On September 19, 1933 actual operation of the Soil Erosion Service began. Hugh H. Bennett transferred from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the U.S. Department of the Interior as Director of the Soil Erosion Service. He was the first and only employee of the new agency on this date. The following day Lillian Wieland entered on duty as his secretary. From this beginning the agency’s growth was rapid and many thousands of people were employed during subsequent years.
The first great dust storm was on May 11, 1934, (see photo on left) originating in the “Dust Bowl” of the Great Plains area sweeping fine soil particles over Washington, D.C., and 300 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean.
On February 27, 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States, recommended that states allow landowners to form soil and water conservation districts.
*On August 4, 1937, the first Soil Conservation District was organized in the United States. Established in North Carolina in parts of Anson and Union Counties the district was named “Brown Creek Soil Conservation District”.
*Across the United States, nearly 3,000 conservation districts—almost one in every county—are helping local people to conserve land, water, forests, wildlife and related natural resources.