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History of Conservation Activities in Kansas


History of Conservation Activities in Kansas 1800-2008 1800-Kansas is a sea of native and prairie grasses. 1850-Settlers start moving into Kansas and the Great Plains ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: History of Conservation Activities in Kansas

History of Conservation Activities in Kansas
  • 1800-2008

1899-Congress authorizes soil survey program to
map tobacco lands and establishes National
Cooperative Soil Survey.
1800-Kansas is a sea of native and prairie
1904-First soil survey completed in Allen County.
1850-Settlers start moving into Kansas and the
Great Plains and begin plowing the land.
1900-Farmers continue to farm the land without
regard to soil conservation. Productive top soil
is being lost.
1920s-Soil erosion increases. Some farsighted
farmers in eastern Kansas build terraces in an
attempt to check erosion. Hugh Hammond
Bennett, later named father of the soil
conservation movement, is lecturing on the
dangers of soil erosion.
1930-A severe and sustained drought period starts
followed by huge dust storms and the depression.
1933, April 5-Civil Conservation Corps (CCC)
established. September 19-The Soil Erosion
Service begins operation in the U.S. Department
of Interior with Hugh Hammond Bennett as director
and first employee.
1934, May 11-First major dust storm originates in
the Great Plains followed by several massive
1935, March 25-Limestone Creek erosion-control
project is established at Mankato. April
1-Federal government establishes 10 erosion
research stations to study the erosion problem.
Hays is one location selected. April 14-Black
Sunday--the worst storm of the Dust Bowl days.
1935, April 27-Congress establishes the Soil
Conservation Service (SCS) as an agency in the
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with Hugh
Hammond Bennett, regarded as the father of soil
conservation, as its first chief.
1935-1942-Prairie States Forestry Projects
(shelterbelt and shrub plantings) underway.
December 2-Central Great Plains Region office
established with headquarters tentatively
designated as Wichita (later made permanent in
1936-Nursery is established at Manhattan, Kansas,
now known as the Plant Materials Center (PMC was
established as of July 1, 1953). June
22-Flood Control Act is enacted to develop
measures to retard water flow and prevent soil
erosion in selected watersheds.
1937-Ira K. Landon, State Coordinator, 1937-June
1942. February-President Franklin Roosevelt
sends letter to all state governors urging each
state to set up soil conservation
districts. March 25-Governor Huxman signs into
law a bill creating conservation districts. April
10-State Soil Conservation Commission (in 1972
renamed State Conservation
Commission) established to protect and enhance
Kansas natural resources.
1938, June 22-State of Kansas approves Labette
County as first conservation district in Kansas.
June 29-First Kansas CCC camp opens at
Parsons--33 CCC camps were established in
Kansas. November 16-First SCS employee
arrives in Labette County to assist farmers.
December 29-Pete Benson signs up as the first
cooperating farmer in Labette County Conservation
District and in the state.
1939, February 28-Salina Regional Office
closed. June 20-Northern Great Plains Region
established in Lincoln, Nebraska, which covers

