Source: Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA
At the recent NACD and NRCS meeting, Tom Christensen, recently retired USDA Deputy Director of Operations, presented 4 new publications he has compiled on the history of USDA’s role in conservation private lands. The main publication is large, about 100 pages of print and 9 MB in size. It is titled: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Role in America’s Private Lands Conservation Movement - Chronology of Key Developments - 1933 Through 2019.
The publication covers the nearly nine decades from 1933 through 2019, with a central focus on highlighting the role of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in furthering the private lands conservation movement that grew out of the Dust Bowl and economic crisis of the 1930s. It pulls together information from innumerable sources, including but not limited to, original source materials, scientific journals, web sites, textbooks, speeches and presentations, scholarly papers, agency publications, and many other written documents. Importantly, considerable information from the early decades, often specific to the Soil Erosion Service (SES) and Soil Conservation Service (SCS).
There are three supplemental documents that go along with the main chronology document, and they are:
Supp. 1 - Soil Conservation Districts: Perspectives On Their Success. This is a 2 page poster type document written by HH Bennett in 1946 when he established the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS).
Supp. 2 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Role in Voluntary Conservation on Private Lands Conservation Planning Chronology. This is a brief 18 page chronology of key developments in America’s private lands conservation movement as directly related to, or relevant to, conservation planning and its evolution, including areawide conservation planning.
Supp. 3 - Voluntary Conservation on Private Lands Core Concepts Linked to Historical Quotes and References. This is a brief 24 page document with Tom Christensen’s personal perspectives on key concepts related to conservation and describes it as the “wise use and management” of natural resources, different and distinct from protection and preservation. Within a landscape or watershed, or on a farm/ranch, conservation, protection, and preservation can each play important and complementary roles.
References for soils definitions
Links to National Databases
Soil Series Descriptions - Link via USDA-NRCS