New Office Hours
From January - March, 2016 the SCD office will be closed on Fridays.
SCD Office Hours:
Fridays: Closed to public for staff in-service days, a dropbox will be available for soil samples and payments.
SCD Vision: To help protect, conserve and enhance natural resources
SCD Mission: To promote the sustainable use of natural resources within Spokane County
SCD Function: To take available technical, financial and education resources, whatever their source, and coordinate them so they meet the needs of the local landowner for conservation of soil, water, trees, and other natural resources.
The SCD is funded through several sources. Although SCD is a legal subdivision of state government, we are not a state agency and do not receive an ongoing operating budget from the state’s General Fund. Like the other 46 conservation districts in the state we receive some basic operating funds from the Washington State Conservation Commission. We also receive a land-based special assessment on all property within Spokane County, excluding Deer Park, that provides a substantial portion of our budget. The remainder of our revenue comes from technical assistance agreements with other agencies, grants from state agencies like the Department of Ecology, as well as a number of other sources.
You may have noticed on your property tax bill a classification titled Soil Conservation Assessment; it is a special assessment that provides funding for conservation districts to carry out the work of assisting landowners with natural resource conservation.
The assessment in Spokane County is applied on a per-parcel or per-acre basis, depending on the size and the land use classification of the parcel. The assessment is strictly land based and is not tied to the valuation of the parcel.
The land use classifications and rates are:
Soil classifications 1-4: 10¢ per acre
Soil classifications 5-8: 5¢ per acre
$5 per parcel minimum
Using the assessment revenue as matching funds for grants, the SCD has secured more than $10 million in project-specific grants for natural resource issues. It has also allowed us to secure $25 million in funds from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington Department of Ecology to fund our Direct Seed Loan Program.
SCD is allowed to accept public donations, pursuant to RCW 90.08.220 regarding the corporate status and powers of conservation districts, which reads:
“Districts have the power to obtain options upon and to acquire in any manner, except by condemnation, by purchase, exchange, gift, bequest, devise or otherwise any property, real or personal, or rights or interests therein; to maintain, administer and improve any properties acquired, to receive income from such properties and to expend such income in carrying out the purposes and provisions.”
Your Conservation District
The SCD firmly believes that conservation should be led by local citizens and we work with the public in a variety of ways to help inform and educate people about who we are and what we do.
The SCD maintains a 5-year, long-range plan to set our goals and priorities. The long-range plan is a fluid document that will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure we are meeting the ever-changing conservation needs of the area. You may view our 2011-2015 Long Range Plan here, and contact our office if you have any questions or comments.
According to the Washington Conservation District Law (RCW 89.08), SCD holds an Annual Meeting every year that is free and open to the public. The purpose of the Annual Meeting is to present to the public our work and projects that were done in the previous year and let them know what programs and services we have available.