St. Paul, Minn. – Minnesota citizens interested in influencing natural resources issues at the local level are encouraged to run for supervisor of their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).
SWCD supervisor positions are filled through general elections on November 6. Individuals who wish to be on the ballot in 2012 must file for the election between May 22 and June 5.
SWCDs are local units of government that manage and direct natural resource management programs at the local level. Minnesota’s 90 SWCDs cover the entire state and generally follow county lines.
Districts work with landowners in both rural and urban settings to carry out programs for the conservation, use, and development of soil, water, and related resources. Managing private lands, whether agriculture, forest, lakes, or urban, is key to Minnesota's quality of life.
“Districts fill the crucial niche of providing soil and water conservation services to owners of private lands,” said Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation District President Dr. Kathryn Kelly. “Serving as a SWCD board supervisor is very rewarding. It is an opportunity for locally elected citizens to develop policy and long-term conservation plans for their district.”
Interested citizens should file a Minnesota Affidavit of Candidacy (available from the county auditor), along with a $20 filing fee. All candidates for state and local offices must state on the Affidavit of Candidacy that they are eligible voters, will be at least 21 years of age when assuming office, and will have been residents of their nominating district for at least 30 days before the general election.
Supervisor candidates must live in and file from a nominating district. Candidates are elected at-large on the ballot*. SWCD Supervisors are not paid a salary; however, they do receive compensation for attending meetings and are reimbursed for expenses.
More information on the filing process can be obtained at the Minnesota Secretary of State web site. Persons interested in finding out what nominating district they live in and which supervisor positions are open for election should contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District office. A directory of SWCDs is located here and a list of SWCD web sites is available here.
*except for Washington Conservation District in the Twin Cities, where candidates are elected by each individual nomination district within the county.