Duties of a District Director

John PetersonThis module will try to provide you a brief overview of many legal responsibilities you assume as a Director. These topics include the powers and authorities of district directors and conservation districts, the legal responsibilities of a public official as well as district liability issues. This also includes the importance of assessing resources needs in addition to developing long range and annual plans.

As a reminder, conservation districts are legally defined in the Code of Virginia, Title 10.1-Conservation, Chapter 5 – Soil & Water Conservation. Let’s take a closer look at the the duties of district directors as stated in the Code of Virginia.

§ 10.1-529.1. Duties of district directors.

In addition to other duties and powers, district directors shall:

1. Identify soil and water issues and opportunities within the district or related to the district and establish priorities for addressing these issues;

2. Seek a comprehensive understanding of the complex issues that impact soil and water, and assist in resolving the identified issues at the watershed, local, regional, state, and national levels;

3. Engage in actions that will improve soil and water stewardship by use of locally led programs;

4. Increase understanding among community leaders, including elected officials and others, of their role in soil and water quality protection and improvement;

5. Foster discussion and advancement within the community of positions and programs by their district;

6. Actively participate in the activities of the district and ensure district resources are used effectively and managed wisely; and

7. Support and promote the advancement of districts and their capabilities.

(2005, c. 73.)

As a district director you should be identifying soil and water problems and addressing them. You should become educated about soil and water problems and work to resolve problems at all levels. Likewise you and your SWCD should make effort to improve soil and water stewardship by using locally led programs all while educating decision makers about their responsibilities to soil and water conservation. You must initiate local discussions and tell others about the SWCD and its mission. In order to fulfill these obligations you must be active in the work of your district, collaborating with partners and using resources wisely.