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Conservation districts are Special Districts like irrigation districts or fire districts. Special Districts are financed through property taxes, fees for services, or a combination thereof. For more information about special districts, read this brochure. Conservation districts are not non-profit organizations (501 (c) 3), but are 170(c)1 organizations, which means donations to Benton SWCD are tax-deductible.
Conservation districts are directed by a governing body elected by the voters. Benton SWCD board members and staff are proudly committed to serving the residents of Benton County.
Benton SWCD is one of 45 conservation districts in Oregon working to put conservation efforts on the ground. The results include cleaner water, improved crop land, pastures, forests, and restored wildlife habitat.
Learn how conservation districts got their start.
Benton SWCD was organized under the Oregon Soil and Water District Law ORS 568.210-780. The Certificate of Organization creating Benton SWCD was issued December 28, 1956.
Benton SWCD provides leadership at the local level. We help landowners and cooperators design and implement management plans to protect natural resources.
Benton SWCD is led by seven elected volunteer Directors: five represent geographic zones in the county, and two fill at-large positions. Other volunteers are appointed to serve as Associate Directors, contributing additional insight, expertise and energy to the board. Learn more about the Board here.
Scroll through history, from agricultural trends in Benton County to the birth of conservation districts. This timeline provides a sense of context for the mission of the District and how the strategies we use to achieve that mission have changed with the times.