NEW YORK, Cayuga County SWCD – In August 1944, the Cayuga County Board of Supervisors, now the Legislature, decided soil conservation and erosion control were “problems of a public concern.”
To address those problems, the board authorized the creation of what is now the Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District. As the district celebrates its 75th anniversary this month, Executive Director Doug Kierst said a lot has changed since then, but the agency’s commitment to protecting natural resources hasn’t.
“You always keep boots under your desk,” Kierst said.
Since its founding, the district’s work has expanded to include a wide array of programs district staff can implement with both governments and municipalities and landowners, especially farms.
In addition to the original duties of soil conservation and erosion control, the district has expanded into other responsibilities like public education, wastewater management and economic development, just to name a few.
But that doesn’t mean the agency has gotten away from its roots, Kierst said, far from it, in fact, as a great deal of the district’s work still includes earthy work like streambank stabilization, reforestation, pasture improvement, water quality and more.