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CHAPTER 38-7

DIVISION OF RESOURCE CONSERVATION AND FORESTRY

38-7-1      Policy of state--Purposes of chapters.
38-7-2      Definition of terms.
38-7-2.1      Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry created.
38-7-2.2      Director of Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry--Nomination, appointment, and removal.
38-7-2.3      Conservation functions performed by division--Direction and control by director.
38-7-3      State Conservation Commission established--Purposes.
38-7-3.1      Direction and supervision by Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry--Independent functions retained by commission.
38-7-4      Composition of commission--Appointment and terms of members--Vacancies.
38-7-5      Conservation district supervisor member areas.
38-7-6      Nonvoting members of commission--Tenure of office.
38-7-7      Accommodations, supplies, and equipment for commission.
38-7-8      Record of commission actions--Seal--Powers.
38-7-9      Quorum of commission.
38-7-10      Chairman of commission--Delegation of powers and duties.
38-7-11      Repealed.
38-7-12      Employment of personnel by division--Legal services.
38-7-13      Record of proceedings kept by division.
38-7-14      Detail of personnel to division by other state agencies.
38-7-15      Assistance in carrying out of district programs.
38-7-16      Interchange of information between districts and division.
38-7-17      Coordination of district programs.
38-7-18      Assistance provided to districts by federal and state agencies.
38-7-19      Dissemination of information--Encouraging formation of districts.
38-7-20      Representation of districts--Development of conservation policy--Cooperation with public and private agencies.
38-7-21      Recommendations on programs of local, state, and federal agencies and subdivisions.
38-7-22      Provision of funds and assistance to districts.
38-7-23      Accounting and financial reporting procedures by districts.
38-7-24      Request to Legislature for appropriations.
38-7-25      Coordinated natural resources conservation fund created--Purposes.
38-7-26      Source of money in coordinated natural resources conservation fund.
38-7-27      Coordinated natural resources conservation program established--Promulgation of rules.
38-7-28      Administration of coordinated natural resources conservation program.
38-7-29      Soil conservation award program established.
38-7-30      Form of award--Promulgation of rules.


     38-7-1.   Policy of state--Purposes of chapters. It is hereby declared to be the policy of this state and within the scope of this chapter and chapter 38-8 to provide for the conservation of the soil and soil resources of this state, and for the control and prevention of soil erosion, and for the prevention of floodwater and sediment damages, and for furthering the conservation, development, utilization, and disposal of water, and thereby to preserve natural resources, control floods, prevent impairment of dams and reservoirs, assist in maintaining the navigability of rivers and harbors, preserve wildlife, protect the tax base, protect public lands, and protect and promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the people of this state.

Source: SL 1937, ch 19, § 2; SDC 1939, § 4.1501; SL 1957, ch 4, § 1.


     38-7-2.   Definition of terms. Terms used in this chapter or chapter 38-8 mean:
             (1)      "Agency of this state," the government of this state and any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the government of this state;
             (2)      "Commission," the State Conservation Commission;
             (3)      "District" or "conservation district," a governmental subdivision of this state, and a public body, corporate and politic, organized in accordance with the provisions of chapter 38-8, for the purpose, with the powers, and subject to the restrictions set forth in chapter 38-8;
             (4)      "Division," the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry;
             (5)      "Due notice," a notice published at least twice, with an interval of at least seven days between the publication dates, in a legal newspaper within the district or by posting copies of the notice in three of the most public places within the district for a period of at least ten days immediately preceding the date specified in the notice. At any hearing held pursuant to the notice, at the time and place designated in the notice, the adjournment may be made from time to time without the necessity of renewing the notice for adjourned dates;
             (6)      "Government" or "governmental," the government of this state, the government of the United States, and any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of either of them;
             (7)      "Land occupier" or "occupier of land," any person, firm, or corporation who holds title to, or is in possession of any agricultural, grazing, or forest lands lying within a conservation district, whether as owner, lessee, renter, tenant, or otherwise;
             (8)      "Nominating petition," a petition filed under the provisions of chapter 38-8 to nominate candidates for the office of supervisor of a conservation district;
             (9)      "Petition," a petition filed under the provisions of chapter 38-8 for the creation of a conservation district;
             (10)      "Supervisor," one of the members of the governing body of a district, elected or appointed in accordance with the provisions of chapter 38-8;
             (11)      "United States" or "agencies of the United States," the United States of America, the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, and any other agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the United States of America.

