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Photographs - Collections - 351-400 - #00382

Title: Greater North Dakota Association/North Dakota Water Conservation Commission/State Soil Conservation Committee

Dates: 1942-1962

Collection Number: 00382

Quantity: 100 items

Abstract: The images of soil and water conservation projects were primarily taken by W. P. Sebens. Some are stamped Greater North Dakota Association, State Water Conservation Commission, and State Soil Conservation Committee. Many of the images are also found in Series 30878 Soil Conservation Committee, State. Photographs and Negatives.

Provenance: Unknown

Copyright: Public records are not subject to copyright restrictions, although record series may contain copyrighted material. Consideration of such copyrights is the responsibility of the author and publisher.

Access: These records are available for public inspection under provision of the North Dakota Century Code, 55-02.l-08.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the record group, series name and number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Related Collections:
MSS 10514 North Dakota Water Users Association Records
MSS 10435 Greater North Dakota Association Records
30878 Soil Conservation Committee
31496 North Dakota State Water Conservation Commission
31737 Soil Conservation Committee
00399 State Water Conservation Commission

Soil Conservation Committee
[Authorized: NDCC Section 4-22-03]
Created in 1937 the State Soil Conservation Committee was established to serve as a state agency and to provide for conservation, protection, improvement, and profitability of agricultural land in North Dakota.  Originally the committee consisted of the Governor, the State Commissioner of Agriculture and Labor, the Director of the State Extension Service, and one member appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.  The committee formed four soil conservation districts which could be organized when twenty five occupiers of land within a district requested that a soil conservation district be formed.  Each soil conservation district elected three supervisors. The supervisors directed the programs and activities and served as the link between the district and the State Soil Conservation Committee. One of the members was delegated as chairman, and the committee could appoint an administrative officer and other employees as needed (S. L. 1937, Ch.9). The Attorney General provided legal opinions at the request of the commission.

The membership on the State Soil Conservation Committee has changed substantially over the years.  In 1951 legislation began to shift the management of the committee to the districts. Four regular or land owner members, one from each district, were appointed along with  ex officio members who were the Governor, Commissioner of Agriculture and Labor, Director of the North Dakota Cooperative Extension Service, and one member appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The four regular members were district supervisors, in the district they represented, and were appointed by the State Soil Conservation Committee.  Names of eight district supervisors were submitted to the State Association of Soil Conservation District Supervisors with four being selected from the eight.
In 1961 the four members were elected instead of being appointed by the district they supervised.  They served a two year term.  The ex officio member who had been appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture was replaced by the President of the Soil Conservation District Association (S. L. 1961, Ch.105).

 In 1971 the legislature made several major changes including committee membership.  Legislation divided the state into five geographical districts which were grouped along county lines.  The State Soil Conservation Committee changed to five members, one district supervisor from each district being elected by the district land owners or occupiers, and two members appointed by the Governor.  The gubernatorial appointees represented the interests of farmers and ranchers, rural areas and small towns, cities, industry, and business for those not already represented (S. L. 1971, Ch. 94). Members served two year terms and no member served more than two successive terms.

In 1981 the terms of membership increased to three years.  The Governor appointed members to fill the unexpected vacancies.  Annually the committee selected a chairman who served only one term (S. L. 1981, Ch. 95).  Representatives from the following agencies served in an advisory capacity to the committee: State Association of Soil Conservation Districts, North Dakota Cooperative Extension Service, Soil Conservation Service, State Water Commission, Commissioner of Agriculture, and Game and Fish Department.
Legislation in 1983 added a new subsection to the North Dakota Century Code relating to a tax to be levied by the Soil Conservation Districts.  The district supervisors put a one mill tax levy on all real property lying within a conservation district.  The tax levy is paid by the owner of the land and is used for administrative and operating expenses of the districts. Supervisors could choose to raise the levy, but the increase had to be authorized by three fourths of the voters in the district (S. L. 1983, Ch. 97), however, the number of qualified voters needed to approve an ordinance was reduced to two thirds in 1985 (S. L. 1985, Ch. 95). 

The purpose of the State Soil Conservation Committee was to promote soil conservation through programs and activities conducted under the auspices of the State Soil Conservation Districts; direct organization of State Soil Conservation Districts; provide operating guidelines for State Soil Conservation Districts; administer small watershed projects in the state; and develop water quality management plans for controlling non point sources of pollution. Additional goals of the committee included securing cooperation and assistance of state, federal, regional, local, and private agencies with districts; representing the state in matters affecting soil conservation;  establishing uniform accounting methods that must be used in all districts;  requiring annual reports from all districts;  receiving from other state and local agencies for review and comment suitable descriptions of their plans and programs activities affecting the conservation of natural  resources; and arranging for and participating in conferences to avoid conflict with other plans and programs (S. L. 1997, Ch. 50).

