ALTON -- The Oregon County Soil and Water Conservation District (OCSWCD) has been honored by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for its work in soil and water conservation.
DNR Director Doyle Childress was scheduled to come to the awards ceremony at the conservation district office at Alton May 2 but could not attend. In his place was Scott Totten.
"Erosion has been reduced and water quality improved in southern Missouri due to the efforts of the conservation district and the department," Totten told the large crowd gathered.
Totten said DNR recognized OCSWCD Director Jeff Lawrence and board members for outstanding implementation of best management practices on grasslands. Conservation District Vice Chairman Howard Dethrow accepted the award.
"Missouri's soil and water conservation districts are a vital partner in conserving the state's soil and water resources for future generations. By working with landowners to implement conservation practices and provide information and education programs to the public, the districts have helped reduce erosion, keeping fields productive and improving water quality throughout Missouri," Totten read in a statement from Childress.
Best management practices were implemented on 3,732 acres of grassland in the OCSWCD area in fiscal year 2005, including intensive grazing systems, permanent vegetative cover establishments and permanent vegetative cover improvements. These practices reduce erosion and improve water quality by increasing the amount of quality forage available on grasslands.
Totten said four other conservation districts across the state have been recognized.
Missouri's 114 conservation districts work with agriculture landowners and the public to help conserve the state's soil and water resources. The districts across the state are funded by the 1/10 of 1 percent parks and soils sales tax.