Source: SL 1937, ch 19, § 3; SDC 1939, § 4.1502; SL 1959, ch 3, § 1; SL 1964, ch 3; SL 2017, ch 181, § 6; SL 2018, ch 240, § 1.


     38-7-2.1.   Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry created. There is hereby created within the Department of Agriculture created by chapter 1-41 a Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry.

Source: SL 1975, ch 23, § 1; SL 1995, ch 310 (Ex. Ord. 95-1), §§ 16, 17.


     38-7-2.2.   Director of Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry--Nomination, appointment, and removal. The director of the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry shall be nominated by the State Conservation Commission and appointed by the secretary of the Department of Agriculture with the approval of the Governor. The director of the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry shall be removable in accordance with the provisions of § 1-32-6.

Source: SL 1975, ch 23, § 2; SL 1981, ch 11, § 4.


     38-7-2.3.   Conservation functions performed by division--Direction and control by director. Subject to § 38-7-3.1, all of the functions of the State Conservation Commission provided for in this chapter and chapter 38-8 relative to conservation districts, shall be performed by the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry created by this chapter, under the direction and control of the director of the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry.

Source: SL 1975, ch 23, § 3.


     38-7-3.   State Conservation Commission established--Purposes. There is hereby established, to serve as an agency of the state and to perform the functions conferred upon it in this chapter and chapter 38-8, the State Conservation Commission.

Source: SL 1937, ch 19, § 4; SDC 1939, § 4.1503; SL 1945, ch 13; SL 1949, ch 10; SL 1957, ch 4, § 2; SL 1968, ch 1, § 2.


     38-7-3.1.   Direction and supervision by Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry--Independent functions retained by commission. The State Conservation Commission shall be administered under the direction and supervision of the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry of the Department of Agriculture and the director thereof, but shall retain the quasi-judicial, quasi-legislative, advisory, other nonadministrative and special budgetary functions (as defined in § 1-32-1) otherwise vested in it and shall exercise those functions independently of the director of the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry.

Source: SL 1973, ch 2, § 104; SL 1975, ch 23, § 4.


     38-7-4.   Composition of commission--Appointment and terms of members--Vacancies. The State Conservation Commission is composed of nine members appointed by the Governor. Eight members shall be appointed as follows: one member from a list of three names recommended to the Governor from the South Dakota Municipal League, from its membership to represent the urban interests; one member from a list of three names recommended to the Governor from the directors of the water development districts; two members who are engaged in the tree industry; and four members who are or have been conservation district supervisor members as designated in § 38-7-5. No more than five members may be from one political party. Each appointed member shall serve a three-year term. Each conservation district supervisor member shall be, or shall have been a supervisor of a conservation district. A member shall take office on the first day of January of the year following the member's appointment. Each appointment shall be made on or before the first day of December.
     The Governor shall appoint the conservation district supervisor members from a list of names of qualified persons submitted to the Governor by the State Association of Conservation Districts. The association shall, at times consistent with the terms of this section and in a manner determined at its annual convention, submit a list of three nominees for each membership on the commission to be filled by appointment of the Governor.
     Any vacancy arising from reasons other than the natural expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term as in the case of original appointments.

Source: SDC 1939, § 4.1503 as added by SL 1949, ch 10; SL 1957, ch 4, § 2; SL 1968, ch 1, § 2; SL 1974, ch 254, § 2; SL 1975, ch 23, § 7; SL 1979, ch 354, § 33; SL 1981, ch 374, § 29; SL 1985, ch 306; SL 1989, ch 341; SL 2018, ch 240, § 2.


