San Miguel Basin Conservation District and Shavano Conservation District will join forces to meet the natural resources conservation needs of landowners within their boundaries in the Delta, Gunnison, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel Counties.
In a special election held May 4, 2021, landowners from the two districts voted to consolidate the districts, forming a new district, which will be known as the “Shavano Conservation District.”
Conservation districts are political subdivisions of state government which represent local landowners’ interests for developing conservation priorities. The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Conservation Board administers funding, offers leadership and statutory guidance to help them serve as local governments.
According to state statute, supervisors from the original boards will work as an “organization board” to identify the new districts’ first five-member board. This decision will be made within six months.
“The two districts have historically worked together or on very similar conservation projects and educational programs through the years and understand the need of farmers, ranchers and small acreage owners in the area,” stated Nikki Brinson, operations manager with the Colorado State Conservation Board. “All of the supervisors are committed to improving the opportunities and programs available to their constituents through this consolidation.”
The creation of the new conservation district will increase landowners’ conservation options in a variety of ways, including:
- Bringing more resources to area-wide conservation problems
- Improving consistency of programs offered by one conservation district
- Increasing the ability to leverage local, state and federal resources for conservation implementation and technical assistance
“The (conservation) districts perform a valuable service and the consolidation will allow the new Shavano Conservation District to strengthen existing partnerships and develop new ones in order to improve natural resource conservation practices in Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel counties and a small area in southern Delta county and southwestern Gunnison county”, stated Brinson.
For more information on Colorado's 75 Conservation Districts and their services, visit https://ag.colorado.gov/conservation/cscb. For direct contact information or to learn more about Shavano Conservation District specifically, visit https://www.shavanocd.org/