State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title11 > Chapter16

CHAPTER 16 - CONSERVATION DISTRICTS

 

11-16-101. Short title.

 

This act may be cited as the "WyomingConservation Districts Law."

 

11-16-102. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Agency of this state" means any subdivision, agencyor instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the government of this state;

 

(ii) "At large member" means any registered voter andtaxpayer within the county;

 

(iii) "Commission" or "state conservationcommission" means the state board of agriculture;

 

(iv) "Conservation" means development, improvement,maintenance, preservation, protection and use of natural resources, and thecontrol and prevention of floodwater and sediment damages, and the disposal ofexcess waters;

 

(v) "District" or "conservation district"means a governmental subdivision of this state, and a public body corporate andpolitic, organized in accordance with this act;

 

(vi) "Due notice" for those provisions other thanelection and referendum provisions, means notice published at least twice, withan interval of six (6) days between the two (2) publication dates, in anewspaper of general circulation within the boundaries of the proposed ororganized district, or by posting at five (5) conspicuous places within theorganized or proposed district, such posting to include, where possible,posting at public places where it may be customary to post notices concerningcounty or municipal affairs generally. Except as otherwise provided in thisact, the notice of any hearing required under this act shall fix the time,place and purpose, which shall be not less than ten (10) or more than fifteen(15) days after the first publication or first posting of the notice. Anyhearing held pursuant to such notice may be adjourned from time to time withoutrenewing the notice for the adjourned dates. Notice for any election orreferendum required by this act shall be as specifically provided in this act,or if not specifically provided in this act, as required in the SpecialDistrict Elections Act of 1994;

 

(vii) "Government" or "governmental" meansthe government of this state, the government of the United States, and anysubdivision, agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of either ofthem;

 

(viii) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(ix) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(x) "Renewable natural resources," "naturalresources" or "resources," means land, soil, water, vegetation,trees, wild rivers, wilderness, natural beauty, scenery and open space;

 

(xi) "Urban" or "urban member" means anyregistered voter of an incorporated Wyoming municipality;

 

(xii) "This act" means W.S. 11-16-101 through11-16-134.

 

11-16-103. Legislative declarations and policy.

 

 

(a) It is hereby declared that the farm and grazing lands ofWyoming are among the basic assets of the state; that improper land usepractices cause and contribute to serious erosion of these lands by wind andwater; that among the consequences which would result from such conditions arethe deterioration of soil and its fertility and the silting and sedimentationof stream channels, reservoirs, dams and ditches; that to conserve soil, andsoil and water resources, and prevent and control soil erosion, it is necessarythat land use practices contributing to soil erosion be discouraged and thatappropriate soil conserving land use practices be adopted.

 

(b) It is hereby declared to be the policy of the legislatureto provide for the conservation of the soil, and soil and water resources ofthis state, and for the control and prevention of soil erosion and for floodprevention or the conservation, development, utilization, and disposal ofwater, and thereby to stabilize ranching and farming operations, to preservenatural resources, protect the tax base, control floods, prevent impairment ofdams and reservoirs, preserve wildlife, protect public lands, and protect andpromote the health, safety and general welfare of the people of this state.

 

11-16-104. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 15, 1.

 

11-16-105. State board of agriculture; duties generally.

 

 

(a) The commission shall:

 

(i) Keep a record of its official actions, adopt a seal, whichshall be judicially noticed, and perform acts, hold public hearings andpromulgate rules and regulations as necessary for the execution of itsfunctions under this act;

 

(ii) Assist and guide districts in the preparation and carryingout of programs for resource conservation authorized under this act, reviewdistrict programs, coordinate the programs of the several districts and resolveany conflicts, and facilitate, promote, assist, harmonize, coordinate and guidethe resource conservation programs and activities of districts as they relateto other special purpose districts, counties and other public agencies;

 

(iii) Keep the supervisors of the districts organized under thisact informed of the activities and experiences of other districts andfacilitate cooperation and an interchange of advice and experience between thedistricts;

 

(iv) Coordinate the programs of the several conservationdistricts so far as this may be done by advice and consultation;

 

(v) Recommend the appropriation of state funds necessary tofinance the activities of the commission and the conservation districts;distribute to conservation districts funds, equipment, supplies and servicesreceived by the commission for that purpose from any source, subject toconditions made applicable thereto by any state or federal statute or localordinance making available the funds, property or services; issue regulations establishingguidelines and suitable controls to govern the use by conservation districts ofsuch funds, property and services; and review all budgets, administrativeprocedures and operations of the districts and advise the districts concerningtheir conformance with applicable laws and regulations;

 

(vi) Disseminate information throughout the state concerning theactivities and programs of the conservation districts and encourage theformation of such districts in areas where their organization is desirable;enlist the cooperation and collaboration of state, federal, regional,interstate and local public and private agencies with the conservationdistricts; facilitate arrangements under which the conservation districts mayserve county governing bodies and other agencies as their local operatingagencies in the administration of any activity concerned with the conservationof renewable natural resources; and except as otherwise assigned by law, carryout the policies of this state in programs at the state level for theconservation of the renewable natural resources of this state and represent thestate in matters affecting such resources.

 

(b) Whenever the commission determines that there exists asubstantial conflict between the resources conservation program of a districtand the proposed plans or activities directly affecting resource conservationprepared by any other local governmental unit or agency of this state, and theconflict cannot be resolved through consultation procedures, the commission shallsubmit a report to the governor.

 

11-16-106. Department of agriculture; when contracts invalid.

 

No contract of the state commission for thepayment of money is valid unless the commission has available at the time thecontract is made funds sufficient for the payment thereof.

 

11-16-107. Report to director; reports by district supervisors toboard.

 

 

(a) On or before November 1 each even-numbered year, thecommission shall report to the director of the department of agriculture thenumber and acreages of districts in existence or in process of organization,together with an estimate of the number and probable acreages of the districtswhich may be organized during the ensuing period; the balance of funds, if any,available to the commission and to the districts; and the estimates of thecommission as to the sums needed for its administrative and other expenses andfor allocation among the several districts during the ensuing period.

 

(b) The supervisors of the respective districts shall submit tothe commission such statements, estimates, budgets and other information as thecommission may require. The director shall include the information furnished bythe commission in his report to the governor.

 

11-16-108. Petition to form district; contents; consolidation andexclusion.

 

(a) Any ten (10) owners of land lying within the limits of theproposed district may file a petition with the commission asking that aconservation district be organized to function in the territory described inthe petition. The petition shall meet all of the requirements of W.S.22-29-105(f). The commission shall act upon the petition for formation in thesame manner as set forth in W.S. 22-29-109 for county commissioners indetermining if a petition for district formation shall be voted upon. When morethan one (1) petition is filed covering parts of the same territory, thecommission may consolidate all or any such petitions, or may exclude from anypetition areas in conflict with another petition or petitions.

 

(i) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(ii) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(iii) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(iv) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(v) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

11-16-109. Notice and hearing on petition; approval or denial;criteria.

 

After the hearing, if the commissiondetermines, upon the facts presented at the hearing and other relevant factsthat are available, that there is need in the interest of the public health,safety and welfare for a conservation district to function in the territoryconsidered at the hearing, it shall record such determination and define bymetes and bounds or by legal subdivisions the boundaries of the district. Inmaking the determination and defining the boundaries, the commission shall giveweight and consideration to the topography of the area considered and of thestate, the composition of soils therein, the distribution of erosion, thecarrying capacity and condition of grazing lands, the numbers of livestockgrazed, the prevailing land use and management practices, the desirability andnecessity of including within the district the particular lands underconsideration and the benefits such land may receive from being included withinthe district, the relation of the proposed district to existing watersheds andagricultural regions and to other conservation districts already organized orproposed for organization, and such other physical, geographical and economicfactors as are relevant, having due regard to the legislative policy set forthin W.S. 11-16-103. The territory included within the district need not becontiguous. If the commission determines there is no need for a conservationdistrict to function in the territory considered at the hearing, it shallrecord such determination and deny the petition. Any owner of lands within aproposed district which is less than a countywide district may have his ownedand leased lands excluded from the proposed district upon presentation of apetition and description of the lands to the commission not less than seven (7)days prior to the holding of the referendum for the organization of thedistrict.

 

11-16-110. Canvass of ballots.

 

(a) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(b) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(c) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(d) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(e) Immediately after the polls close, the referendum officersshall canvass the ballots. The results disclosed by the canvass shall becertified by the commission.

 

(f) If a majority of the qualified electors voting in thereferendum favor the formation of the district, the proposal to organize theproposed district shall carry and the commission shall proceed to make thedetermination required in W.S. 11-16-112. If the majority of the qualifiedelectors voting in the referendum are against the organization of the district,the proposal to form the district shall fail and the commission shall deny thepetition. The commission shall promptly make public the result of the referendum.

 

11-16-111. Board of agriculture to provide for issuance of notices,conduct of hearings and referenda.

 

The commission shall provide for theissuance of notices and the conduct of hearings and referenda by appropriateregulations. It shall provide for registration prior to the date of thereferendum of all eligible voters, or prescribe some other appropriateprocedure for the determination of those eligible as voters in the referendum.

 

11-16-112. Result of referendum; announcement; practicability of district;determination; criteria.

 

After making public the result of thereferendum, the commission shall consider and determine whether the operationof the district within the defined boundaries is administratively practicable.If the commission determines the operation of the district is notadministratively practicable, it shall record the determination and deny thepetition. If the commission determines that the operation of the district isadministratively practicable, it shall record the determination and proceedwith the organization of the district. In making the determination thecommission shall give regard to the attitudes of the voters lying within thedefined boundaries, the number of voters eligible to vote in the referendum whovoted, the proportion of votes cast in favor of the creation of the district tothe total number of votes cast, the approximate wealth and income of the ownersof land of the proposed district, the probable expense of carrying onerosion-control operations within the district, and other economic and socialfactors as are relevant.

 

11-16-113. Establishment of district.

 

 

(a) If the commission determines the operation of the proposeddistrict is administratively practicable, it shall appoint two (2) supervisorswho are owners of land in the district to act with three (3) supervisorselected as provided hereinafter as the governing body of the district. Thedistrict shall be a governmental subdivision of this state and a public bodycorporate and politic. The two (2) appointed supervisors shall present to thesecretary of state an application signed by them setting forth by recital onlyand not in detail:

 

(i) That a petition for the creation of the district was filedwith the commission pursuant to the provisions of this act, and the proceedingsspecified in the act were taken pursuant to the petition;

 

(ii) That the application is filed to complete the organizationof the district as a governmental subdivision and a public body, corporate andpolitic, under this act;

 

(iii) That the commission has appointed them as supervisors;

 

(iv) The name and official residence of each supervisor and acertified copy of the appointment evidencing his right to office;

 

(v) The term of office of each supervisor;

 

(vi) The name of the district; and

 

(vii) The location of the principal office of the supervisors ofthe district.

 

(b) The application shall be subscribed and sworn to by eachsupervisor before an officer authorized to administer oaths, who shall certifyupon the application that he personally knows the supervisors and knows them tobe the officers affirmed in the application, and that each has subscribedthereto in the officer's presence. The application shall be accompanied by acertified statement by the commission, setting forth the boundaries of thedistrict but otherwise containing no detail other than the mere recitals that:

 

(i) A petition was filed, notice issued and hearing held asrequired by law;

 

(ii) The commission determined that there is need, in theinterest of the public health, safety and welfare, for a conservation districtto function in the proposed territory and did define the boundaries;

 

(iii) Notice was given and a referendum held on the question ofthe creation of such district;

 

(iv) The result of the referendum showed a majority of the votescast in favor of the creation of the district; and

 

(v) The commission did determine the operation of the proposeddistrict is administratively practicable.