     38-7-5.   Conservation district supervisor member areas. One conservation district supervisor member shall be at-large and one conservation district supervisor member from each of the three conservation district supervisor member areas shall be appointed to the commission. This state is divided into three conservation district supervisor member areas as follows: all of that area east of the Missouri River and north of the southern boundaries of Hughes, Hyde, Hand, Beadle, Kingsbury, and Brookings counties shall be known and designated as Area I; all of that area east of the Missouri River and south of the northern boundaries of Buffalo, Jerauld, Sanborn, Miner, Lake, and Moody counties shall be known and designated as Area II; and all of that area west of the Missouri River shall be known and designated as Area III.

Source: SDC 1939, § 4.1503 as added by SL 1957, ch 4, § 2; SL 1968, ch 1, § 2; SL 2018, ch 240, § 3.


     38-7-6.   Nonvoting members of commission--Tenure of office. The following persons shall serve as nonvoting members of the State Conservation Commission: the secretary of environment and natural resources; the director of the state extension service; the director of the state agricultural experiment station located at Brookings; the commissioner of school and public lands; the secretary of the Department of Game, Fish and Parks; and if approved by the United States secretary of agriculture, the state conservationist for the United States Natural Resources Conservation Service. A member of the commission shall hold office so long as the person retains the office by virtue of which the person is serving on the commission.

Source: SL 1937, ch 19, § 4; SDC 1939, §§ 4.1503, 4.1504; SL 1945, ch 13; SL 1949, ch 10; SL 1957, ch 4, § 2; SL 1963, ch 6; SL 1968, ch 1, §§ 2, 3; SL 1974, ch 254, § 3; SL 2015, ch 203, § 6.


     38-7-7.   Accommodations, supplies, and equipment for commission. The State Conservation Commission shall be supplied with suitable accommodations at the seat of the state government, and shall be furnished with the necessary supplies and equipment.

Source: SL 1937, ch 19, § 4; SDC 1939, § 4.1505; SL 1959, ch 3, § 2.


     38-7-8.   Record of commission actions--Seal--Powers. The State Conservation Commission shall keep a record of its official actions; shall adopt a seal, which seal shall be judicially noticed; and may perform acts, hold hearings, and promulgate rules, pursuant to chapter 1-26, concerning:
             (1)      The organization and operation of the commission;
             (2)      Cooperation and assistance provided to conservation districts;
             (3)      The reporting of election results and financial affairs of the conservation districts; and
             (4)      The governing and administration of conservation district elections.

Source: SL 1937, ch 19, § 4; SDC 1939, § 4.1503; SL 1945, ch 13; SL 1949, ch 10; SL 1957, ch 4, § 2; SL 1968, ch 1, § 2; SL 1974, ch 254, § 4; SL 1986, ch 326, § 8; SL 2015, ch 203, § 7.


     38-7-9.   Quorum of commission. A majority of the State Conservation Commission shall constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of a majority in any matter within their duties shall be required for its determination.

Source: SL 1937, ch 19, § 4; SDC 1939, § 4.1504; SL 1963, ch 6; SL 1968, ch 1, § 3.


     38-7-10.   Chairman of commission--Delegation of powers and duties. The State Conservation Commission shall designate its chairman annually. It shall have authority to delegate to its chairman, to one or more of its members, or to one or more agents or employees, such powers and duties as it may deem proper.

Source: SL 1937, ch 19, § 4; SDC 1939, §§ 4.1504, 4.1505; SL 1959, ch 3, § 2; SL 1963, ch 6; SL 1968, ch 1, § 3.


     38-7-11.   Repealed by SL 1971, ch 23, § 2


     38-7-12.   Employment of personnel by division--Legal services. The Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry may employ such agents and employees, permanent and temporary, as it may require and shall determine their qualifications, duties, and compensation. The division may call upon the attorney general of the state for such legal services as it may require.

Source: SL 1937, ch 19, § 4; SDC 1939, § 4.1505; SL 1959, ch 3, § 2.


     38-7-13.   Record of proceedings kept by division. The Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry shall keep full and accurate records of all proceedings and of all resolutions, rules, and regulations, and orders issued or adopted.

