(TEMPLE, TX—April 28) Soil and water conservation districts in State District Two will elect a member to the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) on Tuesday, May 6. The election will be held at 6 p.m. in Wall, TX in the Saint Ambrose Catholic Church Parish Hall Conference Room.
State District Two consists of 51 counties within which there are 45 soil and water conservation districts in the Hill Country and Big Bend-Trans Pecos region of Texas.
The current TSSWCB member for State District Two is Marty H. Graham of Rocksprings, TX. Graham, who has been a member of the TSSWCB since May, 2008, is a rancher in Edwards County.
“Since its beginning, the TSSWCB has been governed by five board members. Each respective board member is elected in a convention type election by delegates from soil and water conservation district directors within the state district that the member resides. However, with the enactment of S.B. 1828 by the 78th Legislature, two Governor appointees also serve on the TSSWCB to create a seven-member board,” said Rex Isom, TSSWCB Executive Director.
“Elections occur annually to comply with the soil conservation laws of Texas. The elections are held in state district conventions and TSSWCB members serve two-year staggered terms. Since this is an even numbered year, TSSWCB member elections are being held in State Districts Two and Four,” added Isom.
Elected State Board members must be 18 years of age or older, hold title to farmland or ranchland, and be actively engaged in farming or ranching. The Governor appointees must be actively engaged in the business of farming, animal husbandry, or other business related to agriculture and wholly or partly owns or leases land used in connection with that business. They; however, may not be a member of the board of directors of a conservation district.
The TSSWCB administers Texas’ soil and water conservation law and delivers coordinated natural resource conservation programs through the State’s 216 soil and water conservation districts. Additionally, the TSSWCB is the lead agency for planning, implementing, and managing programs for preventing and abating agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint sources of water pollution.
The agency administers a water supply enhancement program through the targeted control of water-depleting brush. In addition the TSSWCB works to ensure that the State’s network of 2,000 flood control dams are protecting lives and property by providing operation, maintenance, and structural repair grants to local government sponsors. The agency also facilitates the Texas Invasive Species Coordinating Committee.
“In short, the services and programs provided by the TSSWCB target rural Texas farmers and ranchers through soil and water conservation districts, but the results of these services benefit all Texans. For example, soil and water conservation districts provide technical assistance in cooperation with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to assist agricultural producers implement voluntary conservation plans that best address the capabilities of the land they operate,” said Isom.
“In addition to on site soil and water conservation benefits to a farmer or rancher, the public enjoys residual benefits which includes wildlife enhancement as well as the prevention of sediment, pesticides, nutrients, bacteria and other contaminants from impairing Texas waters,” added Isom.
The TSSWCB, which was organized in May 1939, has its state headquarters in Temple, Texas.