management, flood control, water use efficiency, stream restoration, small-plot forestry management and restoration efforts after natural disasters. Districts also help implement conservation easements and respond to local projects, such as building environmental education centers.
Partnership Mission Statement
This statement was developed by the North Carolina Conservation Partnership, which consists of the division, the NRCS, the commission and soil and water conservation districts.
Vision: A dynamic partnership committed to quality leadership and customer service for the conservation of our natural resources.
Guiding Principles: The partnership values:
Greatest Strengths: Legislative support, technical knowledge, organization for local delivery of programs, credible history of quality programming, trusted by clients and customers.
- voluntary, incentive based programs
- diversity in the partnership
- clean water
- conservation as an investment in the future
- productive agriculture being environmentally compatible
- opportunities to provide assistance
- full respect for the total partnership