Since 1997, the North Dakota State University Extension Service has assisted the director with the administrative duties of the committee within the limits of legislative appropriation to deliver information and services to the districts (S. L. 1997, Ch. 50).  The committee meets annually but the chairman may call special meetings as needed, or four committee members may request in writing that a special meeting be called (S. L. 1997, Ch. 50). The committee encourages conservation of soil and soil resources by disseminating information regarding the activities and programs of the soil conservation districts.  All surface mining operators file an annual detailed report of their activities with the committee which, in turn, transmits the information to the district. The committee also administers the soil conservation technician grants program with the objective of reducing wind and water erosion damage on cropland.

from the Bismarck Tribune, May 13, 1978

William Peter Sebens was born April 30, 1896 at Hamlet, Indiana where he grew up and attended school. In 1918 he married Mildred Bunnell there. They moved to North Dakota and settled at Milnor (ND) where he farmed and was a seed salesman. In 1934 they moved to Fargo where he was a field representative for the Greater North Dakota Association from 1934-1955, living in Gwinner from 1914-1939 and Fargo from 1939-1955. From 1955 to 1971 he was executive secretary for the North Dakota State Soil Conservation Committee in Bismarck (ND). Mr. Sebens photographed the state for the Greater North Dakota Association and took aerial photographs of farmsteads for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Sebens raised seven children. He died in Bismarck May 12, 1978. Mrs. Sebens died May 19, 1995.

