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District Supervisor Handbook

Idaho Soil Conservation District Supervisor Handbook (Handbook only, see below for Appendices)

The handbook was developed in 2011 (with funding from NRCS) by the Ada SWCD District. Hard copies of this Handbook and CDs were given to each District and to the Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts as a resource that should be used to train new District Supervisors and employees. It provides Conservation District Supervisors with information, materials, and guidance to better understand their role as public officials and local conservation leaders. It is intended to be used as an orientation and learning tool, and a reference for Supervisors and employees as questions arise during the course of conducting district business. Although this handbook is not intended to be a comprehensive manual containing everything a supervisor should know, it is a valuable resource for Idaho’s Conservation Districts and Supervisors.

Conservation District Supervisors are elected by the public to fulfill the roles and responsibilities inherent to the position (see Title 22, Chapter 27 Soil Conservation District Law). To succeed they must first be fully aware of their statutory powers, duties, and authorities. Conservation districts in Idaho are unique governmental entities with unique opportunities. Each of the 50 districts in Idaho possesses the potential to achieve tremendous conservation accomplishments together with private landowners to positively impact their local communities.

Among other responsibilities, Supervisors have been entrusted with the power to administer local conservation programs, receive and spend public funds, and educate the public on natural resource conservation issues. Statewide there are over 270 conservation district supervisors, and nationwide there are more than 17,000 supervisors serving as local leaders for over 3,000 conservation districts.

This handbook is a guide to the “big picture” of voluntary conservation, to Idaho’s Soil Conservation District law and practices, and a necessary guide to Supervisor responsibilities as public officials, with fiduciary responsibilities, representing local Conservation Districts.


Introduction: Purpose of the Supervisor Handbook
History of the Conservation Movement and Creation of Conservation Districts
National Background
State Background
Idaho’s 50 Conservation Districts
Future Conservation Leadership Roles for Idaho Conservation Districts
Roles and Responsibilities of Conservation Districts and Supervisors
Districts are Public Bodies and Supervisors are Public Officials
Authorities of Districts and Supervisors
Who can be a Conservation District Supervisor? 
Election Process
Conservation District Board Administrative Structure
Secretary/Clerk/Administrative Assistant
Conservation District Board Meetings
Overview and discussion of Idaho Meeting Law
Parliamentary Procedure
Basic Principles of Parliamentary Procedure
Basic Terms and Definitions of Parliamentary Procedure
Parliamentary Procedure Precedence of Motions
Conservation District Supervisor Recruitment Guide 
The Need for Recruitment 
The Importance of Community Outreach 
Board Member Recruitment and Diversity
Recruitment Tips
Analyzing the Needs of Your District
Recruitment Strategies and Materials – Part I
Identifying Qualities and Qualifications of a District Board Member
Desirable qualities for district board members may include
Recruitment Prospectus.
Recruitment Booklet Template 
Recruitment Strategies and Materials – Part II
Sample District Board Member Information Form
Sample District Board Member Self-Nomination Form
Sample Public Service Announcement #1
Sample Public Service Announcement #2 
Sample Public Service Announcement #3 
Sample District Board Member News Release
Conservation District Supervisor Position Description 
Conservation Partnerships
Private Landowners and Land Users
Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Councils
Idaho Soil & Water Conservation Commission (ISSWC)
Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts (IASCD) 
Idaho District Employees Association (IDEA)
Idaho Association of Soil Conservation District Auxiliary 
Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS)
National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD)
Summary of Agencies and Acronyms
Federal Agencies
State Agencies
Private and Other Organizations, Entities, and Groups


APPENDIX A – “Serving People and the Land” Part I  and   “Serving People and the Land” Part II 

APPENDIX B – Idaho Code Title 22 Chapter 27, Soil Conservation Districts 

APPENDIX C – Statutes Referenced in Soil Conservation District Law

APPENDIX D – Uniform District Election Law

APPENDIX E – Recall Elections

APPENDIX F – 2018 Updated Idaho Open Meeting Law Manual *

APPENDIX G – 2018 Updated Idaho Ethics in Government Manual*

APPENDIX H – 2018 Updated Idaho Public Records Law Manual*

*Please note: changes were made in 2018 to the Open Meeting Law, Ethics in Government, and Public Records Manuals. This section is out of date in the hard-copy Handbook, but the link leads to the Attorney General’s updated manuals.

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