 

(c) The secretary of state shall examine the application andstatement and if he finds the name proposed for the district is not so similarto that of another conservation district as to cause confusion or uncertainty,he shall record them in an appropriate book in his office. If the secretary ofstate finds the name proposed for the district is so similar to that of anyother conservation district of this state as to lead to confusion, he shallcertify that fact to the commission, which shall submit a new name for thedistrict which is not subject to such defects. Upon receipt of the new name thesecretary of state shall record the application and statement, with the name somodified, in an appropriate book. When the application and statement have beenmade, filed and recorded, the district is a governmental subdivision of thisstate and a public body corporate and politic. The secretary of state shallissue to the supervisors a certificate, under the seal of the state, of theorganization of the district, and shall record the certificate with theapplication and statement. The boundaries of the district shall include theterritory determined by the commission, but shall not include any area includedwithin the boundaries of another conservation district organized under thisact.

 

11-16-114. Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

11-16-115. Districts; transfer of land; division or consolidation;change in name.

 

 

(a) Upon written request of the board of supervisors of theconservation district or districts involved, with a showing that the request isapproved by a majority vote of the members of each board involved thecommission may, by administrative order:

 

(i) Transfer lands from one district to another;

 

(ii) Divide a single district into two (2) or more districts,each of which shall thereafter operate as a separate district; or

 

(iii) Consolidate two (2) or more districts to operate thereafteras a single district.

 

(b) The secretary of state shall make and issue a correctedcertificate of organization upon receipt of such certification from thecommission.

 

(c) Petitions for a change in the name of a conservationdistrict may be submitted to the commission by the board of supervisors of aconservation district. If the commission approves the change of name, it shallcertify the change to the secretary of state and shall notify the board ofsupervisors of the conservation district of the change, setting out in thenotice the new name of the district. The secretary of state shall make andissue a corrected certificate of organization upon receipt of suchcertification from the commission.

 

11-16-116. Districts; proof of organization.

 

In any suit, action or proceeding relatingto any action of the district, the district is deemed to have been establishedin accordance with this act upon proof of the issuance of the certificate bythe secretary of state. A copy of the certificate certified by the secretary ofstate is admissible in evidence in any suit, action or proceeding and is proofof the filing and contents thereof.

 

11-16-117. Districts; termination; dissolution procedures;determination by board of agriculture; legal effects of dissolution.

 

(a) After five (5) years after the organization of a districtunder this act, any ten (10) owners of land lying within the district maypetition the commission that the operations of the district be discontinued andthe existence of the district terminated. The commission may conduct publicmeetings and hearings upon the petition as necessary in the considerationthereof. Within sixty (60) days after a petition has been filed with thecommission, it shall give notice of a referendum as provided in the SpecialDistrict Elections Act of 1994. The commission shall supervise the referendumand issue appropriate regulations governing the conduct thereof. The questionshall be submitted by ballots upon which the words "For terminating theexistence of the .... (name of the conservation district to be hereinserted)" and "Against terminating the existence of the .... (nameof the conservation district to be here inserted)" shall appear, with asquare before each proposition and a direction to insert an X mark in thesquare before one (1) or the other as the voter may favor or oppose dissolutionof the district. Qualified electors of the district are eligible to vote in thereferendum. No informalities in the conduct of the referendum or relatedmatters shall invalidate the referendum or result if notice is givensubstantially as herein provided and the referendum is fairly conducted.

 

(b) The commission shall publish the result of the referendum.If a majority of the votes cast in the referendum oppose dissolution of thedistrict, the commission shall determine whether the continued operation of thedistrict within the defined boundaries is administratively practicable. If thecommission determines the continued operation of the district isadministratively practicable, it shall record its determination and deny thepetition. If a majority of the votes cast favor dissolution of the district itshall certify that fact to the supervisors of the district. In making thedetermination of administrative practicality to continue the district thecommission shall consider those factors set forth in W.S. 11-16-112 forcreation of the district.

 

(c) Upon receipt from the commission of a certification thatthe majority of votes cast in the referendum favor dissolution of the district,the supervisors shall forthwith terminate the affairs of the district. Thesupervisors shall dispose of all property belonging to the district at publicauction and pay the net proceeds of the sales to the state treasurer. Thesupervisors shall thereupon file a verified application with the secretary ofstate for dissolution of the district, and shall transmit with the applicationthe certificate of the commission that the majority of votes cast at thereferendum favored dissolution of the district. The application shall recitethat the property of the district has been disposed of and the proceeds paidover as provided by law, setting forth a full accounting of the properties andproceeds of sale. The secretary of state shall issue to the supervisors acertificate of dissolution and shall record the certificate in an appropriatebook in his office. The secretary of state shall make no charge for any servicerequired of him by this act.

 

(d) Upon issuance of a certificate of dissolution allordinances and regulations adopted and in force within the district are void.All contracts to which the district or supervisors are parties remain in forceand effect for the period provided in such contracts. The commission shall besubstituted for the district or supervisors as party to the contracts. Thecommission is entitled to all benefits and subject to all liabilities under suchcontracts and has the same right and liability to perform, require performance,sue and be sued thereon, and to modify or terminate the contracts as thesupervisors of the district would have had. Dissolution does not affect thelien of any judgment entered or the pendency of any action instituted underW.S. 11-16-126 [repealed], and the commission succeeds to all rights andobligations of the district or supervisors as to such liens and actions.

 

11-16-118. District supervisors; term; vacancies; expenses; removal;quorum; bond required of employees; areas included in district; cooperativeagreement with city.

 

(a) The term of the two (2) supervisors appointed extends fromtheir appointment until the second annual election held in the district. Asupervisor shall hold office from his election or appointment and taking of theoath of office until his successor has been elected or appointed, andqualified. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term. Vacancies in theoffice of any supervisor shall be filled by appointment by the commission uponthe recommendations of the district supervisors, the appointee to serve untilthe next election at which time the vacancy shall be filled by the electors forthe unexpired term. A supervisor shall receive no compensation for hisservices, but is entitled to expenses, including traveling expenses,necessarily incurred in the discharge of his duties. Any supervisor may beremoved by the commission upon notice and hearing, for neglect of duty ormalfeasance in office.

 

(b) A majority of the supervisors constitutes a quorum and theconcurrence of three (3) supervisors is required for determination of anymatter.

 

(c) The supervisors shall require a bond to be issued for allemployees and officers entrusted with funds or property. The supervisors shallprovide for keeping a full and accurate record of all proceedings, resolutions,regulations and orders issued or adopted. The accounts, receipts anddisbursements of the district shall be subject to the audit and reportingrequirements set forth in W.S. 9-1-507(a)(iii).

 

(d) All cities, towns, villages or other urban and suburbanareas lying wholly or partly within the exterior boundaries of a conservationdistrict shall, from the effective date of this act, be included in thedistrict. In doubtful cases, the commission shall determine the district whichincludes any urban or suburban area.

 

(e) By cooperative agreement with the city concerned, adistrict may perform within the boundaries of the city any work required orauthorized under this act, through such administrative and financialarrangements as the city and the district agree upon.

 

11-16-119. District supervisors; nomination; qualifications; election;term.

 

Within thirty (30) days after issuance bythe secretary of state of a certificate of organization of a conservationdistrict, applications for election under the Special District Elections Act of1994 may be filed with the commission by candidates for supervisors, who shallbe owners of land within the district. The commission may extend for not toexceed thirty (30) days the time within which applications may be filed. Thecommission shall give notice of an election to be held for the election ofthree (3) supervisors for the district. All qualified electors within thedistrict are eligible to vote. The three (3) supervisors first elected shalldraw lots, one (1) for a term of two (2) years, and two (2) for a term of three(3) years. Thereafter supervisors shall be elected each year to serve for afull term of three (3) years. The number of supervisors elected each year shallbe determined by the number of supervisors whose terms expire at that time. Thecommission shall provide for all elections, supervise the conduct thereof, andprescribe regulations governing the conduct of all elections, and shall makepublic the result thereof.

 

11-16-120. District supervisors; elections under Election Code and fornew districts.

 

(a) District supervisors shall be elected in subsequentelections under the Special District Elections Act of 1994 and as hereinafterprovided for new districts:

 

(i) At the first subsequent director election followingestablishment of a new district, five (5) supervisors, who reside within thedistrict shall be elected at large by a nonpartisan ballot. Three (3)supervisors shall be rural residents, one (1) shall be a resident of an urbanarea and one (1) shall be elected at large. At the first subsequent directorelection, the at large candidate receiving the largest number of votes shall beelected for a four (4) year term, the urban candidate receiving the largestnumber of votes shall be elected for a four (4) year term, the rural candidatereceiving the largest number of votes shall serve a four (4) year term and thetwo (2) candidates receiving the next highest number of votes shall be electedfor two (2) year terms. In succeeding elections all supervisors shall beelected for four (4) year terms.

 

(ii) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

11-16-121. District supervisor; cooperation and agreements betweendistricts; agreements with districts in adjoining states.

 

 

(a) The supervisors of two (2) or more districts organizedunder this act may cooperate in the exercise of any or all powers conferred inthis act.

 

(b) Any two (2) or more districts may engage in jointactivities by agreement for planning, financing, constructing, operating,maintaining and administering any program or project concerned with theconservation of renewable natural resources. The districts concerned may makeavailable for purposes of the agreement any funds, property, personnel,equipment or services available to them under this act.

 

(c) Any district may enter into such agreements with districtsin an adjoining state if the law in the other state permits such agreements.

 

(d) The commission may propose, guide and facilitate theestablishment and carrying out of such agreements.

 

11-16-122. Powers and duties of districts and supervisors thereofgenerally.

 

 

(a) Each conservation district organized under this act shallmake an annual estimate of the funds required by the district for conservationprograms and present a certified copy of the estimate, along with a budgetshowing all anticipated income and expenses, to the county commissioners.

 

(b) A conservation district organized under this act and thesupervisors thereof, in addition to other powers granted by this act, may:

 

(i) Employ personnel and determine their duties and conditionsof employment;

 

(ii) Call upon the attorney general of the state for legalservices or employ their own counsel and legal staff;

 

(iii) Delegate to their chairman, to one (1) or more supervisorsor to one (1) or more agents or employees such delegable powers and duties asthey deem proper;

 

(iv) Furnish to the state conservation commission upon request,copies of ordinances, rules, regulations, orders, contracts, forms and otherdocuments they adopt or employ, and such other information concerning theiractivities as it may require and to the county clerk copies of ordinances,rules, regulations and orders it adopts in accordance with law;

 

(v) Conduct surveys, investigations and research anddisseminate information relating to range management, the character of soilerosion, flood prevention or the conservation, development, utilization anddisposal of water, and the preventive and control measures and works ofimprovement needed, but in order to avoid duplication of research activities,no district shall initiate any research program except in cooperation with thegovernment of this state or its agencies, or with the United States or itsagencies;

 

(vi) Conduct demonstration projects within the district on landsowned or controlled by this state or its agencies, with the cooperation of theagency administering and having jurisdiction thereof, and on other lands withinthe district with the consent of the owner or occupier of the lands, todemonstrate range management practices, the means, methods and measures bywhich soil and soil resources may be conserved, and soil erosion in the form ofsoil blowing and washing may be prevented and controlled and works ofimprovement for flood prevention or the conservation, development, utilizationand disposal of water may be carried out;

 

(vii) Carry out preventive and control measures and works ofimprovement within the district, including engineering operations, rangemanagement, methods of cultivation, the growing of grass or other vegetation,changes in use of land or any measure which may be developed for the control oferosion and better use of soil, and works of improvement for flood preventionor the conservation, development, utilization and disposal of water on landsowned or controlled by this state or its agencies, with the cooperation of theagency administering and having jurisdiction thereof, or on other lands withinthe district with the consent of the owner or occupier of the lands;

