Funding for Conservation Districts varies statewide. Because of the variability in funding among Districts, there is a disproportionate relationship between local funding and the populations served. Of all the Districts in the State, SCCD falls within the bottom five for funding from local sources, but in the top six for population. In 1987, the Wyoming Legislature authorized Conservation Districts to impose a tax of up to 1 mill, subject to approval by voters. Since that time, several Wyoming Conservation Districts have secured mill levy funding. The mill levy question has been on the ballot in Sheridan County four times from 1990-2008; attempts failed by a margin of approximately 60-40%. While the SCCD has not ruled out the possibility of another mill levy attempt, the current focus is on expanding potential funding through private sources.
FY2018 Funding and Population for Wyoming Conservation Districts
Only funding up to $400,000 is shown. Amounts for Laramie Rivers, Sublette, Lramie County, and Teton County exceed $400,000.
The majority of SCCD’s funding comes through federal, state, and private grants, which are restricted to specific projects and programs. Annual appropriations from Sheridan County and local municipalities is less than $50,000 per year; a local membership program provides between $3,000.00 and $5,000.00 annually. Funds from tree sales, other service fees, and travel scholarships are a small percentage of the budget.
Programs and services, including implementation of improvement projects, water quality monitoring, tree and oil recycling program expenses, constitutes the largest annual expense. Payroll expenses would also include time spent on these programs. Annual budgets are largely dependent on the number/cost of projects and the associated income from state and federal grants. Other funding sources and expense categories are relatively consistent among years.