conservation districts organized.
1942-SCS state offices established in each state.
Salina chosen as location for the Kansas State
Office. Fred J. Sykes becomes first
Kansas SCS State Conservationist, 1942-1960.
1951-Kansas Land Improvement Contractors
Association (KLICA) organizes.
1944-Kansas Association of Conservation Districts
(KACD) forms to help advance the soil and water
conservation cause.
1953, July 28-Pilot Watershed Program is
initiated (five projects authorized in Kansas).
1954-The State Association of Kansas Watersheds
comprised of organized watershed districts
organizes--is the only association of its kind in
United States. Construction begins in three pilot
watersheds--Aiken Creek, Snipe Creek, and
Switzler Creek. August 4-Congress passes the
Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention
Act. March 22-Shawnee County is last Kansas
conservation district organized.
1952, November 15-Soil survey activities became
responsibility of SCS.
1956, April 17-Secretary of Agriculture
establishes National Inventory of Soil and Water
Conservation Needs--inventory for each county
completed in 1961. August 7-Great Plains
Conservation Program is authorized involving the
western 62 counties in Kansas.
1961, June-Construction completed for first
Kansas Public Law (P.L.) watershedCimarronin
Gray County.
1960-Morrie A. Bolline, State Conservationist,
1957, December 31-First Great Plains contract is
signed in Finney County.
1962, September 27-The Food and Agricultural Act
of 1962 authorizes the Resource Conservation and
Development (RCD) Program.
1963, July 16-Construction starts for first P.L.
566 watershed project, Walnut Creek Watershed,
Brown County.
1968-Governor signs first strip mining
reclamation law for Kansas. September-Kansas
first RCD project, Sunflower, authorized in
south-central Kansas.
1965, July 22-Water Resources Planning Act
provides for river basin studies.
1970, June-A soil survey is published for Shawnee
County, one of the first counties to have soils
1971-Lee T. Morgan, State Conservationist,
1973-Robert K. Griffin, State Conservationist,
1972, August 30-National Resources Inventory
1985, December 23-Food Security Act establishes
Conservation Reserve Program containing the
highly erodible land, sodbuster, and swampbuster
1979-John W. Tippie, State Conservationist,
1986-James N. Habiger, State Conservationist,
1975-Soil classification system is developed and
1981-Congress passes Farmland Protection
Policy Act.
1990, April 12-Harney silt loam is adopted as the
Kansas State Soil. Wetlands Reserve Program
(WRP) is established as part of the Food Security
1994, October 20- SCSs name is changed to
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
First Emergency WRP project approved in Kansas
1997-Tomas M. Dominguez, State Conservationist,
1996-1996 Farm Bill (Federal Agricultural
Improvement and Reform Act of 1996) establishes
new programs--the Farmland Protection Program
(FPP), the Environ-mental Quality Incentives
Program (EQIP), and the Wildlife Habitat
Incentives Program (WHIP)--and extends the
Conservation Reserve Program and WRP.
1999-Soil survey celebrates 100 years. March
29-Kansas Governor declares April 25-May 2, 1999,
Soil Survey Centennial Week.
2000-The Soil and Water Conservation Assistance
Program is authorized under the
Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000.
2001, July-First grant period under the Kansas
Buffer Partnership
Program allows 25 Kansas counties to hire 25
buffer coordinators to work with landowners to
establish conservation buffer practices for
erosion control, water quality benefits, and
wildlife habitat.
2001, October 1-NRCS returns to familiar
raindrop and contour as official symbol.

2002, April 21-Harold L. Klaege, State
Conservationist, 2002-2008.
2002, October 1-Funding increase for the
Kansas Buffer Partnership Program during the
second grant period which allows 39 Kansas
counties to participate in the program.

2002, May 13-The 2002 Farm Bill (the
Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002)
which governs Federal farm programs for the next
6 years is signed into law. This land- mark
legislation will help farmers, ranchers, and
private forest landowners to continue to be
primary stewards of our
Nations natural resources.
2004, January 4-First WRP easement under the 2002
Farm Bill recorded on 38 acres in Cherokee
2008, June 8-Eric B. Banks becomes current
State Conservationist.
2005, September 25-First Farm and Ranch
Lands Protection Program (FRPP) recorded
on 205 acres in Riley County.
2008, May 22-Food, Conservation, and Energy
Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) becomes law.
Federal farm programs are created, expanded,
extended, and/or re-authorized until 2012. This
law changed the name of the Conservation Security
Program (CSP) to Conservation Stewardship Program
(CStP) and
established the program from 2009-2017.
2008, October 1-Moving into the future to provide
leadership in a partnership effort to help people
conserve, improve, and sustain our natural
resources and environment.
USDA is an equal opportunity employer and
provider. Author Deanne Lull, Office Assistant,
Public Affairs Staff Designer Stephanie
McDowell, Earth Team Volunteer October
2001 Updated October 2008
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