 

(viii) Cooperate, or enter into agreements with and furnishfinancial or other aid to, any agency, governmental or otherwise, or any owneror occupier of lands within the district, in carrying on range management orerosion control and prevention operations and works of improvement for floodprevention or the conservation, development, utilization and disposal of waterwithin the district, subject to such conditions as the supervisors deemnecessary;

 

(ix) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(x) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xi) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xii) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xiii) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xiv) Make available on terms it prescribes, to owners andoccupiers of land within the district, agricultural and engineering machineryand equipment, fertilizer, seeds and seedlings, male breeding animals,livestock supplies and such other material or equipment as will assist theowners and occupiers of land to carry on operations upon their lands and uponthose owned or leased by the district, for range improvement and stabilization,the conservation of soil and water resources, the prevention and control ofsoil erosion and for flood prevention or the conservation, development,utilization and disposal of water. The assistance authorized by this paragraphshall be on a limited scale for demonstration purposes and the district shallnot be deemed authorized to compete with private industry;

 

(xv) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xvi) Develop comprehensive plans for range improvement andstabilization, conservation of soil and water resources, control and preventionof soil erosion and for flood prevention or the conservation, development,utilization and disposal of water within the district, which plans shallinclude range management provisions and shall specify in detail the acts,procedures, performances and avoidances necessary or desirable to carry out theplans, including the specification of engineering operation, fence andstockwater developments, methods of cultivation, the growing of grass and othervegetation, cropping and range programs, tillage and grazing practices, andchanges in use of lands;

 

(xvii) Make public the plans and information and bring them to theattention of owners and occupiers of land within the district;

 

(xviii) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xix) Manage, as agent of the United States or any of itsagencies, and enter into agreements with the United States or any of itsagencies, or this state or any of its agencies, to effect cooperation with theUnited States or any of its agencies under United States Public Law 566approved August 4, 1954, or amendments thereto, in connection with theacquisition, construction, operation or administration of any land utilization,soil conservation, erosion control, erosion prevention, flood preventionprojects, conservation of water, water utilization, disposal of water inwatershed areas and other water projects within its boundaries;

 

(xx) Act as representative for local groups in dealing with theUnited States or its representatives, in soil or water conservation mattersunder United States Public Law 566 approved August 4, 1954, or amendmentsthereto;

 

(xxi) Accept donations, gifts and contributions in money,services, materials or otherwise from any source which will impose no financialobligation upon the state, and use or expend the monies, services, materials orcontributions in carrying on its operations;

 

(xxii) Sue and be sued in the name of the district;

 

(xxiii) Have a seal, which shall be judicially noticed;

 

(xxiv) Have perpetual succession unless terminated as hereinafterprovided;

 

(xxv) Make and execute contracts and other instruments necessaryto the exercise of its powers;

 

(xxvi) Make, amend and repeal rules and regulations notinconsistent with this act, to implement its purposes and powers;

 

(xxvii) As a condition to extending any benefits to or performanceof work upon any land not owned or controlled by the state or its agencies,require contributions in money, services, materials or otherwise to anyoperations conferring benefits and require owners and occupiers of land toenter into and perform such agreements or covenants as to the permanent use ofsuch lands as will prevent or control erosion and prevent flood water andsediment damages thereon and promote the best use of such lands.

 

(c) A conservation district shall not purchase or hold title tofarm lands as defined by W.S. 11-34-101(a)(ii).

 

11-16-123. Applicability of provisions concerning other agencies;validity of contracts of supervisors.

 

 

(a) No provisions with respect to the acquisition, operation ordisposition of property by other public bodies are applicable to a districtorganized hereunder unless the legislature shall specifically so state.

 

(b) No contract of the district supervisors for the payment ofmoney is valid unless the supervisors have at the time the contract is madefunds in cash, securities or deposits sufficient for the payment thereof.

 

11-16-124. Administration of oaths by secretary or treasurer ofdistrict.

 

The secretary or treasurer of the districtare severally authorized to administer oaths within their district in anymatter pertaining to the business of their district where an oath is requiredby law.

 

11-16-125. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-126. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-127. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-128. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-129. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-130. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-131. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-132. Publicly owned lands to be administered in cooperation withdistricts.

 

Agencies of the state, county or anypolitical subdivision of the state which have jurisdiction over or are chargedwith the administration of any state, county or other publicly owned landslying within the boundaries of any district organized hereunder, shallcooperate to the fullest extent with the supervisors of the district to effectthe programs and operations undertaken by the supervisors under this act andmay lease such lands to a district. The supervisors of the districts shall begiven free access to enter and perform work upon the publicly owned lands. Theprovisions of conservation ordinances have the force and effect of law over allpublicly owned lands, and shall be in all respects observed by the agenciesadministering the lands.

 

11-16-133. Tax levied on property in district; maximum amount; soil andwater conservation fund; other appropriation authorized.

 

 

(a) Subject to W.S. 11-16-134, the county commissioners mayannually levy a tax to carry out this act. The tax shall be levied upon allproperty in the district and shall not exceed one (1) mill on each one dollar($1.00) of assessed valuation. The tax is not part of the general county orcity mill levies. The tax shall be levied and collected as other county taxesand the county treasurer shall remit the taxes collected to the district to aseparate fund to be known as the conservation district fund, which shall beused only to carry out the purposes of this act.

 

(b) Whether or not a tax levy is authorized under W.S.11-16-134, each board of county commissioners may make appropriations from thecounty general fund to districts established under this act for the purpose ofproviding soil and water conservation programs.

 

11-16-134. Imposition of tax; vote of electors required.

 

(a) No tax shall be imposed under W.S. 11-16-133 until theproposition to impose the tax is submitted to a vote of the voters of thedistrict and a majority of those casting their ballots vote in favor ofimposing the tax. Any tax imposed under this act shall be levied in the yearfollowing the election at which the imposition of the tax is approved.

 

(b) The proposition to impose a tax under this act shall be atthe expense of the county and may be submitted to the voters of the county uponthe receipt by the board of county commissioners of a petition requesting theelection signed by a majority of the supervisors of the district. The electionshall be at the direction and under the supervision of the board of countycommissioners.

 

(c) Subject to the limitation of subsection (b) of thissection, the proposition to impose a tax under this act shall be submitted onan election date authorized under W.S. 22-21-103, or by mail ballot pursuant toW.S. 22-29-115 and 22-29-116. A notice of election shall be given by the countyclerk in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation published in thecounty wherein the election is to be held and shall specify the object of the election. The notice shall be published at least once each week for a thirty (30) dayperiod preceding the election. At the election the ballots shall contain thewords "for the conservation district tax" and "against theconservation district tax". Upon the initial submission of theconservation district tax, or any renewal thereof, after July 1, 1995, theconservation district board of supervisors shall choose one (1) of thefollowing options and the words of the chosen option shall be clearly printed inthe appropriate area on the election ballot:

 

(i) If this proposition is approved, the same proposition shallbe submitted at the second following general election or by mail ballotpursuant to W.S. 22-29-115 and 22-29-116, and thereafter at succeeding generalelections or by mail ballot pursuant to W.S. 22-29-115 and 22-29-116, everyfour (4) years until the proposition is defeated; or

 

(ii) If this proposition is approved, the tax shall remain ineffect until a petition to discontinue the tax, signed by not less than tenpercent (10%) of the voters of the district, is received by the board of countycommissioners, and the proposal to discontinue the tax is approved by thevoters. The proposal to discontinue the tax shall be submitted to the voters ofthe district at the expense of the county at the next general election or bymail ballot pursuant to W.S. 22-29-115 and 22-29-116 for approval ordisapproval.

 

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title11 > Chapter16

CHAPTER 16 - CONSERVATION DISTRICTS

 

11-16-101. Short title.

 

This act may be cited as the "WyomingConservation Districts Law."

 

11-16-102. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Agency of this state" means any subdivision, agencyor instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the government of this state;

 

(ii) "At large member" means any registered voter andtaxpayer within the county;

 

(iii) "Commission" or "state conservationcommission" means the state board of agriculture;

 

(iv) "Conservation" means development, improvement,maintenance, preservation, protection and use of natural resources, and thecontrol and prevention of floodwater and sediment damages, and the disposal ofexcess waters;

 

(v) "District" or "conservation district"means a governmental subdivision of this state, and a public body corporate andpolitic, organized in accordance with this act;

 

(vi) "Due notice" for those provisions other thanelection and referendum provisions, means notice published at least twice, withan interval of six (6) days between the two (2) publication dates, in anewspaper of general circulation within the boundaries of the proposed ororganized district, or by posting at five (5) conspicuous places within theorganized or proposed district, such posting to include, where possible,posting at public places where it may be customary to post notices concerningcounty or municipal affairs generally. Except as otherwise provided in thisact, the notice of any hearing required under this act shall fix the time,place and purpose, which shall be not less than ten (10) or more than fifteen(15) days after the first publication or first posting of the notice. Anyhearing held pursuant to such notice may be adjourned from time to time withoutrenewing the notice for the adjourned dates. Notice for any election orreferendum required by this act shall be as specifically provided in this act,or if not specifically provided in this act, as required in the SpecialDistrict Elections Act of 1994;

 

(vii) "Government" or "governmental" meansthe government of this state, the government of the United States, and anysubdivision, agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of either ofthem;

 

(viii) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(ix) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(x) "Renewable natural resources," "naturalresources" or "resources," means land, soil, water, vegetation,trees, wild rivers, wilderness, natural beauty, scenery and open space;

 

(xi) "Urban" or "urban member" means anyregistered voter of an incorporated Wyoming municipality;

 

(xii) "This act" means W.S. 11-16-101 through11-16-134.

 

11-16-103. Legislative declarations and policy.

 

 

(a) It is hereby declared that the farm and grazing lands ofWyoming are among the basic assets of the state; that improper land usepractices cause and contribute to serious erosion of these lands by wind andwater; that among the consequences which would result from such conditions arethe deterioration of soil and its fertility and the silting and sedimentationof stream channels, reservoirs, dams and ditches; that to conserve soil, andsoil and water resources, and prevent and control soil erosion, it is necessarythat land use practices contributing to soil erosion be discouraged and thatappropriate soil conserving land use practices be adopted.

 

(b) It is hereby declared to be the policy of the legislatureto provide for the conservation of the soil, and soil and water resources ofthis state, and for the control and prevention of soil erosion and for floodprevention or the conservation, development, utilization, and disposal ofwater, and thereby to stabilize ranching and farming operations, to preservenatural resources, protect the tax base, control floods, prevent impairment ofdams and reservoirs, preserve wildlife, protect public lands, and protect andpromote the health, safety and general welfare of the people of this state.

 

11-16-104. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 15, 1.

 

11-16-105. State board of agriculture; duties generally.

