Lt. Gov. Jari Askins presents NRCS Chief Dave White with a
proclamation that recognizes April 19, 2010, as Natural Resources
Conservation Day in Oklahoma.
A copy of the proclamation recognizing the significant impact of the
NRCS in the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma has a unique history dealing
with conservation of the state’s natural resources.
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Dave White visited
Oklahoma Monday, April 19, 2010, to help celebrate the 75 year
anniversary of the NRCS. In the Blue Room at the Oklahoma
Capitol, Lt. Gov. Jari Askins presented, on behalf of Gov. Brad
Henry, a proclamation to Chief White from the state of Oklahoma
declaring April 19, 2010, Natural Resources Conservation Service Day. The
proclamation recognizes the positive impact of the NRCS on the state of
Oklahoma and declares the people of Oklahoma wish to live in harmony
with the natural resources and leave a better earth for our children and
Congressman Frank Lucas sent a Congressional Citation and state Sen.
David Myers and Rep. Dale DeWitt authored a state Legislative Citation
commemorating the event.
NRCS, formerly the Soil Erosion Service, then the Soil Conservation
Service, was created in 1935 in response to the dust bowl, a disaster
that ravaged land in Oklahoma and surrounding states and impacted the
entire nation during the 1930's. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed
the bill creating the agency on April 27, 1935.
Historically, Oklahoma has been on the front edge of conservation.
Starting with the first soil and moisture control research station just
outside of Guthrie, Okla., through the firsts experienced in the watershed
program with the first small flood control dam (1948), complete
watershed project (1953), multipurpose dam (1957), watershed dam
rehabilitation (2000) and the first fully rehabilitated watershed
(2009). Even with 20 percent of the nation's flood control dams, Oklahoma
still has much work to do.
In addition to the watershed protection program, the Oklahoma NRCS
offers programs through the 2008 Farm Bill that help provide financial
and technical assistance to landowners and producers interested in
implementing conservation-minded practices. With 2,105 flood control
dams we help to protect more than 83,000 farms in the state in places
where erosion and flooding would make production nearly impossible. More
than $100 million in financial and technical assistance was delivered
through NRCS programs to assist private landowners addressing
conservation needs benefiting Oklahoma in 2009.
The Oklahoma NRCS has a close and effective partnership with the
Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, Oklahoma Conservation
Commission, Oklahoma RC&D councils, Oklahoma Grazing Lands Conservation
Association, State Technical Committee and representing 38 federally
recognized tribes, the Oklahoma Tribal Conservation Advisory Council and
others. This partnership is credited with the efficiency of action
needed to be the first to break ground and first to complete important
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) watershed projects in the nation. None of that would be possible,
however, without the cooperation of producers and landowners who believe
in the vision of a productive, sustainable agricultural sector that is
in balance with a healthy environment.
Chief White said, “The partnerships that NRCS has with Oklahoma’s
conservation districts, the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and the
state’s farmers and ranchers continue to set examples for the entire
The Oklahoma NRCS is dedicated to honoring those partnerships as the
state addresses water quality needs, invasive plant species eradication,
soil erosion, rehabilitating aging watershed dams and addressing the
needs of Oklahoma’s rural communities. This year, 2010, marks the 75th
anniversary for the NRCS and the efforts to protect our nation’s natural