Photographs Inventory

00382-00001  Surveyor near Crosby (N.D.) photographer: W.P. Sebens
00382-00002 – 00004 Crew Surveying near Crosby (N.D.) for a reservoir
00382-00005  Large blocks of sulphur at the Signal Oil & Gas Refinery, Tioga (N.D.) This sulphur, or most of it is made into sulphuric acid used in the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers
00382-00006  Standard Oil Refinery, Mandan (N.D.)
00382-00007  Grading a road. Photographer: Neal H. Tracy GNDA Field Rep, Valley City (N.D.)
00382-00008  Part of the group on a tour with new directors of conservancy district and their stop at an oil well near Tioga (N.D.) 07/18/1955
00382-00009  Mowing alfalfa on Experiment Station Farm, Bowbells (N.D.) 06/19/1952
00382-00010  Cairns and Flags, International Peace Garden, Dunseith (N.D.)
00382-00011  Bagley Elevators
00382-00012  Golf
00382-00014  Medora (N.D.)
00382-00015 – 00016 Jewel Bearing Plant, Rolla (N.D.)
00382-00017  Aerial showing Memorial Highway, Mandan (N.D.)
00382-00018  Roseau Lake during construction, East Cavalier Soil Conservation District 09/18/1952
00382-00019  Angostura Dam on Cheyenne River, Hot Springs (S.D.)
00382-00020  Four Bears Bridge, Sanish (N.D.)
00382-00021  Water skiing
00382-00022  Group at shoreline with small boats
00382-00023  Heart Butte Dam and Reservoir 09/11/1952
00382-00024 – 00026 Theodore Roosevelt National Park
00382-00027 – 00028 Irrigation Ditch. Photographer: Neal H. Tracy GNDA Field Rep, Valley City (N.D.)
00382-00029  Boy priming siphon tubes, ½ mile E. of Oakes (N.D.) 07/15/1957. Photographer: Wayne Wavrin, Soil Conservation Service
00382-00031  Sakakawea statue, Bismarck (N.D.)
00382-00032  Group of men
00382-00033  Ducks resting on water and land at Lower Souris Game Refuge, Upham (N.D.)
00382-00034  Ducks resting on small island and along the shore on Lower Souris Game Refuge near Upham (N.D.)
00382-00035  Ducks resting on water and land at Lower Souris Games Refuge, Upham (N.D.)
00382-00036  Junction of north and south forks of the Pembina River west of Walhalla (N.D.)
00382-00037  Power line leading east from Garrison Dam
00382-00038  Drawing of proposed world’s largest pumping plant, Grenora (N.D.)
00382-00039  Drainage ditch and road in Richland County (N.D.)
00382-00040  New channel and dike, Heart River, southeast of Mandan (N.D.)
00382-00041  Irrigation Experiment Station farm, Sheyenne (N.D.)
00382-00042  New channel and dike, Heart River, southeast of Mandan (N.D.)
00382-00043  Irrigation ditch. Photographer: Neal H. Tracy GNDA Field Rep, Valley City (N.D.)
00382-00044  Hanks Corner Dam, T-3-5, Located on south side of State Highway #5, taken from plane looking west, the dam is nearing completion 08/11/1956
00382-00045  Junction of north and south forks of Pembina River west of Walhalla (N.D.)
00382-00046  Irrigation farm south of Sheldon (N.D.)
00382-00047  Junction of Missouri and Yellowstone rivers east of Montana-North Dakota border
00382-00048  Badlands
00382-00049  Drawing of dam
00382-00050  Irrigation Experiment Station farm, Sheyenne (N.D.)
00382-00051  Irrigation ditch. Photographer: Neal H. Tracy GNDA Field Rep, Valley City (N.D.)
00382-00052  Drawing of Des Lacs Lake proposed power plant, Kenmare (N.D.)
00382-00053  Peerless water pump and water pipeline. Photographer: Neal H. Tracy GNDA Field Rep, Valley City (N.D.)
00382-00054  Glory hole type outlet on M-4 Dam, Tongue River watershed 04/22/1962
00382-00055  Lower section of canal that leads from Beaver Creek into upper end of Lake
Golden, Steele County (N.D.) 04/03/1962
00382-00056  Diversion Canal carrying water from Beaver Creek to Lake Golden, Steele County
00382-00057  Snow in shelterbelt on farm east of Finley (N.D.) 04/17/1962
00382-00058  Cattle grazing near waterhole in western Morton County (N.D.), looking east
00382-00059  Wheat varieties trial plots at Great Plains Experiment Station, Mandan (N.D.) left
to right: (N.D.) 81 Corley and (N.D.) 16
00382-00060  Stock water hole 7 miles S and 4 miles W of Park River (N.D.) serving as only water source for 50 head of livestock in summer months. Fed by ground water, it has never gone dry. 06/1955. Soil Conservation Service photo
00382-00061  Cattle at Water hole south of Straubville (N.D.)
00382-00064  Stock water dam 8 miles SW of Adrian (N.D.) fenced, rip rapped with native stone, stocked with 800 Northern Pike 06/24/1953. Soil Conservation Service photo
00382-00065 North Dakota Badlands showing part of Northern Transcontinental Toll Road
00382-00066 – 00067 Display of North Dakota photos of crops and livestock and awards
00382-00068  Road in Badlands
00382-00069  High water at Bismarck gardens pump site 06/10/1942
00382-00070  Group on irrigation tour finds a shady spot at Clay Worst farm, Lower Yellowstone
Project, McKenzie County (N.D.) 07/19/1955
00382-00071  Most of the members of the irrigation tour after lunch at the Axe l Danielson farm,
Lower Yellowstone Project, McKenzie County (N.D.) 07/19/1955
00382-00072  Group of water users on Lower Yellowstone Project stop at Axel Danielson's farm, McKenzie County (N.D.) 07/19/1955
00382-00073  One of the stops along the Irrigation Tour 07/19/1955
00382-00074  Heart River farmers on tour looking at field of certified cobbler potatoes on Unit #25 of Lewis and Clark Irrigated Farms Project
00382-00075  Car on road in Badlands
00382-00076  Miller Floodway, East Traill Soil Conservation District
00382-00077  Line of sprinklers irrigating a field. Photographer: Neal H. Tracy GNDA Field Rep, Valley City (N.D.)
00382-00078  Gravity canal which carries water to Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project
00382-00079  Cattle on over-grazed pasture about 2 miles NE of Bismarck (N.D.)
00382-00080  Line of sprinklers irrigating a field. Photographer: Neal H. Tracy GNDA Field Rep, Valley City (N.D.)
00382-00081  Pothole No.2 in southwest Ward County (N.D.)
00382-00082  Cattle on over-grazed pasture about 2 miles NE of Bismarck (N.D.)
00382-00083  Directors of the Missouri Diversion Conservancy District, plus Vernon Cooper
Secretary Treasurer and Bruce Johnson, at the farm of Axel Danielson, Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project, McKenzie County (N.D.)
00382-00084 Group on irrigation tour finds a shady spot at Clayton Worst farm, Lower Yellowstone
Project, McKenzie County (N.D.)
00382-00085  Pothole No. 1 in southwest Ward County (N.D.)
00382-00086  Pothole No. 8 in southwest Dickey County (N.D.)
00382-00087  Miller Floodway East Traill Soil Conservation District
00382-00088  20 steer on 7 ½ acres of irrigated pasture, Mandan (N.D.)
00382-00089  Water flowing out of discharge end of overflow at M-3 Dam, Tongue River
Watershed 04/23/1962
00382-00090  Water flowing out of pipe into irrigation ditch. Photographer: Neal H. Tracy GNDA Field Rep, Valley City (N.D.)
00382-00091  Miller Floodway East Traill Soil Conservation District
00382-00092  River
00382-00093  Harlan and Carlat Hellerud farm, Maddock (N.D.), winner North Central Soil Conservation District in 1961
00382-00094  Looking NE toward Edmore showing natural channel and flooded farmlands SW of Edmore (N.D.)
00382-00095  Miller Floodway East Traill Soil Conservation District
00382-00097  Road in Badlands
00382-00098  Heart Butte Dam
00382-00099  Heart Butte Dam and Reservoir near Glen Ullin (N.D.) showing intake of glory hole spillway

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