Governor Signs Ritchie Bill To Strengthen Soil and Water Conservation Districts

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced her bill to strengthen soil and water conservation districts has been signed into law by Governor Cuomo.

The bill, S.6615, amends the soil and water conservation districts law to increase the reimbursement cap for districts from $30,000 to $60,000 for performing functions for New York State agencies.

“Our soil and water conservation districts play a vital role when it comes to the agricultural and environmental well-being of our region, as well as the entire state,” said Senator Ritchie. “Last year, our districts helped the Southern Tier recover from severe flooding, and as a result, many of those districts are now strapped for cash. This legislation will give soil and water conservation districts more resources in similar times of need, allow them to conduct stream maintenance to help prevent damage in future floods and better help them to fulfill the statutory and regulatory missions of the districts.”

The last time the reimbursement cap for soil and water conservation districts was increased was in 1996.

The bill was sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.

Senator Ritchie recently tapped local soil and water conservation districts in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties to help in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases like EEE and West Nile Virus, recruiting them to administer additional state funding she provided through the state budget for disease-carrying insect control.

1 Comment

  1. The nation’s conservation districts do need more support than they are currently receiving to properly complete their work, but more importantly the conservation delivery model they work within needs to be amended as well. In the last decade, many more resource management stakeholders have come to the table (gov, NGOs, corporations, utilities, processors, ag orgs, etc) with their own resources. Holding steadfast to the antiquated conservation delivery system of the 1930’s has prevented the conservation districts as well as the NRCS from realizing their full potential and integrated these new resources into their business model.

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