 

 

(a) The commission shall:

 

(i) Keep a record of its official actions, adopt a seal, whichshall be judicially noticed, and perform acts, hold public hearings andpromulgate rules and regulations as necessary for the execution of itsfunctions under this act;

 

(ii) Assist and guide districts in the preparation and carryingout of programs for resource conservation authorized under this act, reviewdistrict programs, coordinate the programs of the several districts and resolveany conflicts, and facilitate, promote, assist, harmonize, coordinate and guidethe resource conservation programs and activities of districts as they relateto other special purpose districts, counties and other public agencies;

 

(iii) Keep the supervisors of the districts organized under thisact informed of the activities and experiences of other districts andfacilitate cooperation and an interchange of advice and experience between thedistricts;

 

(iv) Coordinate the programs of the several conservationdistricts so far as this may be done by advice and consultation;

 

(v) Recommend the appropriation of state funds necessary tofinance the activities of the commission and the conservation districts;distribute to conservation districts funds, equipment, supplies and servicesreceived by the commission for that purpose from any source, subject toconditions made applicable thereto by any state or federal statute or localordinance making available the funds, property or services; issue regulations establishingguidelines and suitable controls to govern the use by conservation districts ofsuch funds, property and services; and review all budgets, administrativeprocedures and operations of the districts and advise the districts concerningtheir conformance with applicable laws and regulations;

 

(vi) Disseminate information throughout the state concerning theactivities and programs of the conservation districts and encourage theformation of such districts in areas where their organization is desirable;enlist the cooperation and collaboration of state, federal, regional,interstate and local public and private agencies with the conservationdistricts; facilitate arrangements under which the conservation districts mayserve county governing bodies and other agencies as their local operatingagencies in the administration of any activity concerned with the conservationof renewable natural resources; and except as otherwise assigned by law, carryout the policies of this state in programs at the state level for theconservation of the renewable natural resources of this state and represent thestate in matters affecting such resources.

 

(b) Whenever the commission determines that there exists asubstantial conflict between the resources conservation program of a districtand the proposed plans or activities directly affecting resource conservationprepared by any other local governmental unit or agency of this state, and theconflict cannot be resolved through consultation procedures, the commission shallsubmit a report to the governor.

 

11-16-106. Department of agriculture; when contracts invalid.

 

No contract of the state commission for thepayment of money is valid unless the commission has available at the time thecontract is made funds sufficient for the payment thereof.

 

11-16-107. Report to director; reports by district supervisors toboard.

 

 

(a) On or before November 1 each even-numbered year, thecommission shall report to the director of the department of agriculture thenumber and acreages of districts in existence or in process of organization,together with an estimate of the number and probable acreages of the districtswhich may be organized during the ensuing period; the balance of funds, if any,available to the commission and to the districts; and the estimates of thecommission as to the sums needed for its administrative and other expenses andfor allocation among the several districts during the ensuing period.

 

(b) The supervisors of the respective districts shall submit tothe commission such statements, estimates, budgets and other information as thecommission may require. The director shall include the information furnished bythe commission in his report to the governor.

 

11-16-108. Petition to form district; contents; consolidation andexclusion.

 

(a) Any ten (10) owners of land lying within the limits of theproposed district may file a petition with the commission asking that aconservation district be organized to function in the territory described inthe petition. The petition shall meet all of the requirements of W.S.22-29-105(f). The commission shall act upon the petition for formation in thesame manner as set forth in W.S. 22-29-109 for county commissioners indetermining if a petition for district formation shall be voted upon. When morethan one (1) petition is filed covering parts of the same territory, thecommission may consolidate all or any such petitions, or may exclude from anypetition areas in conflict with another petition or petitions.

 

(i) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(ii) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(iii) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(iv) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(v) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

11-16-109. Notice and hearing on petition; approval or denial;criteria.

 

After the hearing, if the commissiondetermines, upon the facts presented at the hearing and other relevant factsthat are available, that there is need in the interest of the public health,safety and welfare for a conservation district to function in the territoryconsidered at the hearing, it shall record such determination and define bymetes and bounds or by legal subdivisions the boundaries of the district. Inmaking the determination and defining the boundaries, the commission shall giveweight and consideration to the topography of the area considered and of thestate, the composition of soils therein, the distribution of erosion, thecarrying capacity and condition of grazing lands, the numbers of livestockgrazed, the prevailing land use and management practices, the desirability andnecessity of including within the district the particular lands underconsideration and the benefits such land may receive from being included withinthe district, the relation of the proposed district to existing watersheds andagricultural regions and to other conservation districts already organized orproposed for organization, and such other physical, geographical and economicfactors as are relevant, having due regard to the legislative policy set forthin W.S. 11-16-103. The territory included within the district need not becontiguous. If the commission determines there is no need for a conservationdistrict to function in the territory considered at the hearing, it shallrecord such determination and deny the petition. Any owner of lands within aproposed district which is less than a countywide district may have his ownedand leased lands excluded from the proposed district upon presentation of apetition and description of the lands to the commission not less than seven (7)days prior to the holding of the referendum for the organization of thedistrict.

 

11-16-110. Canvass of ballots.

 

(a) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(b) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(c) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(d) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(e) Immediately after the polls close, the referendum officersshall canvass the ballots. The results disclosed by the canvass shall becertified by the commission.

 

(f) If a majority of the qualified electors voting in thereferendum favor the formation of the district, the proposal to organize theproposed district shall carry and the commission shall proceed to make thedetermination required in W.S. 11-16-112. If the majority of the qualifiedelectors voting in the referendum are against the organization of the district,the proposal to form the district shall fail and the commission shall deny thepetition. The commission shall promptly make public the result of the referendum.

 

11-16-111. Board of agriculture to provide for issuance of notices,conduct of hearings and referenda.

 

The commission shall provide for theissuance of notices and the conduct of hearings and referenda by appropriateregulations. It shall provide for registration prior to the date of thereferendum of all eligible voters, or prescribe some other appropriateprocedure for the determination of those eligible as voters in the referendum.

 

11-16-112. Result of referendum; announcement; practicability of district;determination; criteria.

 

After making public the result of thereferendum, the commission shall consider and determine whether the operationof the district within the defined boundaries is administratively practicable.If the commission determines the operation of the district is notadministratively practicable, it shall record the determination and deny thepetition. If the commission determines that the operation of the district isadministratively practicable, it shall record the determination and proceedwith the organization of the district. In making the determination thecommission shall give regard to the attitudes of the voters lying within thedefined boundaries, the number of voters eligible to vote in the referendum whovoted, the proportion of votes cast in favor of the creation of the district tothe total number of votes cast, the approximate wealth and income of the ownersof land of the proposed district, the probable expense of carrying onerosion-control operations within the district, and other economic and socialfactors as are relevant.

 

11-16-113. Establishment of district.

 

 

(a) If the commission determines the operation of the proposeddistrict is administratively practicable, it shall appoint two (2) supervisorswho are owners of land in the district to act with three (3) supervisorselected as provided hereinafter as the governing body of the district. Thedistrict shall be a governmental subdivision of this state and a public bodycorporate and politic. The two (2) appointed supervisors shall present to thesecretary of state an application signed by them setting forth by recital onlyand not in detail:

 

(i) That a petition for the creation of the district was filedwith the commission pursuant to the provisions of this act, and the proceedingsspecified in the act were taken pursuant to the petition;

 

(ii) That the application is filed to complete the organizationof the district as a governmental subdivision and a public body, corporate andpolitic, under this act;

 

(iii) That the commission has appointed them as supervisors;

 

(iv) The name and official residence of each supervisor and acertified copy of the appointment evidencing his right to office;

 

(v) The term of office of each supervisor;

 

(vi) The name of the district; and

 

(vii) The location of the principal office of the supervisors ofthe district.

 

(b) The application shall be subscribed and sworn to by eachsupervisor before an officer authorized to administer oaths, who shall certifyupon the application that he personally knows the supervisors and knows them tobe the officers affirmed in the application, and that each has subscribedthereto in the officer's presence. The application shall be accompanied by acertified statement by the commission, setting forth the boundaries of thedistrict but otherwise containing no detail other than the mere recitals that:

 

(i) A petition was filed, notice issued and hearing held asrequired by law;

 

(ii) The commission determined that there is need, in theinterest of the public health, safety and welfare, for a conservation districtto function in the proposed territory and did define the boundaries;

 

(iii) Notice was given and a referendum held on the question ofthe creation of such district;

 

(iv) The result of the referendum showed a majority of the votescast in favor of the creation of the district; and

 

(v) The commission did determine the operation of the proposeddistrict is administratively practicable.

 

(c) The secretary of state shall examine the application andstatement and if he finds the name proposed for the district is not so similarto that of another conservation district as to cause confusion or uncertainty,he shall record them in an appropriate book in his office. If the secretary ofstate finds the name proposed for the district is so similar to that of anyother conservation district of this state as to lead to confusion, he shallcertify that fact to the commission, which shall submit a new name for thedistrict which is not subject to such defects. Upon receipt of the new name thesecretary of state shall record the application and statement, with the name somodified, in an appropriate book. When the application and statement have beenmade, filed and recorded, the district is a governmental subdivision of thisstate and a public body corporate and politic. The secretary of state shallissue to the supervisors a certificate, under the seal of the state, of theorganization of the district, and shall record the certificate with theapplication and statement. The boundaries of the district shall include theterritory determined by the commission, but shall not include any area includedwithin the boundaries of another conservation district organized under thisact.

 

11-16-114. Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

11-16-115. Districts; transfer of land; division or consolidation;change in name.

 

 

(a) Upon written request of the board of supervisors of theconservation district or districts involved, with a showing that the request isapproved by a majority vote of the members of each board involved thecommission may, by administrative order:

 

(i) Transfer lands from one district to another;

 

(ii) Divide a single district into two (2) or more districts,each of which shall thereafter operate as a separate district; or

 

(iii) Consolidate two (2) or more districts to operate thereafteras a single district.

 

(b) The secretary of state shall make and issue a correctedcertificate of organization upon receipt of such certification from thecommission.

 

(c) Petitions for a change in the name of a conservationdistrict may be submitted to the commission by the board of supervisors of aconservation district. If the commission approves the change of name, it shallcertify the change to the secretary of state and shall notify the board ofsupervisors of the conservation district of the change, setting out in thenotice the new name of the district. The secretary of state shall make andissue a corrected certificate of organization upon receipt of suchcertification from the commission.

 

11-16-116. Districts; proof of organization.

 

In any suit, action or proceeding relatingto any action of the district, the district is deemed to have been establishedin accordance with this act upon proof of the issuance of the certificate bythe secretary of state. A copy of the certificate certified by the secretary ofstate is admissible in evidence in any suit, action or proceeding and is proofof the filing and contents thereof.

 

11-16-117. Districts; termination; dissolution procedures;determination by board of agriculture; legal effects of dissolution.

 

(a) After five (5) years after the organization of a districtunder this act, any ten (10) owners of land lying within the district maypetition the commission that the operations of the district be discontinued andthe existence of the district terminated. The commission may conduct publicmeetings and hearings upon the petition as necessary in the considerationthereof. Within sixty (60) days after a petition has been filed with thecommission, it shall give notice of a referendum as provided in the SpecialDistrict Elections Act of 1994. The commission shall supervise the referendumand issue appropriate regulations governing the conduct thereof. The questionshall be submitted by ballots upon which the words "For terminating theexistence of the .... (name of the conservation district to be hereinserted)" and "Against terminating the existence of the .... (nameof the conservation district to be here inserted)" shall appear, with asquare before each proposition and a direction to insert an X mark in thesquare before one (1) or the other as the voter may favor or oppose dissolutionof the district. Qualified electors of the district are eligible to vote in thereferendum. No informalities in the conduct of the referendum or relatedmatters shall invalidate the referendum or result if notice is givensubstantially as herein provided and the referendum is fairly conducted.

 

(b) The commission shall publish the result of the referendum.If a majority of the votes cast in the referendum oppose dissolution of thedistrict, the commission shall determine whether the continued operation of thedistrict within the defined boundaries is administratively practicable. If thecommission determines the continued operation of the district isadministratively practicable, it shall record its determination and deny thepetition. If a majority of the votes cast favor dissolution of the district itshall certify that fact to the supervisors of the district. In making thedetermination of administrative practicality to continue the district thecommission shall consider those factors set forth in W.S. 11-16-112 forcreation of the district.