Source: SL 1937, ch 19, § 4; SDC 1939, § 4.1504; SL 1963, ch 6; SL 1968, ch 1, § 3; SL 1975, ch 247, § 1; SL 1982, ch 15, § 7.


     38-7-14.   Detail of personnel to division by other state agencies. Upon request of the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry for the purpose of carrying out any of its functions, the supervising officer of any state agency, or any state institution of learning shall, insofar as may be possible under available appropriations, and having due regard to the needs of the agency to which the request is directed, assign or detail to the division, members of the staff or personnel of such agency or institution of learning, and making such special reports, surveys, or studies as the division may request.

Source: SL 1937, ch 19, § 4; SDC 1939, § 4.1505; SL 1959, ch 3, § 2.


     38-7-15.   Assistance in carrying out of district programs. In addition to the duties and powers conferred upon the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry in chapter 38-8, it shall have the duty and power to offer such assistance as may be appropriate to the supervisors of conservation districts, organized as provided in chapter 38-8, in the carrying out of any of their powers and programs.

Source: SL 1937, ch 19, § 4; SDC 1939, § 4.1506 (1).


     38-7-16.   Interchange of information between districts and division. In addition to the duties and powers conferred upon the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry in chapter 38-8, it shall have the duty and power to keep the supervisors of each of the several districts organized under the provisions of chapter 38-8 informed of the activities and experience of all other districts organized thereunder, and to facilitate an interchange of advice and experience between such districts and cooperation between them.

Source: SL 1937, ch 19, § 4; SDC 1939, § 4.1506 (2).


     38-7-17.   Coordination of district programs. In addition to the duties and powers conferred upon the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry in chapter 38-8, it shall have the duty and power to coordinate the programs of the several conservation districts organized under chapter 38-8 so far as this may be done by advice and consultation.

Source: SL 1937, ch 19, § 4; SDC 1939, § 4.1506 (3).


     38-7-18.   Assistance provided to districts by federal and state agencies. In addition to the duties and powers conferred upon the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry in chapter 38-8, it shall have the duty and power to secure the cooperation and assistance of the United States and any of its agencies, and of agencies of this state, in the work of the several conservation districts.

Source: SL 1937, ch 19, § 4; SDC 1939, § 4.1506 (4).


     38-7-19.   Dissemination of information--Encouraging formation of districts. In addition to the duties and powers conferred upon the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry in chapter 38-8, it shall have the duty and power to disseminate information throughout the state concerning the activities and programs of the conservation districts organized under chapter 38-8, and to encourage the formation of such districts in areas where their organization is desirable.

Source: SL 1937, ch 19, § 4; SDC 1939, § 4.1506 (5).


     38-7-20.   Representation of districts--Development of conservation policy--Cooperation with public and private agencies. In addition to the duties and powers conferred upon the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry in chapter 38-8, it shall have the duty and power to represent the state conservation districts and to develop and implement state policy for land conservation and development. Also to cooperate at all levels of government, with all other agencies, both public and private, in the conservation and development of all renewable natural resources.

Source: SDC 1939, § 4.1506 as added by SL 1968, ch 1, § 4.


     38-7-21.   Recommendations on programs of local, state, and federal agencies and subdivisions. In addition to the duties and powers conferred upon the State Conservation Commission in chapter 38-8, it shall have the duty and power to review and make recommendations within its discretion, in cooperation and consultation with affected districts, on all natural resource development programs proposed or planned by local, state, and federal agencies and subdivisions.

Source: SDC 1939, § 4.1506 as added by SL 1968, ch 1, § 4.


     38-7-22.   Provision of funds and assistance to districts. In addition to the duties and powers conferred upon the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry, it shall have the duty and power to provide funds, grants, supplies, and staff assistance to conservation districts and to assist such districts in obtaining technical planning guidance from the State Planning Commission, and other state and federal agencies.

Source: SDC 1939, § 4.1506 as added by SL 1968, ch 1, § 4.


