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State Soil & Water Conservation Commission
The Louisiana State Soil and Water Conservation Commission (SWCC) was created by the State Legislature in l938 under Act 370 to develop the LA conservation district program and to establish operational policy, and provide general regulatory oversight of the conservation district program. Although the legislature made significant changes to the make-up of the State Commission in l956 and in l985, its functions and relationship with the conservation districts has remained the same since the enactment of Act No. 370 of l938.
The State Commission consists of eight members. The Chancellor of the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry and the President of the Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts are members of the commission by virtue of their offices.
The other five members are SWCD supervisors elected by fellow supervisors, one from each of the five State Commission Areas established by the legislature. The make up of the five State Commission Areas is listed in the Louisiana Revised Statutes, Title 3, Section 1204.
In addition to regulatory oversight, the State Commission supports conservation districts in the following ways:
- Guides state policy in soil and water conservation.
- Assist conservation districts in exercising their powers and carrying out their programs.
- Makes SWCD supervisor appointments and assists in conducting district elections.
- Directs the legal process of forming or discontinuing soil and water conservation districts.
- Coordinates district programs by advice and consultation.
- Secures assistance for districts from federal and state agencies.
- Prepares budget requests for state appropriations to support district programs.
- Disburses funds to districts and reviews district expenditures.
- Keeps districts informed and facilitates the exchange of information and experiences among districts.
- Disseminates statewide information on programs and activities of districts.
- Serves as the official state entity to cooperate with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service