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Conservation Districts

Conservation districts have their roots in the great Dust Bowl of the 1930's, in response to devastating soil erosion conditions. On February 27, 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a letter to all state governors urging the passage of state legislation to effect a soil conservation district program. The act provided that land occupiers could organize soil conservation districts as local governmental subdivisions of the state. Forty-five states enacted such laws before the first statewide New Hampshire soil conservation district was created in May, 1945 [RSA 432.12 Creation of Conservation Districts]. By 1946, each county had its own conservation district, as it remains today.

Today across the United States, nearly 3,000 conservation districts—almost one in every county—are helping local people to conserve land, water, forests, wildlife and related natural resources. Known in various parts of the country as "soil and water conservation districts," "resource conservation districts," "natural resource districts," "land conservation committees" and similar names, they share a single mission: to coordinate assistance from all available sources – public and private, local, state and federal – in an effort to develop locally-driven solutions to natural resource concerns.

In New Hampshire, more than 100 citizens serve on 10 conservation district governing boards. They are environmentally aware citizens of their county from diversified backgrounds who are concerned with the wise management of our natural resources. Districts set priorities; deliver information and education efforts; provide administrative, technical and financial assistance to cooperators, land users, and towns; and sponsor projects. Districts rely on voluntary cooperation to achieve thoughtful use or needed treatment of the land.

New Hampshire Conservation Districts

Belknap County Conservation District
(603) 527-5880

Carroll County Conservation District
(603) 447-2771

Cheshire County Conservation District
(603) 756-2988, ext. 116

Coos County Conservation District
(603) 788-4651

Grafton County Conservation District
(603) 353-4652, ext. 103

Hillsborough County Conservation District
(603) 673-2409, ext. 100

Merrimack County Conservation District
(603) 223-6023

Rockingham County Conservation District
(603) 679-2790

Strafford County Conservation District
(603) 749-3037

Sullivan County Conservation District
(603) 542-4891

The New Hampshire Association of Conservation Districts (NHACD) is a private, non-profit, non-governmental association of the 10 county conservation districts, operating under its own constitution and by-laws. Its primary concern, as identified in Article I of its constitution is "the conservation and orderly development of New Hampshire's land and water resources through local, self-governed Soil Conservation Districts."


NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food
Mailing: PO Box 2042, Concord NH 03302 -2042
Physical: 25 Capitol Street, Second Floor, Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-3551 | fax: (603) 271-1109