View across a field

Welcome!

Foster County Soil Conservation District is here to promote soil, water, and resource conservation by offering technical, financial, informational, and educational assistance and opportunities to the people of Foster County.

Check out our programs and services.  Get in touch with us if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, or if you are interested in participating in any of our programs.

Program Application Deadlines

USDA conservation programs and North Dakota state tree-planting programs have application deadlines coming up soon.  For information, check out our Assistance Programs page

Watch for Harmful Algal Blooms

Harmful algal blooms can appear practically overnight in the right conditions, and may last a few days to several weeks.  Not all algal blooms are poisonous, but the ones that are can be very dangerous to animals.  It is important to be aware of conditions and check water sources before letting pets or livestock near them.

NDSU Extension suggests walking around a water body, particularly the downwind side, to check for signs such as dead small wildlife, a bad smell, visible scum or foam, or color changes in the water.  Water samples can be sent to the NDSU Veterinary Diagnostic Lab following NDSU Extension’s Livestock Water Testing Guidelines.  Links to information on harmful algal blooms and instructions for water testing can be found here.

 
Not the Dirty Thirties, Spring of 2017!!
Enderlin dust storm

Photo: Storm Tracker Weather

ValleyCity dust storm

Photo: Bev Nessler

These photos were taken spring of 2017, showing that soil erosion is still a threat to our farmland.  These sights have been repeated more than once since then.  See the  "News and Information" page for photos from the dust storm of March 29-30, 2021.  Parts of eastern North Dakota have lost over half of their topsoil since 1964.  

"Most of what we call topsoil today is a mixture of the remains of the original higher organic matter topsoil mixed through tillage with some subsurface horizon.  Loss of soil in millions of acres can be measured in feet over the past 120 years. Most lost soil...is going high into the air, and only a small amount lands in a roadside ditch." (Dave Franzen, NDSU)  For more information, see the video "The History of Soil Erosion in North Dakota" on YouTube.

There are things we can do to prevent sights like this.  Windbreaks that help decrease wind erosion are being removed and not replaced.  There are other practices as well that promote soil health and will also help decrease erosion, such as keeping the soil covered with vegetation or residue, minimizing soil disturbance, and keeping live roots in the soil for as long as possible with practices like cover crops.

When land does well for its owner, and the owner does well by his land; when both end up better by reason of their partnership, we have conservation. -- Aldo Leopold