 

(c) Upon receipt from the commission of a certification thatthe majority of votes cast in the referendum favor dissolution of the district,the supervisors shall forthwith terminate the affairs of the district. Thesupervisors shall dispose of all property belonging to the district at publicauction and pay the net proceeds of the sales to the state treasurer. Thesupervisors shall thereupon file a verified application with the secretary ofstate for dissolution of the district, and shall transmit with the applicationthe certificate of the commission that the majority of votes cast at thereferendum favored dissolution of the district. The application shall recitethat the property of the district has been disposed of and the proceeds paidover as provided by law, setting forth a full accounting of the properties andproceeds of sale. The secretary of state shall issue to the supervisors acertificate of dissolution and shall record the certificate in an appropriatebook in his office. The secretary of state shall make no charge for any servicerequired of him by this act.

 

(d) Upon issuance of a certificate of dissolution allordinances and regulations adopted and in force within the district are void.All contracts to which the district or supervisors are parties remain in forceand effect for the period provided in such contracts. The commission shall besubstituted for the district or supervisors as party to the contracts. Thecommission is entitled to all benefits and subject to all liabilities under suchcontracts and has the same right and liability to perform, require performance,sue and be sued thereon, and to modify or terminate the contracts as thesupervisors of the district would have had. Dissolution does not affect thelien of any judgment entered or the pendency of any action instituted underW.S. 11-16-126 [repealed], and the commission succeeds to all rights andobligations of the district or supervisors as to such liens and actions.

 

11-16-118. District supervisors; term; vacancies; expenses; removal;quorum; bond required of employees; areas included in district; cooperativeagreement with city.

 

(a) The term of the two (2) supervisors appointed extends fromtheir appointment until the second annual election held in the district. Asupervisor shall hold office from his election or appointment and taking of theoath of office until his successor has been elected or appointed, andqualified. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term. Vacancies in theoffice of any supervisor shall be filled by appointment by the commission uponthe recommendations of the district supervisors, the appointee to serve untilthe next election at which time the vacancy shall be filled by the electors forthe unexpired term. A supervisor shall receive no compensation for hisservices, but is entitled to expenses, including traveling expenses,necessarily incurred in the discharge of his duties. Any supervisor may beremoved by the commission upon notice and hearing, for neglect of duty ormalfeasance in office.

 

(b) A majority of the supervisors constitutes a quorum and theconcurrence of three (3) supervisors is required for determination of anymatter.

 

(c) The supervisors shall require a bond to be issued for allemployees and officers entrusted with funds or property. The supervisors shallprovide for keeping a full and accurate record of all proceedings, resolutions,regulations and orders issued or adopted. The accounts, receipts anddisbursements of the district shall be subject to the audit and reportingrequirements set forth in W.S. 9-1-507(a)(iii).

 

(d) All cities, towns, villages or other urban and suburbanareas lying wholly or partly within the exterior boundaries of a conservationdistrict shall, from the effective date of this act, be included in thedistrict. In doubtful cases, the commission shall determine the district whichincludes any urban or suburban area.

 

(e) By cooperative agreement with the city concerned, adistrict may perform within the boundaries of the city any work required orauthorized under this act, through such administrative and financialarrangements as the city and the district agree upon.

 

11-16-119. District supervisors; nomination; qualifications; election;term.

 

Within thirty (30) days after issuance bythe secretary of state of a certificate of organization of a conservationdistrict, applications for election under the Special District Elections Act of1994 may be filed with the commission by candidates for supervisors, who shallbe owners of land within the district. The commission may extend for not toexceed thirty (30) days the time within which applications may be filed. Thecommission shall give notice of an election to be held for the election ofthree (3) supervisors for the district. All qualified electors within thedistrict are eligible to vote. The three (3) supervisors first elected shalldraw lots, one (1) for a term of two (2) years, and two (2) for a term of three(3) years. Thereafter supervisors shall be elected each year to serve for afull term of three (3) years. The number of supervisors elected each year shallbe determined by the number of supervisors whose terms expire at that time. Thecommission shall provide for all elections, supervise the conduct thereof, andprescribe regulations governing the conduct of all elections, and shall makepublic the result thereof.

 

11-16-120. District supervisors; elections under Election Code and fornew districts.

 

(a) District supervisors shall be elected in subsequentelections under the Special District Elections Act of 1994 and as hereinafterprovided for new districts:

 

(i) At the first subsequent director election followingestablishment of a new district, five (5) supervisors, who reside within thedistrict shall be elected at large by a nonpartisan ballot. Three (3)supervisors shall be rural residents, one (1) shall be a resident of an urbanarea and one (1) shall be elected at large. At the first subsequent directorelection, the at large candidate receiving the largest number of votes shall beelected for a four (4) year term, the urban candidate receiving the largestnumber of votes shall be elected for a four (4) year term, the rural candidatereceiving the largest number of votes shall serve a four (4) year term and thetwo (2) candidates receiving the next highest number of votes shall be electedfor two (2) year terms. In succeeding elections all supervisors shall beelected for four (4) year terms.

 

(ii) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

11-16-121. District supervisor; cooperation and agreements betweendistricts; agreements with districts in adjoining states.

 

 

(a) The supervisors of two (2) or more districts organizedunder this act may cooperate in the exercise of any or all powers conferred inthis act.

 

(b) Any two (2) or more districts may engage in jointactivities by agreement for planning, financing, constructing, operating,maintaining and administering any program or project concerned with theconservation of renewable natural resources. The districts concerned may makeavailable for purposes of the agreement any funds, property, personnel,equipment or services available to them under this act.

 

(c) Any district may enter into such agreements with districtsin an adjoining state if the law in the other state permits such agreements.

 

(d) The commission may propose, guide and facilitate theestablishment and carrying out of such agreements.

 

11-16-122. Powers and duties of districts and supervisors thereofgenerally.

 

 

(a) Each conservation district organized under this act shallmake an annual estimate of the funds required by the district for conservationprograms and present a certified copy of the estimate, along with a budgetshowing all anticipated income and expenses, to the county commissioners.

 

(b) A conservation district organized under this act and thesupervisors thereof, in addition to other powers granted by this act, may:

 

(i) Employ personnel and determine their duties and conditionsof employment;

 

(ii) Call upon the attorney general of the state for legalservices or employ their own counsel and legal staff;

 

(iii) Delegate to their chairman, to one (1) or more supervisorsor to one (1) or more agents or employees such delegable powers and duties asthey deem proper;

 

(iv) Furnish to the state conservation commission upon request,copies of ordinances, rules, regulations, orders, contracts, forms and otherdocuments they adopt or employ, and such other information concerning theiractivities as it may require and to the county clerk copies of ordinances,rules, regulations and orders it adopts in accordance with law;

 

(v) Conduct surveys, investigations and research anddisseminate information relating to range management, the character of soilerosion, flood prevention or the conservation, development, utilization anddisposal of water, and the preventive and control measures and works ofimprovement needed, but in order to avoid duplication of research activities,no district shall initiate any research program except in cooperation with thegovernment of this state or its agencies, or with the United States or itsagencies;

 

(vi) Conduct demonstration projects within the district on landsowned or controlled by this state or its agencies, with the cooperation of theagency administering and having jurisdiction thereof, and on other lands withinthe district with the consent of the owner or occupier of the lands, todemonstrate range management practices, the means, methods and measures bywhich soil and soil resources may be conserved, and soil erosion in the form ofsoil blowing and washing may be prevented and controlled and works ofimprovement for flood prevention or the conservation, development, utilizationand disposal of water may be carried out;

 

(vii) Carry out preventive and control measures and works ofimprovement within the district, including engineering operations, rangemanagement, methods of cultivation, the growing of grass or other vegetation,changes in use of land or any measure which may be developed for the control oferosion and better use of soil, and works of improvement for flood preventionor the conservation, development, utilization and disposal of water on landsowned or controlled by this state or its agencies, with the cooperation of theagency administering and having jurisdiction thereof, or on other lands withinthe district with the consent of the owner or occupier of the lands;

 

(viii) Cooperate, or enter into agreements with and furnishfinancial or other aid to, any agency, governmental or otherwise, or any owneror occupier of lands within the district, in carrying on range management orerosion control and prevention operations and works of improvement for floodprevention or the conservation, development, utilization and disposal of waterwithin the district, subject to such conditions as the supervisors deemnecessary;

 

(ix) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(x) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xi) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xii) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xiii) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xiv) Make available on terms it prescribes, to owners andoccupiers of land within the district, agricultural and engineering machineryand equipment, fertilizer, seeds and seedlings, male breeding animals,livestock supplies and such other material or equipment as will assist theowners and occupiers of land to carry on operations upon their lands and uponthose owned or leased by the district, for range improvement and stabilization,the conservation of soil and water resources, the prevention and control ofsoil erosion and for flood prevention or the conservation, development,utilization and disposal of water. The assistance authorized by this paragraphshall be on a limited scale for demonstration purposes and the district shallnot be deemed authorized to compete with private industry;

 

(xv) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xvi) Develop comprehensive plans for range improvement andstabilization, conservation of soil and water resources, control and preventionof soil erosion and for flood prevention or the conservation, development,utilization and disposal of water within the district, which plans shallinclude range management provisions and shall specify in detail the acts,procedures, performances and avoidances necessary or desirable to carry out theplans, including the specification of engineering operation, fence andstockwater developments, methods of cultivation, the growing of grass and othervegetation, cropping and range programs, tillage and grazing practices, andchanges in use of lands;

 

(xvii) Make public the plans and information and bring them to theattention of owners and occupiers of land within the district;

 

(xviii) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xix) Manage, as agent of the United States or any of itsagencies, and enter into agreements with the United States or any of itsagencies, or this state or any of its agencies, to effect cooperation with theUnited States or any of its agencies under United States Public Law 566approved August 4, 1954, or amendments thereto, in connection with theacquisition, construction, operation or administration of any land utilization,soil conservation, erosion control, erosion prevention, flood preventionprojects, conservation of water, water utilization, disposal of water inwatershed areas and other water projects within its boundaries;

 

(xx) Act as representative for local groups in dealing with theUnited States or its representatives, in soil or water conservation mattersunder United States Public Law 566 approved August 4, 1954, or amendmentsthereto;

 

(xxi) Accept donations, gifts and contributions in money,services, materials or otherwise from any source which will impose no financialobligation upon the state, and use or expend the monies, services, materials orcontributions in carrying on its operations;

 

(xxii) Sue and be sued in the name of the district;

 

(xxiii) Have a seal, which shall be judicially noticed;

 

(xxiv) Have perpetual succession unless terminated as hereinafterprovided;

 

(xxv) Make and execute contracts and other instruments necessaryto the exercise of its powers;

 

(xxvi) Make, amend and repeal rules and regulations notinconsistent with this act, to implement its purposes and powers;

 

(xxvii) As a condition to extending any benefits to or performanceof work upon any land not owned or controlled by the state or its agencies,require contributions in money, services, materials or otherwise to anyoperations conferring benefits and require owners and occupiers of land toenter into and perform such agreements or covenants as to the permanent use ofsuch lands as will prevent or control erosion and prevent flood water andsediment damages thereon and promote the best use of such lands.

 

(c) A conservation district shall not purchase or hold title tofarm lands as defined by W.S. 11-34-101(a)(ii).

 

11-16-123. Applicability of provisions concerning other agencies;validity of contracts of supervisors.

 

 

(a) No provisions with respect to the acquisition, operation ordisposition of property by other public bodies are applicable to a districtorganized hereunder unless the legislature shall specifically so state.

 

(b) No contract of the district supervisors for the payment ofmoney is valid unless the supervisors have at the time the contract is madefunds in cash, securities or deposits sufficient for the payment thereof.

