Last spring, the worst flooding in more than 25 years created havoc for farmers across much of Illinois, impacting more than 40 percent of the state’s population. Months before that, in a rare December outbreak, 27 tornadoes tore through parts of central and southern Illinois, destroying or damaging hundreds of homes, businesses and farms.

As extreme weather in Illinois has intensified and become more frequent, diverse audiences from farmers and landowners to homeowners, developers and local governments have relied on soil and water conservation districts to provide vital technical assistance on natural-resource issues.

Established more than 87 years ago in response to the devastating soil-erosion conditions brought on by the Dust Bowl, Illinois’ soil and water conservation districts are part of a nationwide network of independent, local non-tax-levying units of government that provide technical assistance and involve citizens in addressing issues related to soil conservation, water quality, nutrient management, sustainable land use and conservation education.

Read more at the Champaign News-Gazette HERE.

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