Celebrating 75 Years

of the

Apache Natural Resources Conservation District

In 1898 the first soil survey was conducted in the United States. It wasn’t until 1934 when America experienced the Great Dust Bowls, storms moving millions of tons of soil across the Great Plains on private land that gave serious attention for conservation action.

Hugh Hammond Bennett, a soil scientist, lobbied Congress to pass The Soil Conservation Act (Public Law 46) which created the Soil Conservation Service, now known as the Natural Resource Conservation Service, an agency of USDA. Knowing that decisions had to be made at a local level using the expertise of landowners, legislation was established to form local Natural Resource Conservation Districts. Today Arizona has 32 NRCD offices administered through the Arizona State Land Department and 10 districts authorized under federal tribal law.

The first Arizona District formed was the Soil and Water District, officially recognized on March 2, 1942 by the Soil and Water Commissioner of the State of Arizona. The first appointed supervisors were Grover Udall and George Eagar. Starting In the early 1950s, some name changes occurred to add the word “Apache”, and then some time later, changed to Apache Natural Resource Conservation District. The District was expanded in the early 1970s when the northern portion of Greenlee County was added because it was easier to serve out of the Apache NRCD rather than the NRCD located in Safford. Today the Apache NRCD covers close to one million acres from Sanders on the north to The Blue on the south and from the Apache/Navajo county line to the New Mexico state line.

During the regular meeting of the NRCD Board held on January 21st the Apache NRCD celebrated the 75th Anniversary from inception. The original documents were available for review and cake and refreshments were enjoyed by all in attendance.