Spring 2016: Leadership Opportunity

With Earth Day coming up  I’ve been thinking a lot about actions people take to improve the environment. The list is long and runs the gamut from picking up trash, to planting rain gardens, to attending rallies to advocate for changes to laws, to countless other options.  Any action to make our world a healthier, cleaner more sustainable place is good.  With this year being an election year there is another opportunity to protect and improve our soil and water that most people have never heard of but is very important; it’s being a Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Supervisor. 

Almost every county in Minnesota has a Soil and Water Conservation District which is a local unit of government.  Roles of an SWCD are to provide education, technical and sometimes financial assistance to help people protect, maintain and improve the quality of our soil and water.  The staff works with people from any area - urban residents, farmers and lakeshore landowners.  SWCD supervisors are elected during the November elections.  The supervisors have four main responsibilities during their four-year terms: they set overall policy and long-term objectives for their district; develop their district’s annual and comprehensive plans; approve landowner cost-share contracts; and work with SWCD staff to see that policies and plans are implemented.  If you are interested in running for this office you must file a Minnesota Affidavit of Candidacy (available from the county auditor), along with a $20 filing fee between May 17th and May31st.  All candidates must be at least 21 years of age when assuming office, and will have been residents of their nominating district for at least 30 days before the general election. Supervisor candidates must live in and file from a nominating district. Candidates are elected at large on the ballot.  Becoming an SWCD Supervisor is a great way to have a meaningful impact on conservation policies and activities in your watershed!  To learn more contact the Soil and Water Conservation District in your county. 

If you can’t find them email me at beth@rtcinfo.org and I’ll lend a hand.