Soil and Water Conservation District
Our Mission Statement
The mission of the Montgomery County Soil and Water Conservation District is to ensure a leadership role in natural resource conservation, provide technical service and information to the people of Montgomery County that will control and prevent soil erosion, prevent air and water pollution, conserve wildlife, grassland and forest land, and ensure land use conversion is properly managed and correctly identify areas that should remain as wetlands.
On Wednesday, March 6, approximately fifty Soil and Water Conservation District directors and employees participated in the 2013 AISWCD (Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts) Legislative Day. Of that group, Montgomery County’s own directors Dave Pastrovich and Jason Anderson, along with employees Kris Reynolds and Melissa Cauble, attended. The morning began with a briefing at the Illinois Building on the State fairgrounds where the group was instructed by AISWCD President Lonnie Wilson and Executive Director Rich Nichols. The large group was asked to break into teams of four to five individuals, with each team receiving a specific list of legislators to meet with. The Montgomery County delegation was assisted by Sue Davis of Christian County SWCD.
Once the briefing was completed, the teams headed over to the capitol to meet with their designated legislators and to promote the SWCD “Green Ribbon” campaign. Legislators (and their staff members) were given green ribbon logo items including a green ribbon pin to wear in honor of soil, water and natural resources conservation, along with fact sheets and mints.
Montgomery County’s delegation was fortunate enough to spend time speaking with Senators Sam McCann, Dale Righter, and Collins and Representative Wayne Rosenthal. They were also happy to meet with the staff members of many other legislators. It was a very busy day at the capitol, with the Senate being in session and a caucus being called, the governor’s budget address and the gun owner’s lobby day coming up that afternoon. They felt very lucky to have caught up with all those whom they were able to speak with in just a couple hours time.
Upon completion of the legislative visits, the group met at a local restaurant to compare notes and make suggestions for the 2014 AISWCD Legislative Day. It was at this meeting that President Wilson announced the governor’s budget includes an increase of approximately $600,000 to operations funding for Illinois’ 97 Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
It was a great day with a great ending, but SWCDs have a long way to go in order to restore the quality and quantity of services they were once able to provide.