 

11-16-124. Administration of oaths by secretary or treasurer ofdistrict.

 

The secretary or treasurer of the districtare severally authorized to administer oaths within their district in anymatter pertaining to the business of their district where an oath is requiredby law.

 

11-16-125. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-126. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-127. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-128. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-129. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-130. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-131. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-132. Publicly owned lands to be administered in cooperation withdistricts.

 

Agencies of the state, county or anypolitical subdivision of the state which have jurisdiction over or are chargedwith the administration of any state, county or other publicly owned landslying within the boundaries of any district organized hereunder, shallcooperate to the fullest extent with the supervisors of the district to effectthe programs and operations undertaken by the supervisors under this act andmay lease such lands to a district. The supervisors of the districts shall begiven free access to enter and perform work upon the publicly owned lands. Theprovisions of conservation ordinances have the force and effect of law over allpublicly owned lands, and shall be in all respects observed by the agenciesadministering the lands.

 

11-16-133. Tax levied on property in district; maximum amount; soil andwater conservation fund; other appropriation authorized.

 

 

(a) Subject to W.S. 11-16-134, the county commissioners mayannually levy a tax to carry out this act. The tax shall be levied upon allproperty in the district and shall not exceed one (1) mill on each one dollar($1.00) of assessed valuation. The tax is not part of the general county orcity mill levies. The tax shall be levied and collected as other county taxesand the county treasurer shall remit the taxes collected to the district to aseparate fund to be known as the conservation district fund, which shall beused only to carry out the purposes of this act.

 

(b) Whether or not a tax levy is authorized under W.S.11-16-134, each board of county commissioners may make appropriations from thecounty general fund to districts established under this act for the purpose ofproviding soil and water conservation programs.

 

11-16-134. Imposition of tax; vote of electors required.

 

(a) No tax shall be imposed under W.S. 11-16-133 until theproposition to impose the tax is submitted to a vote of the voters of thedistrict and a majority of those casting their ballots vote in favor ofimposing the tax. Any tax imposed under this act shall be levied in the yearfollowing the election at which the imposition of the tax is approved.

 

(b) The proposition to impose a tax under this act shall be atthe expense of the county and may be submitted to the voters of the county uponthe receipt by the board of county commissioners of a petition requesting theelection signed by a majority of the supervisors of the district. The electionshall be at the direction and under the supervision of the board of countycommissioners.

 

(c) Subject to the limitation of subsection (b) of thissection, the proposition to impose a tax under this act shall be submitted onan election date authorized under W.S. 22-21-103, or by mail ballot pursuant toW.S. 22-29-115 and 22-29-116. A notice of election shall be given by the countyclerk in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation published in thecounty wherein the election is to be held and shall specify the object of the election. The notice shall be published at least once each week for a thirty (30) dayperiod preceding the election. At the election the ballots shall contain thewords "for the conservation district tax" and "against theconservation district tax". Upon the initial submission of theconservation district tax, or any renewal thereof, after July 1, 1995, theconservation district board of supervisors shall choose one (1) of thefollowing options and the words of the chosen option shall be clearly printed inthe appropriate area on the election ballot:

 

(i) If this proposition is approved, the same proposition shallbe submitted at the second following general election or by mail ballotpursuant to W.S. 22-29-115 and 22-29-116, and thereafter at succeeding generalelections or by mail ballot pursuant to W.S. 22-29-115 and 22-29-116, everyfour (4) years until the proposition is defeated; or

 

(ii) If this proposition is approved, the tax shall remain ineffect until a petition to discontinue the tax, signed by not less than tenpercent (10%) of the voters of the district, is received by the board of countycommissioners, and the proposal to discontinue the tax is approved by thevoters. The proposal to discontinue the tax shall be submitted to the voters ofthe district at the expense of the county at the next general election or bymail ballot pursuant to W.S. 22-29-115 and 22-29-116 for approval ordisapproval.

 


State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title11 > Chapter16

CHAPTER 16 - CONSERVATION DISTRICTS

 

11-16-101. Short title.

 

This act may be cited as the "WyomingConservation Districts Law."

 

11-16-102. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Agency of this state" means any subdivision, agencyor instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the government of this state;

 

(ii) "At large member" means any registered voter andtaxpayer within the county;

 

(iii) "Commission" or "state conservationcommission" means the state board of agriculture;

 

(iv) "Conservation" means development, improvement,maintenance, preservation, protection and use of natural resources, and thecontrol and prevention of floodwater and sediment damages, and the disposal ofexcess waters;

 

(v) "District" or "conservation district"means a governmental subdivision of this state, and a public body corporate andpolitic, organized in accordance with this act;

 

(vi) "Due notice" for those provisions other thanelection and referendum provisions, means notice published at least twice, withan interval of six (6) days between the two (2) publication dates, in anewspaper of general circulation within the boundaries of the proposed ororganized district, or by posting at five (5) conspicuous places within theorganized or proposed district, such posting to include, where possible,posting at public places where it may be customary to post notices concerningcounty or municipal affairs generally. Except as otherwise provided in thisact, the notice of any hearing required under this act shall fix the time,place and purpose, which shall be not less than ten (10) or more than fifteen(15) days after the first publication or first posting of the notice. Anyhearing held pursuant to such notice may be adjourned from time to time withoutrenewing the notice for the adjourned dates. Notice for any election orreferendum required by this act shall be as specifically provided in this act,or if not specifically provided in this act, as required in the SpecialDistrict Elections Act of 1994;

 

(vii) "Government" or "governmental" meansthe government of this state, the government of the United States, and anysubdivision, agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of either ofthem;

 

(viii) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(ix) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(x) "Renewable natural resources," "naturalresources" or "resources," means land, soil, water, vegetation,trees, wild rivers, wilderness, natural beauty, scenery and open space;

 

(xi) "Urban" or "urban member" means anyregistered voter of an incorporated Wyoming municipality;

 

(xii) "This act" means W.S. 11-16-101 through11-16-134.

 

11-16-103. Legislative declarations and policy.

 

 

(a) It is hereby declared that the farm and grazing lands ofWyoming are among the basic assets of the state; that improper land usepractices cause and contribute to serious erosion of these lands by wind andwater; that among the consequences which would result from such conditions arethe deterioration of soil and its fertility and the silting and sedimentationof stream channels, reservoirs, dams and ditches; that to conserve soil, andsoil and water resources, and prevent and control soil erosion, it is necessarythat land use practices contributing to soil erosion be discouraged and thatappropriate soil conserving land use practices be adopted.

 

(b) It is hereby declared to be the policy of the legislatureto provide for the conservation of the soil, and soil and water resources ofthis state, and for the control and prevention of soil erosion and for floodprevention or the conservation, development, utilization, and disposal ofwater, and thereby to stabilize ranching and farming operations, to preservenatural resources, protect the tax base, control floods, prevent impairment ofdams and reservoirs, preserve wildlife, protect public lands, and protect andpromote the health, safety and general welfare of the people of this state.

 

11-16-104. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 15, 1.

 

11-16-105. State board of agriculture; duties generally.

 

 

(a) The commission shall:

 

(i) Keep a record of its official actions, adopt a seal, whichshall be judicially noticed, and perform acts, hold public hearings andpromulgate rules and regulations as necessary for the execution of itsfunctions under this act;

 

(ii) Assist and guide districts in the preparation and carryingout of programs for resource conservation authorized under this act, reviewdistrict programs, coordinate the programs of the several districts and resolveany conflicts, and facilitate, promote, assist, harmonize, coordinate and guidethe resource conservation programs and activities of districts as they relateto other special purpose districts, counties and other public agencies;

 

(iii) Keep the supervisors of the districts organized under thisact informed of the activities and experiences of other districts andfacilitate cooperation and an interchange of advice and experience between thedistricts;

 

(iv) Coordinate the programs of the several conservationdistricts so far as this may be done by advice and consultation;

 

(v) Recommend the appropriation of state funds necessary tofinance the activities of the commission and the conservation districts;distribute to conservation districts funds, equipment, supplies and servicesreceived by the commission for that purpose from any source, subject toconditions made applicable thereto by any state or federal statute or localordinance making available the funds, property or services; issue regulations establishingguidelines and suitable controls to govern the use by conservation districts ofsuch funds, property and services; and review all budgets, administrativeprocedures and operations of the districts and advise the districts concerningtheir conformance with applicable laws and regulations;

 

(vi) Disseminate information throughout the state concerning theactivities and programs of the conservation districts and encourage theformation of such districts in areas where their organization is desirable;enlist the cooperation and collaboration of state, federal, regional,interstate and local public and private agencies with the conservationdistricts; facilitate arrangements under which the conservation districts mayserve county governing bodies and other agencies as their local operatingagencies in the administration of any activity concerned with the conservationof renewable natural resources; and except as otherwise assigned by law, carryout the policies of this state in programs at the state level for theconservation of the renewable natural resources of this state and represent thestate in matters affecting such resources.

 

(b) Whenever the commission determines that there exists asubstantial conflict between the resources conservation program of a districtand the proposed plans or activities directly affecting resource conservationprepared by any other local governmental unit or agency of this state, and theconflict cannot be resolved through consultation procedures, the commission shallsubmit a report to the governor.

 

11-16-106. Department of agriculture; when contracts invalid.

 

No contract of the state commission for thepayment of money is valid unless the commission has available at the time thecontract is made funds sufficient for the payment thereof.

 

11-16-107. Report to director; reports by district supervisors toboard.

 

 

(a) On or before November 1 each even-numbered year, thecommission shall report to the director of the department of agriculture thenumber and acreages of districts in existence or in process of organization,together with an estimate of the number and probable acreages of the districtswhich may be organized during the ensuing period; the balance of funds, if any,available to the commission and to the districts; and the estimates of thecommission as to the sums needed for its administrative and other expenses andfor allocation among the several districts during the ensuing period.

 

(b) The supervisors of the respective districts shall submit tothe commission such statements, estimates, budgets and other information as thecommission may require. The director shall include the information furnished bythe commission in his report to the governor.

 

11-16-108. Petition to form district; contents; consolidation andexclusion.

 

(a) Any ten (10) owners of land lying within the limits of theproposed district may file a petition with the commission asking that aconservation district be organized to function in the territory described inthe petition. The petition shall meet all of the requirements of W.S.22-29-105(f). The commission shall act upon the petition for formation in thesame manner as set forth in W.S. 22-29-109 for county commissioners indetermining if a petition for district formation shall be voted upon. When morethan one (1) petition is filed covering parts of the same territory, thecommission may consolidate all or any such petitions, or may exclude from anypetition areas in conflict with another petition or petitions.

 

(i) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(ii) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(iii) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(iv) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(v) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

11-16-109. Notice and hearing on petition; approval or denial;criteria.

 

After the hearing, if the commissiondetermines, upon the facts presented at the hearing and other relevant factsthat are available, that there is need in the interest of the public health,safety and welfare for a conservation district to function in the territoryconsidered at the hearing, it shall record such determination and define bymetes and bounds or by legal subdivisions the boundaries of the district. Inmaking the determination and defining the boundaries, the commission shall giveweight and consideration to the topography of the area considered and of thestate, the composition of soils therein, the distribution of erosion, thecarrying capacity and condition of grazing lands, the numbers of livestockgrazed, the prevailing land use and management practices, the desirability andnecessity of including within the district the particular lands underconsideration and the benefits such land may receive from being included withinthe district, the relation of the proposed district to existing watersheds andagricultural regions and to other conservation districts already organized orproposed for organization, and such other physical, geographical and economicfactors as are relevant, having due regard to the legislative policy set forthin W.S. 11-16-103. The territory included within the district need not becontiguous. If the commission determines there is no need for a conservationdistrict to function in the territory considered at the hearing, it shallrecord such determination and deny the petition. Any owner of lands within aproposed district which is less than a countywide district may have his ownedand leased lands excluded from the proposed district upon presentation of apetition and description of the lands to the commission not less than seven (7)days prior to the holding of the referendum for the organization of thedistrict.

