Houston County SWCD, District Secretary
4725 East Main Street, Room 2
P.O. Box 228
Erin, TN 37061
Phone: (931) 289-4864
Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
What does a Soil & Water Conservation District do?
Soil Conservation Districts serve landowners by providing assistance with the installation of conservation practices, to prevent soil erosion, improve Tennessee’s water quality and promote the stewardship of our natural resources.
Houston County’s Soil & Water Conservation District partners with the USDA’s National Conservation Resources Division (NRCS) and the TN Department of Agriculture (TDA) to offer expertise and financial incentive in the form of cost share reimbursement to those who implement eligible conservation practices.
Who is Eligible?
Any Houston County landowner or operator that is willing to implement a conservation best management practice. Income is not a factor in determining eligibility and there is no minimum acreage requirement.
Where Does the Money Come From and Do I Have to Pay it Back?
Soil & Water Conservation Districts receive their funding from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. There are also federally funded programs administered by USDA/NRCS that may be better suited for the practice you want to implement. These are not administered by the Soil & Water Conservation District. You do not have to pay anything back as long as you maintain the investment for the agreed time frame.
What Types of Conservation Practices are Eligible?
The most popular practices in the Houston County area are:
- Cross fences (boundary fences are not eligible)
- Livestock exclusion fences
- Livestock watering facilities
- Livestock heavy use areas
- Access roads (required to access practice)
- Streambank stabilization
- Crop conversion
There are many eligible practices. They include wildlife habitat projects, forest management projects and many more. Your District Conservationist can recommend the ones best suited for your needs.
How Does the Process Work?
Here is a brief overview of how the process moves along:
- You identify an issue (such as soil erosion or water quality) you would like to improve.
- You contact the Houston County Soil & Water Conservation District office.
- We will gather your contact information and submit it to the District Conservationist.
- The District Conservationist will contact you to schedule a site visit after which a determination will be made on recommendations and creation of a conservation plan. You will be provided with a project cost estimate. The TDA Watershed Coordinator will make a site visit as well to determine practice eligibility and advise.
- If you opt to move forward with the project, an application and agreement for incentive payment is submitted to the local Soil & Water Conservation District Board who oversees the distribution of grant funds for conservation projects. Your signature is required on this application.
- Once your project is completed and inspected, you submit your receipts and documentation to the Soil Conservation office where the final paperwork will be completed.
- A request for reimbursement (called the incentive payment) is then submitted to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture who passes the money on to the local Soil Conservation District who then passes the payment onto you.
Will I Be Reimbursed the Entire Amount of the Project Cost?
No, the Soil Conservation District pays up to 75% of the agreed upon amount. The landowner pays the remaining amount. If the total project cost exceeds the original agreement amount, the district is not obligated to increase their incentive payment above the agreement amount.
Are You Required to do the Work Yourself?
No, you can hire the work done, do it yourself or a combination. There are pre-set rates for different tasks, our District Conservationist will explain that to you.
Do I have to Purchase Materials from Specific Vendors?
No, you can choose where to buy your materials. Keep in mind that you pay all costs up front and are reimbursed once the project is completed to specifications.
Is the Incentive Payment Taxable?
Yes, in January you will receive an IRS form 1099G.
Who is Our District Conservationist?
Wayne Coates (931) 296-3442, ext. 3
Wayne is based in Waverly at the USDA Service Center and has responsibility for Humphreys and Houston Counties. Wayne is assisted by Soil Conservation Technician Robert Crowell and Engineering Technician Jeremy Seals who are also based out of the USDA Service Center in Wavery.
Who is Our Watershed Coordinator?
Wayne Pressler (615) 210-1857
Wayne is based out of Clarksville and covers 12 counties including Houston County.
Who are Your Local Soil & Water Conservation District Board Members?
|Board Vice Chairman