Soil and Water Conservation District membership dinner set

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sometimes hindsight sure makes us appreciate foresight.

Take for instance farming and rural life 85, 85 years ago. The Flood of 1927, the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl all hit in a little over five years’ time. Those calamities left a lot of farm land in ruins and left a lot of people broke in rural America. But it was the foresight of people who went through those tough times that have led to decades of efforts to prevent repeats. One of those efforts was the creation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts by Congress and state legislatures.

Here in Mississippi, the year was 1938 when legislation authorized conservation districts in all counties as well as the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission. The official mission statement of the statewide commission and the county districts is, “to effectively guide, promote and demonstrate the conservation, development, protection and proper utilization of the soil, water and related resources of the state.”

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Locally, the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District, its staff and volunteer board of commissioners are proud to invite county residents to join or renew membership in the district at the annual member dinner meeting coming up Thursday, July 19 at 7 p.m. at Hinds Community College’s Vicksburg campus. Cost is $30 for two tickets and one year’s membership in the county district.

Those of us who keep this annual event on our “must do” list have come to expect really good entertainment. This year should be no exception with wildlife photographer and author Joe Mac Hudspeth Jr. presenting some of his work from 30 years of photography for more than 1,000 publications, duck stamps, hunting licenses and wildlife calendars. I’m looking forward to some great shots of critters from the smallest bug to whatever huge antlered mammal he shows us.

In addition to Hudspeth’s presentation, there will be recognition of local landowners who have excelled in conservation projects on their property and educators who make conservation important in their curriculums. The conservation district’s federal partner, the local office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service will update us on both private and municipal projects carried out in the county this year.

I understand letters of invitation went out to current members of the district and to those who have utilized resources available through the district and the NRCS. However, anyone with an interest in conservation of natural resources, including wildlife, is welcome to purchase tickets and attend the meeting. Deadline to sign up is July 16. I suggest moving on this quickly since any good wildlife presentation can fill up a facility. For more information, and to sign up, call the Warren County office of NRCS at 601-636-7679, extension 3.

If you call, do like I do and just hit “3” as soon as the recording starts. It’s a polite government recording, but there is no need to listen to all of it. Just hit “3.”

Terry Rector writes for the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District, 601-636-7679 ext. 3.