     38-7-23.   Accounting and financial reporting procedures by districts. In addition to the duties and powers conferred upon the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry, it shall have the duty and power to require proper accounting and financial reporting procedures by conservation districts and to assist in the implementation of these procedures.

Source: SDC 1939, § 4.1506 as added by SL 1968, ch 1, § 4; SL 1975, ch 247, § 2.


     38-7-24.   Request to Legislature for appropriations. To accomplish the purposes of the State Conservation Commission and the conservation districts as provided in this chapter and chapter 38-8, the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry may present requests to the State Legislature for appropriations adequate to carry out the duties and responsibilities of it and the State Conservation Commission and the districts.

Source: SDC 1939, § 4.1506 as added by SL 1968, ch 1, § 4.


     38-7-25.   Coordinated natural resources conservation fund created--Purposes. There is hereby created a special fund known as the coordinated natural resources conservation fund. All money in the coordinated natural resources conservation fund is dedicated for the purposes identified in the South Dakota coordinated natural resources plan. Interest earned on money in the fund shall be deposited in the fund.

Source: SL 1992, ch 100, § 5; SL 1994, ch 313, § 1; SL 2007, ch 227, § 1.


     38-7-26.   Source of money in coordinated natural resources conservation fund. The coordinated natural resources conservation fund consists of money transferred from the sale of motor fuel for nonhighway agricultural uses in the motor fuel tax fund as provided in § 10-47B-149, and all public and private sources including legislative appropriations or federal grants.

Source: SL 1992, ch 100, § 6; SL 1994, ch 313, § 2; SL 2007, ch 227, § 2; SL 2011, ch 61, § 8.


     38-7-27.   Coordinated natural resources conservation program established--Promulgation of rules. The coordinated natural resources conservation program is hereby established. Under this program, the State Conservation Commission may grant funds from the coordinated natural resources conservation fund. The Conservation Commission shall promulgate rules pursuant to chapter 1-26 for administration, terms, and conditions for the disbursement of grants to conservation districts and to establish criteria for the selection of projects to receive grants through the coordinated natural resources conservation program.

Source: SL 1992, ch 100, § 7; SL 1994, ch 313, § 4; SL 2007, ch 227, § 3.


     38-7-28.   Administration of coordinated natural resources conservation program. The Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry of the Department of Agriculture shall implement and administer the coordinated natural resources conservation program. Expenses associated with administration of this program and other purposes as authorized by chapter 38-7 and chapter 38-8 shall be expended from the coordinated natural resources conservation fund as determined in the general appropriations act according to Title 4.

Source: SL 1994, ch 313, § 5; SL 2007, ch 227, § 4.


     38-7-29.   Soil conservation award program established. The South Dakota soil conservation award program is hereby established. Under the program, each conservation district may select not more than five residents of the conservation district each year as recipients of the Soil Conservation Award. To be eligible for an award, a person shall be a South Dakota resident who is directly and actively engaged in agricultural production in South Dakota. In selecting award recipients, the conservation district may consult with the South Dakota State Conservation Commission and other relevant entities. Awards shall be based upon the recipient's contribution toward the preservation and conservation of soil and other natural resources in South Dakota in conjunction with the recipient's agricultural operations.

Source: SL 2008, ch 207, § 1.


     38-7-30.   Form of award--Promulgation of rules. Each recipient shall receive a sign displaying the words "South Dakota Soil Conservation Award" "Award Winning Soil Conservation Farm" and the year of the award. The South Dakota Conservation Commission shall promulgate rules pursuant to chapter 1-26 governing the soil conservation award program. The rules shall include the following:
             (1)      Criteria for selecting award recipients in accordance with the requirements of § 38-7-29 and this section, which shall include efforts to maintain grass waterways and eliminating cultivation of waterways; terracing; crop rotation; leaving crop residue after harvesting; and no till;
             (2)      Procedures for nominating and selecting award recipients;
             (3)      Procedures to publicize and raise awareness of the need for soil conservation practices as outlined in subdivision (1) of this section;
             (4)      Other procedures necessary for the administration of the award program.

Source: SL 2008, ch 207, § 2.


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