Richard E. Hall
Farm Bureau Representative
Member at Large
The Board of Supervisors of Allegany County pursuant to the authority vested in that Board by virtue of the Soil Conservation District’s Law in New York, Chapter 727 Laws of 1940, adopted a Resolution on November 19, 1941, establishing Allegany County as a Soil Conservation District.
The first meeting of the Directors of the Allegany County Soil Conservation District was called to order on Wednesday evening, January 21, 1942, in the Farm Bureau Office in Belmont by Mr. Kelsey, who represented the State Soil Conservation Committee. A tentative budget was adopted by the Directors for 1942 in the amount of $275.00. The first appropriation to the District was for $200.00.
The first Memorandum of Understanding with the USDA was signed on April 6, 1942. At this time Allegany County was thought to contain approximately 670,720 acres of land of which 442,088 acres were classified as farm land according to the 1940 Census.
The 3,018 farms had a valuation of $10,851,864.00. Much of the 147,701 acres of cropland was subject to severe sheet and gully erosion. Of the 112,000 acres of pasture land, about 58,000 acres was plowable. The remainder was rough brushy land. Thorn brush presented a real problem on many pastures and most of the pastures were low in fertility which limited their forage production and water holding capacity. There were 78,568 acres of woodland on privately owned farms, 60% or 47,000 acres of the woodland was being pastured to the extent that the productivity was injured. Nearly all of the woods were in need of management. The remaining 98,000 acres of land in the County was idle or under public ownership. The State of New York had purchased 34,111 acres most of which was reforested. The Federal government owned about 5,000 acres of game preserves,
and the County has purchased 86 acres for reforestation.
The 5 most important problems within the County were determined to be:
Wide spread soil erosion
Damage to farm land and public property from floods and stream bank cutting.
Depletion of the agricultural resourses of the County by:
a. Improper land use
b. Lack of management of the cropland to increase productivity
c. Poor management of pastures
d. Lack of management of woodlands and wildlife habitat
The long term objectives set by the Directors were:
Continue the study of soil erosion problems and methods of control
Conduct an educational program to:
a. Acquaint farmers with the erosion problem
b. Provide information and facilities to aid in the control of soil erosion
c. Promote best land use.
3. Manage idle land in accordance with best land use for the public interest.
4. Maintain soil fertility to preserve a profitable and permanent agrculture.
5. Protect farm land and public property from floods and stream bank cutting.
6. Maintain and improve the agricultural resources of the County by:
a. Putting each acre to use for which it is best adapted
b. Managing cropland to insure maximum productivity per acre
c. Improving pastures
d. Managing woodlands and improving wildlife areas.
The first year accomplishments of the District were:
889 Acres of Strip Cropping 34,900 LF of Diversion Terraces
350 LF of Outlet Channels 7,350 LF of Stream Channels
532 Acres of Rotational Grazing 80 Acres of Pasture Clearing
13 Acres of Reforestation 31 Acres of Woodland Improvement
243 Acres of Woodland Protection
The first District office was located in the County Courthouse and remained there until March of 1957 when it was moved to the Belmont Library. The office moved to the Ag Service Center in August of 1977 and to it’s present location at the District Facility in September 2009