 

11-16-110. Canvass of ballots.

 

(a) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(b) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(c) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

(d) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(e) Immediately after the polls close, the referendum officersshall canvass the ballots. The results disclosed by the canvass shall becertified by the commission.

 

(f) If a majority of the qualified electors voting in thereferendum favor the formation of the district, the proposal to organize theproposed district shall carry and the commission shall proceed to make thedetermination required in W.S. 11-16-112. If the majority of the qualifiedelectors voting in the referendum are against the organization of the district,the proposal to form the district shall fail and the commission shall deny thepetition. The commission shall promptly make public the result of the referendum.

 

11-16-111. Board of agriculture to provide for issuance of notices,conduct of hearings and referenda.

 

The commission shall provide for theissuance of notices and the conduct of hearings and referenda by appropriateregulations. It shall provide for registration prior to the date of thereferendum of all eligible voters, or prescribe some other appropriateprocedure for the determination of those eligible as voters in the referendum.

 

11-16-112. Result of referendum; announcement; practicability of district;determination; criteria.

 

After making public the result of thereferendum, the commission shall consider and determine whether the operationof the district within the defined boundaries is administratively practicable.If the commission determines the operation of the district is notadministratively practicable, it shall record the determination and deny thepetition. If the commission determines that the operation of the district isadministratively practicable, it shall record the determination and proceedwith the organization of the district. In making the determination thecommission shall give regard to the attitudes of the voters lying within thedefined boundaries, the number of voters eligible to vote in the referendum whovoted, the proportion of votes cast in favor of the creation of the district tothe total number of votes cast, the approximate wealth and income of the ownersof land of the proposed district, the probable expense of carrying onerosion-control operations within the district, and other economic and socialfactors as are relevant.

 

11-16-113. Establishment of district.

 

 

(a) If the commission determines the operation of the proposeddistrict is administratively practicable, it shall appoint two (2) supervisorswho are owners of land in the district to act with three (3) supervisorselected as provided hereinafter as the governing body of the district. Thedistrict shall be a governmental subdivision of this state and a public bodycorporate and politic. The two (2) appointed supervisors shall present to thesecretary of state an application signed by them setting forth by recital onlyand not in detail:

 

(i) That a petition for the creation of the district was filedwith the commission pursuant to the provisions of this act, and the proceedingsspecified in the act were taken pursuant to the petition;

 

(ii) That the application is filed to complete the organizationof the district as a governmental subdivision and a public body, corporate andpolitic, under this act;

 

(iii) That the commission has appointed them as supervisors;

 

(iv) The name and official residence of each supervisor and acertified copy of the appointment evidencing his right to office;

 

(v) The term of office of each supervisor;

 

(vi) The name of the district; and

 

(vii) The location of the principal office of the supervisors ofthe district.

 

(b) The application shall be subscribed and sworn to by eachsupervisor before an officer authorized to administer oaths, who shall certifyupon the application that he personally knows the supervisors and knows them tobe the officers affirmed in the application, and that each has subscribedthereto in the officer's presence. The application shall be accompanied by acertified statement by the commission, setting forth the boundaries of thedistrict but otherwise containing no detail other than the mere recitals that:

 

(i) A petition was filed, notice issued and hearing held asrequired by law;

 

(ii) The commission determined that there is need, in theinterest of the public health, safety and welfare, for a conservation districtto function in the proposed territory and did define the boundaries;

 

(iii) Notice was given and a referendum held on the question ofthe creation of such district;

 

(iv) The result of the referendum showed a majority of the votescast in favor of the creation of the district; and

 

(v) The commission did determine the operation of the proposeddistrict is administratively practicable.

 

(c) The secretary of state shall examine the application andstatement and if he finds the name proposed for the district is not so similarto that of another conservation district as to cause confusion or uncertainty,he shall record them in an appropriate book in his office. If the secretary ofstate finds the name proposed for the district is so similar to that of anyother conservation district of this state as to lead to confusion, he shallcertify that fact to the commission, which shall submit a new name for thedistrict which is not subject to such defects. Upon receipt of the new name thesecretary of state shall record the application and statement, with the name somodified, in an appropriate book. When the application and statement have beenmade, filed and recorded, the district is a governmental subdivision of thisstate and a public body corporate and politic. The secretary of state shallissue to the supervisors a certificate, under the seal of the state, of theorganization of the district, and shall record the certificate with theapplication and statement. The boundaries of the district shall include theterritory determined by the commission, but shall not include any area includedwithin the boundaries of another conservation district organized under thisact.

 

11-16-114. Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

11-16-115. Districts; transfer of land; division or consolidation;change in name.

 

 

(a) Upon written request of the board of supervisors of theconservation district or districts involved, with a showing that the request isapproved by a majority vote of the members of each board involved thecommission may, by administrative order:

 

(i) Transfer lands from one district to another;

 

(ii) Divide a single district into two (2) or more districts,each of which shall thereafter operate as a separate district; or

 

(iii) Consolidate two (2) or more districts to operate thereafteras a single district.

 

(b) The secretary of state shall make and issue a correctedcertificate of organization upon receipt of such certification from thecommission.

 

(c) Petitions for a change in the name of a conservationdistrict may be submitted to the commission by the board of supervisors of aconservation district. If the commission approves the change of name, it shallcertify the change to the secretary of state and shall notify the board ofsupervisors of the conservation district of the change, setting out in thenotice the new name of the district. The secretary of state shall make andissue a corrected certificate of organization upon receipt of suchcertification from the commission.

 

11-16-116. Districts; proof of organization.

 

In any suit, action or proceeding relatingto any action of the district, the district is deemed to have been establishedin accordance with this act upon proof of the issuance of the certificate bythe secretary of state. A copy of the certificate certified by the secretary ofstate is admissible in evidence in any suit, action or proceeding and is proofof the filing and contents thereof.

 

11-16-117. Districts; termination; dissolution procedures;determination by board of agriculture; legal effects of dissolution.

 

(a) After five (5) years after the organization of a districtunder this act, any ten (10) owners of land lying within the district maypetition the commission that the operations of the district be discontinued andthe existence of the district terminated. The commission may conduct publicmeetings and hearings upon the petition as necessary in the considerationthereof. Within sixty (60) days after a petition has been filed with thecommission, it shall give notice of a referendum as provided in the SpecialDistrict Elections Act of 1994. The commission shall supervise the referendumand issue appropriate regulations governing the conduct thereof. The questionshall be submitted by ballots upon which the words "For terminating theexistence of the .... (name of the conservation district to be hereinserted)" and "Against terminating the existence of the .... (nameof the conservation district to be here inserted)" shall appear, with asquare before each proposition and a direction to insert an X mark in thesquare before one (1) or the other as the voter may favor or oppose dissolutionof the district. Qualified electors of the district are eligible to vote in thereferendum. No informalities in the conduct of the referendum or relatedmatters shall invalidate the referendum or result if notice is givensubstantially as herein provided and the referendum is fairly conducted.

 

(b) The commission shall publish the result of the referendum.If a majority of the votes cast in the referendum oppose dissolution of thedistrict, the commission shall determine whether the continued operation of thedistrict within the defined boundaries is administratively practicable. If thecommission determines the continued operation of the district isadministratively practicable, it shall record its determination and deny thepetition. If a majority of the votes cast favor dissolution of the district itshall certify that fact to the supervisors of the district. In making thedetermination of administrative practicality to continue the district thecommission shall consider those factors set forth in W.S. 11-16-112 forcreation of the district.

 

(c) Upon receipt from the commission of a certification thatthe majority of votes cast in the referendum favor dissolution of the district,the supervisors shall forthwith terminate the affairs of the district. Thesupervisors shall dispose of all property belonging to the district at publicauction and pay the net proceeds of the sales to the state treasurer. Thesupervisors shall thereupon file a verified application with the secretary ofstate for dissolution of the district, and shall transmit with the applicationthe certificate of the commission that the majority of votes cast at thereferendum favored dissolution of the district. The application shall recitethat the property of the district has been disposed of and the proceeds paidover as provided by law, setting forth a full accounting of the properties andproceeds of sale. The secretary of state shall issue to the supervisors acertificate of dissolution and shall record the certificate in an appropriatebook in his office. The secretary of state shall make no charge for any servicerequired of him by this act.

 

(d) Upon issuance of a certificate of dissolution allordinances and regulations adopted and in force within the district are void.All contracts to which the district or supervisors are parties remain in forceand effect for the period provided in such contracts. The commission shall besubstituted for the district or supervisors as party to the contracts. Thecommission is entitled to all benefits and subject to all liabilities under suchcontracts and has the same right and liability to perform, require performance,sue and be sued thereon, and to modify or terminate the contracts as thesupervisors of the district would have had. Dissolution does not affect thelien of any judgment entered or the pendency of any action instituted underW.S. 11-16-126 [repealed], and the commission succeeds to all rights andobligations of the district or supervisors as to such liens and actions.

 

11-16-118. District supervisors; term; vacancies; expenses; removal;quorum; bond required of employees; areas included in district; cooperativeagreement with city.

 

(a) The term of the two (2) supervisors appointed extends fromtheir appointment until the second annual election held in the district. Asupervisor shall hold office from his election or appointment and taking of theoath of office until his successor has been elected or appointed, andqualified. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term. Vacancies in theoffice of any supervisor shall be filled by appointment by the commission uponthe recommendations of the district supervisors, the appointee to serve untilthe next election at which time the vacancy shall be filled by the electors forthe unexpired term. A supervisor shall receive no compensation for hisservices, but is entitled to expenses, including traveling expenses,necessarily incurred in the discharge of his duties. Any supervisor may beremoved by the commission upon notice and hearing, for neglect of duty ormalfeasance in office.

 

(b) A majority of the supervisors constitutes a quorum and theconcurrence of three (3) supervisors is required for determination of anymatter.

 

(c) The supervisors shall require a bond to be issued for allemployees and officers entrusted with funds or property. The supervisors shallprovide for keeping a full and accurate record of all proceedings, resolutions,regulations and orders issued or adopted. The accounts, receipts anddisbursements of the district shall be subject to the audit and reportingrequirements set forth in W.S. 9-1-507(a)(iii).

 

(d) All cities, towns, villages or other urban and suburbanareas lying wholly or partly within the exterior boundaries of a conservationdistrict shall, from the effective date of this act, be included in thedistrict. In doubtful cases, the commission shall determine the district whichincludes any urban or suburban area.

 

(e) By cooperative agreement with the city concerned, adistrict may perform within the boundaries of the city any work required orauthorized under this act, through such administrative and financialarrangements as the city and the district agree upon.

 

11-16-119. District supervisors; nomination; qualifications; election;term.

 

Within thirty (30) days after issuance bythe secretary of state of a certificate of organization of a conservationdistrict, applications for election under the Special District Elections Act of1994 may be filed with the commission by candidates for supervisors, who shallbe owners of land within the district. The commission may extend for not toexceed thirty (30) days the time within which applications may be filed. Thecommission shall give notice of an election to be held for the election ofthree (3) supervisors for the district. All qualified electors within thedistrict are eligible to vote. The three (3) supervisors first elected shalldraw lots, one (1) for a term of two (2) years, and two (2) for a term of three(3) years. Thereafter supervisors shall be elected each year to serve for afull term of three (3) years. The number of supervisors elected each year shallbe determined by the number of supervisors whose terms expire at that time. Thecommission shall provide for all elections, supervise the conduct thereof, andprescribe regulations governing the conduct of all elections, and shall makepublic the result thereof.

