Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act

Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act of 1935 [16 U.S.C. 590(e); 590(e)(1); 590(g); 590(h); 590(p)(1); and 590(q)(3); 49 Stat. 163] as amended by:

Chapter 104; February 29, 1936; 49 Stat. 1148; Chapter 395; June 28, 1937; 50 Stat. 329; P.L. 87-703; September 27, 1962; 76 Stat. 605; P.L. 87-732; October 2, 1962; 76 Stat. 696; P.L. 95-113; September 29, 1977; 91 Stat. 1019; and P.L. 99-198; December 23, 1985; 86 Stat. 676.

This is not a complete list of the Public Law numbers that relate to this legislation. The most recent Public Laws include:

P.L. P.L. 102-341 title 11; August 14, 1992; 106 Stat. 888; P.L. 103-111, title II; October 21, 1993; 107 Stat. 1060.

Repealed. Pub. L. 103-354, title II, Sec. 246(f)(1), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3225

This 1935 statute authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct soil erosion surveys and prevention measures, and it established the Soil Conservation Service to conduct these activities. Emphasis was given to engineering operations, methods of cultivation, growing of vegetation and other land uses as preventative measures.

Chapter 104, enacted in 1936, established the goals of decreasing soil erosion and maintaining the navigability of rivers as purposes of the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act. Financial assistance to farmers was to be contingent on several factors, including soil restoration and measures to prevent erosion. The 1937 amendments (Chapter 395) extended these programs through 1942.

Title I of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1962 (P.L. 87-703) authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to develop 10-year agreements with farmers for changes in cropping patterns and land use to conserve soil, water, forest, wildlife and recreational resources, and stipulated related procedures.

Public Law 87-732, enacted later in 1962, authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to provide financial assistance for drainage purposes, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior after making a finding of the impacts on wildlife preservation. Limitations imposed by the Secretary of the Interior would be void: (1) at such time as the Secretary of Interior notifies the Secretary of Agriculture that the limitation should not apply; (2) the year after an adverse Secretarial finding (unless DOI or a State agency agreed to purchase the land for waterfowl purposes); or (3) five years subsequent to making the adverse finding if an offer to lease or sell the property has been rejected.

Title 15 of the 1972 Rural Development Act (P.L. 92-419) amended this statute to add the purpose of preventing and abating agricultural pollution and included soil restoration and conservation practices as areas to be evaluated as part of the agricultural assistance program. The Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 (P.L. 95-113) amended this law to authorize financial assistance to farmers for conducting conservation and environmental enhancement measures. Specific factors to be considered in implementing this program were to include: the need to encourage voluntary compliance to reduce point and nonpoint pollution, national priorities established in NEPA, and priority conservation measures needed to improve water quality in rural areas.

Title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (P.L. 99-198) amended this statute to include the promotion of energy and water conservation through dry farming as another statutory purpose.

The law has been amended many times over the years. In that time, many parts have been repealed including 590(e) - (e)-2, 590 (g)1 - (g)2, 590 (h) a-d,f, 590(h)1-4. Sec. 590e was repealed by Pub. L. 103-354, title II, Sec. 246(f)(1), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3225, 590p-1.

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