Photos Courtesy of the Dover-Foxcroft Historical Society

Welcome to the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District!

Since 1944 the PCSWCD has worked in our community to protect the soil, water, forests and farms in this region.  We are a leader in agriculture and forestry by providing education and technical assistance to promote the conservation of natural resources upon which we depend.

The Nation that destroys its soil destroys itself was the warning issued in 1937 by President Roosevelt when he signed legislation authorizing the creation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.  At that time, the nation was facing a monumental task of protecting our soil and water from the ravages of improper use that resulted in the Dust Bowl era.  The Federal Government realized it could only solve the problem through strong local involvement and participation.  Local people had to be a major part of the solution, which is why Soil and Water Conservation Districts were formed.

How We Work to Sustain our Natural Resources for Now and for Future Generations

Today, our nation is facing another monumental task: Controlling polluted runoff, otherwise known as Non-Point Source Pollution. As it was in the 1930’s, the solution is local involvement. Districts are subdivisions of state government run by locally elected and appointed volunteers who work to solve local natural resource problems.  It is community involvement and the voluntary approach that makes Soil and Water Conservation Districts so effective.

Working in a unique cooperative partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, which provides strong technical expertise, and state and local partners, the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District, as well as conservation districts throughout the country, reach out to all local stakeholders in the community to determine priorities and set a course of action to solve natural resource problems. Districts provide local conservation leadership, teach the value of natural resources, encourage conservation efforts and help plan and implement voluntary programs.  Each District program is different and unique to the area that it serves, because the programs are developed by local people to solve local problems.

All conservation districts within Maine provide information about soil, water and related natural resource conservation.  We identify and prioritize local soil and water resource concerns, and connect land users to sources of education, technical and financial assistance to implement conservation practices and technologies.

We also provide local hands-on education and technical training on natural resource issues, teach the value of natural resources directly to local people, and provide voluntary, non-regulatory technical assistance to land users.

The natural resource education and technical assistance that the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District provides helps to prevent and reduce polluted run-off (nonpoint source pollution), protect drinking water supplies, helps landowners to better manage their farms, forests and other resources.  All of these help to keep the rural character of Maine by maintaining farm and open space, and by conserving and protecting natural resources on working lands now and for the future.

All of this conservation work is possible because of our hardworking volunteer board of supervisors and our highly skilled staff.  It is also possible because of all of our statewide, regional and local partnerships, such as with all of our partners at the USDA Service Center, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Farm Service Agency, the soil survey team, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, the Maine Forest Service, the Piscataquis County Commissioners, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the Piscataquis County Chamber of Commerce, the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council, our local farms, the local granges, our historical societies and more.

Our shared vision is of an environmentally stronger Maine with healthy and stable soils, clean and unimpaired rivers, streams, brooks, and water bodies, strong and productive forested areas, profitable and sustainable agriculture informed and involved conservation minded residents, and for Maine to be a leader in individual conservation practices on private property.

We all have the power within ourselves to promote conservation in all that we do and be stewards of our land and waters. The Stewardship Concept involves personal and social responsibility, including a duty to learn about and improve natural resources as we use them wisely, leaving a rich legacy for future generations.

As we drive around and see the pristine beauty of our county, all 4,378 square miles, of which 417 square miles is water, we are reminded that this is the power of conservation that we have led for over 70 years and will continue to do so in the future!