 

11-16-120. District supervisors; elections under Election Code and fornew districts.

 

(a) District supervisors shall be elected in subsequentelections under the Special District Elections Act of 1994 and as hereinafterprovided for new districts:

 

(i) At the first subsequent director election followingestablishment of a new district, five (5) supervisors, who reside within thedistrict shall be elected at large by a nonpartisan ballot. Three (3)supervisors shall be rural residents, one (1) shall be a resident of an urbanarea and one (1) shall be elected at large. At the first subsequent directorelection, the at large candidate receiving the largest number of votes shall beelected for a four (4) year term, the urban candidate receiving the largestnumber of votes shall be elected for a four (4) year term, the rural candidatereceiving the largest number of votes shall serve a four (4) year term and thetwo (2) candidates receiving the next highest number of votes shall be electedfor two (2) year terms. In succeeding elections all supervisors shall beelected for four (4) year terms.

 

(ii) Repealed by Laws 1998, ch. 115, 5.

 

11-16-121. District supervisor; cooperation and agreements betweendistricts; agreements with districts in adjoining states.

 

 

(a) The supervisors of two (2) or more districts organizedunder this act may cooperate in the exercise of any or all powers conferred inthis act.

 

(b) Any two (2) or more districts may engage in jointactivities by agreement for planning, financing, constructing, operating,maintaining and administering any program or project concerned with theconservation of renewable natural resources. The districts concerned may makeavailable for purposes of the agreement any funds, property, personnel,equipment or services available to them under this act.

 

(c) Any district may enter into such agreements with districtsin an adjoining state if the law in the other state permits such agreements.

 

(d) The commission may propose, guide and facilitate theestablishment and carrying out of such agreements.

 

11-16-122. Powers and duties of districts and supervisors thereofgenerally.

 

 

(a) Each conservation district organized under this act shallmake an annual estimate of the funds required by the district for conservationprograms and present a certified copy of the estimate, along with a budgetshowing all anticipated income and expenses, to the county commissioners.

 

(b) A conservation district organized under this act and thesupervisors thereof, in addition to other powers granted by this act, may:

 

(i) Employ personnel and determine their duties and conditionsof employment;

 

(ii) Call upon the attorney general of the state for legalservices or employ their own counsel and legal staff;

 

(iii) Delegate to their chairman, to one (1) or more supervisorsor to one (1) or more agents or employees such delegable powers and duties asthey deem proper;

 

(iv) Furnish to the state conservation commission upon request,copies of ordinances, rules, regulations, orders, contracts, forms and otherdocuments they adopt or employ, and such other information concerning theiractivities as it may require and to the county clerk copies of ordinances,rules, regulations and orders it adopts in accordance with law;

 

(v) Conduct surveys, investigations and research anddisseminate information relating to range management, the character of soilerosion, flood prevention or the conservation, development, utilization anddisposal of water, and the preventive and control measures and works ofimprovement needed, but in order to avoid duplication of research activities,no district shall initiate any research program except in cooperation with thegovernment of this state or its agencies, or with the United States or itsagencies;

 

(vi) Conduct demonstration projects within the district on landsowned or controlled by this state or its agencies, with the cooperation of theagency administering and having jurisdiction thereof, and on other lands withinthe district with the consent of the owner or occupier of the lands, todemonstrate range management practices, the means, methods and measures bywhich soil and soil resources may be conserved, and soil erosion in the form ofsoil blowing and washing may be prevented and controlled and works ofimprovement for flood prevention or the conservation, development, utilizationand disposal of water may be carried out;

 

(vii) Carry out preventive and control measures and works ofimprovement within the district, including engineering operations, rangemanagement, methods of cultivation, the growing of grass or other vegetation,changes in use of land or any measure which may be developed for the control oferosion and better use of soil, and works of improvement for flood preventionor the conservation, development, utilization and disposal of water on landsowned or controlled by this state or its agencies, with the cooperation of theagency administering and having jurisdiction thereof, or on other lands withinthe district with the consent of the owner or occupier of the lands;

 

(viii) Cooperate, or enter into agreements with and furnishfinancial or other aid to, any agency, governmental or otherwise, or any owneror occupier of lands within the district, in carrying on range management orerosion control and prevention operations and works of improvement for floodprevention or the conservation, development, utilization and disposal of waterwithin the district, subject to such conditions as the supervisors deemnecessary;

 

(ix) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(x) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xi) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xii) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xiii) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xiv) Make available on terms it prescribes, to owners andoccupiers of land within the district, agricultural and engineering machineryand equipment, fertilizer, seeds and seedlings, male breeding animals,livestock supplies and such other material or equipment as will assist theowners and occupiers of land to carry on operations upon their lands and uponthose owned or leased by the district, for range improvement and stabilization,the conservation of soil and water resources, the prevention and control ofsoil erosion and for flood prevention or the conservation, development,utilization and disposal of water. The assistance authorized by this paragraphshall be on a limited scale for demonstration purposes and the district shallnot be deemed authorized to compete with private industry;

 

(xv) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xvi) Develop comprehensive plans for range improvement andstabilization, conservation of soil and water resources, control and preventionof soil erosion and for flood prevention or the conservation, development,utilization and disposal of water within the district, which plans shallinclude range management provisions and shall specify in detail the acts,procedures, performances and avoidances necessary or desirable to carry out theplans, including the specification of engineering operation, fence andstockwater developments, methods of cultivation, the growing of grass and othervegetation, cropping and range programs, tillage and grazing practices, andchanges in use of lands;

 

(xvii) Make public the plans and information and bring them to theattention of owners and occupiers of land within the district;

 

(xviii) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

(xix) Manage, as agent of the United States or any of itsagencies, and enter into agreements with the United States or any of itsagencies, or this state or any of its agencies, to effect cooperation with theUnited States or any of its agencies under United States Public Law 566approved August 4, 1954, or amendments thereto, in connection with theacquisition, construction, operation or administration of any land utilization,soil conservation, erosion control, erosion prevention, flood preventionprojects, conservation of water, water utilization, disposal of water inwatershed areas and other water projects within its boundaries;

 

(xx) Act as representative for local groups in dealing with theUnited States or its representatives, in soil or water conservation mattersunder United States Public Law 566 approved August 4, 1954, or amendmentsthereto;

 

(xxi) Accept donations, gifts and contributions in money,services, materials or otherwise from any source which will impose no financialobligation upon the state, and use or expend the monies, services, materials orcontributions in carrying on its operations;

 

(xxii) Sue and be sued in the name of the district;

 

(xxiii) Have a seal, which shall be judicially noticed;

 

(xxiv) Have perpetual succession unless terminated as hereinafterprovided;

 

(xxv) Make and execute contracts and other instruments necessaryto the exercise of its powers;

 

(xxvi) Make, amend and repeal rules and regulations notinconsistent with this act, to implement its purposes and powers;

 

(xxvii) As a condition to extending any benefits to or performanceof work upon any land not owned or controlled by the state or its agencies,require contributions in money, services, materials or otherwise to anyoperations conferring benefits and require owners and occupiers of land toenter into and perform such agreements or covenants as to the permanent use ofsuch lands as will prevent or control erosion and prevent flood water andsediment damages thereon and promote the best use of such lands.

 

(c) A conservation district shall not purchase or hold title tofarm lands as defined by W.S. 11-34-101(a)(ii).

 

11-16-123. Applicability of provisions concerning other agencies;validity of contracts of supervisors.

 

 

(a) No provisions with respect to the acquisition, operation ordisposition of property by other public bodies are applicable to a districtorganized hereunder unless the legislature shall specifically so state.

 

(b) No contract of the district supervisors for the payment ofmoney is valid unless the supervisors have at the time the contract is madefunds in cash, securities or deposits sufficient for the payment thereof.

 

11-16-124. Administration of oaths by secretary or treasurer ofdistrict.

 

The secretary or treasurer of the districtare severally authorized to administer oaths within their district in anymatter pertaining to the business of their district where an oath is requiredby law.

 

11-16-125. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-126. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-127. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-128. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-129. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-130. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-131. Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 21, 3.

 

11-16-132. Publicly owned lands to be administered in cooperation withdistricts.

 

Agencies of the state, county or anypolitical subdivision of the state which have jurisdiction over or are chargedwith the administration of any state, county or other publicly owned landslying within the boundaries of any district organized hereunder, shallcooperate to the fullest extent with the supervisors of the district to effectthe programs and operations undertaken by the supervisors under this act andmay lease such lands to a district. The supervisors of the districts shall begiven free access to enter and perform work upon the publicly owned lands. Theprovisions of conservation ordinances have the force and effect of law over allpublicly owned lands, and shall be in all respects observed by the agenciesadministering the lands.

 

11-16-133. Tax levied on property in district; maximum amount; soil andwater conservation fund; other appropriation authorized.

 

 

(a) Subject to W.S. 11-16-134, the county commissioners mayannually levy a tax to carry out this act. The tax shall be levied upon allproperty in the district and shall not exceed one (1) mill on each one dollar($1.00) of assessed valuation. The tax is not part of the general county orcity mill levies. The tax shall be levied and collected as other county taxesand the county treasurer shall remit the taxes collected to the district to aseparate fund to be known as the conservation district fund, which shall beused only to carry out the purposes of this act.

 

(b) Whether or not a tax levy is authorized under W.S.11-16-134, each board of county commissioners may make appropriations from thecounty general fund to districts established under this act for the purpose ofproviding soil and water conservation programs.

 

11-16-134. Imposition of tax; vote of electors required.

 

(a) No tax shall be imposed under W.S. 11-16-133 until theproposition to impose the tax is submitted to a vote of the voters of thedistrict and a majority of those casting their ballots vote in favor ofimposing the tax. Any tax imposed under this act shall be levied in the yearfollowing the election at which the imposition of the tax is approved.

 

(b) The proposition to impose a tax under this act shall be atthe expense of the county and may be submitted to the voters of the county uponthe receipt by the board of county commissioners of a petition requesting theelection signed by a majority of the supervisors of the district. The electionshall be at the direction and under the supervision of the board of countycommissioners.

 

(c) Subject to the limitation of subsection (b) of thissection, the proposition to impose a tax under this act shall be submitted onan election date authorized under W.S. 22-21-103, or by mail ballot pursuant toW.S. 22-29-115 and 22-29-116. A notice of election shall be given by the countyclerk in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation published in thecounty wherein the election is to be held and shall specify the object of the election. The notice shall be published at least once each week for a thirty (30) dayperiod preceding the election. At the election the ballots shall contain thewords "for the conservation district tax" and "against theconservation district tax". Upon the initial submission of theconservation district tax, or any renewal thereof, after July 1, 1995, theconservation district board of supervisors shall choose one (1) of thefollowing options and the words of the chosen option shall be clearly printed inthe appropriate area on the election ballot:

 

(i) If this proposition is approved, the same proposition shallbe submitted at the second following general election or by mail ballotpursuant to W.S. 22-29-115 and 22-29-116, and thereafter at succeeding generalelections or by mail ballot pursuant to W.S. 22-29-115 and 22-29-116, everyfour (4) years until the proposition is defeated; or

 

(ii) If this proposition is approved, the tax shall remain ineffect until a petition to discontinue the tax, signed by not less than tenpercent (10%) of the voters of the district, is received by the board of countycommissioners, and the proposal to discontinue the tax is approved by thevoters. The proposal to discontinue the tax shall be submitted to the voters ofthe district at the expense of the county at the next general election or bymail ballot pursuant to W.S. 22-29-115 and 22-29-116 for approval ordisapproval.

 

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