Legislative Assembly SENATE BILL NO. 2342
of North Dakota
Senators Piepkorn, Elkin, Hogan, Mathern
Representatives Dobervich, Simons
1 A BILL for an Act to create and enact a new chapter to title 4.1 of the North Dakota Century
2 Code, relating to healthy soil grant and healthy soil assessment and education programs; and to
3 amend and reenact sections 4.1-20-01, 4.1-20-02, subsection 5 of section 4.1-20-18, sections
4 4.1-20-19, 4.1-20-23, 4.1-20-24, 4.1-20-25, 4.1-20-26, 4.1-20-28, subsection 1 of section
5 4.1-20-32, and section 4.1-20-33 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to soil
6 conservation, soil conservation district supervisor compensation, training, powers and duties,
7 elections, and land use regulations; and to provide for a continuing appropriation.
8 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF NORTH DAKOTA:
9 SECTION 1. AMENDMENT. Section 4.1-20-01 of the North Dakota Century Code is
10 amended and reenacted as follows:
11 4.1-20-01. Policy and scope of chapter.
12 It is the policy of this state and within the scope of this chapter to provide for the
13 conservation, restoration, and health of the soil and soil resources of this state and for the
14 control and prevention of soil erosion, and to preserve the state's natural resources, control
15 floods, prevent impairment of dams and reservoirs, assist in maintaining the navigability of
16 rivers, preserve wildlife, protect the tax base, protect public lands, and protect and promote the
17 health, safety, and general welfare of the people of this state.
18 SECTION 2. AMENDMENT. Section 4.1-20-02 of the North Dakota Century Code is
19 amended and reenacted as follows:
20 4.1-20-02. Definitions.
21 In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
22 1. "Committee" means the state soil conservation committee.
23 2. "Director" means the director of the North Dakota state university extension service.
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1 3. "District" means a political subdivision of this state organized as a soil conservation
2 district under this chapter.
3 4. "Due notice" means notice published at least twice, with at least seven days between
4 publications, in a newspaper or other publication of general circulation within the
5 appropriate area.
6 5. "Government" includes the government of this state, the government of the United
7 States, and any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of
8 either of them.
9 6. "Land occupier" includes any person that holds title to or is in possession of any lands
10 lying within a district.
11 7. "Qualified elector" means an individual who is at least eighteen years old, is a citizen
12 of the United States, and has resided in the precinct thirty days next preceding the
14 8. "Soil health" means the ability of soil to:
15 a. Enhance the soil's continuing capacity to function as a vital biological system;
16 b. Increase the soil's organic matter;
17 c. Improve the soil's structure and water-holding and nutrient-holding capacity; and
18 d. Sustain plants, animals, and individuals.
19 9. "Supervisor" means one of the members of the governing body of a district, elected or
20 appointed, in accordance with this chapter.
21 SECTION 3. AMENDMENT. Subsection 5 of section 4.1-20-18 of the North Dakota Century
22 Code is amended and reenacted as follows:
23 5. Upon a majority vote of the supervisors, the supervisors of a soil conservation district
24 are entitled to receive compensation of up to sixty-twosixty-five dollars and fifty cents
25 for attending each regular or special meeting or for attending other meetings or events
26 in the performance of their official duties. Supervisors of soil conservation districts are
27 entitled to receive travel and subsistence expenses necessarily incurred in attending
28 district, state, or other meetings. The compensation and all other expenses including
29 travel incurred by district supervisors while transacting district business must be paid
30 from district funds.
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1 SECTION 4. AMENDMENT. Section 4.1-20-19 of the North Dakota Century Code is
2 amended and reenacted as follows:
3 4.1-20-19. Soil conservation district supervisors - Training.
4 As soon as practicable after an individual is elected or appointed to the position of a soil
5 conservation district supervisor, the individual shall attend a training session delivered by the
6 state soil conservation committee, and the individual shall attend or participate in annual
7 training as determined by the state soil conservation committee. The training provided under
8 this section must include training in soil health measurement and improvement.
9 SECTION 5. AMENDMENT. Section 4.1-20-23 of the North Dakota Century Code is
10 amended and reenacted as follows:
11 4.1-20-23. Supervisors may consult city or county representatives.
12 The supervisors may invite the governing body of any city or county located within or near
13 the district to designate a representative to advise and consult with the supervisors on issues
14 that may affect the property, water supply, soil health, storm water management, flood
15 mitigation, or other interests of the city or county.
16 SECTION 6. AMENDMENT. Section 4.1-20-24 of the North Dakota Century Code is
17 amended and reenacted as follows:
18 4.1-20-24. Powers and duties of districts and supervisors.
19 1. A soil conservation district may exercise the public powers ordinarily exercised by a
20 political subdivision of the state, and the district and the supervisors of the district have
21 the following powers in addition to those granted in other sections of this chapter:
22 a. To conduct surveys, investigations, and research relating to the character of soil
23 health and soil erosion and the preventive, restoration, and control measures
24 needed; to publish the results of those surveys, investigations, or research; and
25 to disseminate information concerning the preventive, restoration, and control
26 measures. To avoid duplication of research activities, a district may not initiate
27 any research program except in cooperation with the government of this state or
28 any of its agencies, or with the United States or any of its agencies.
29 b. To conduct demonstrational projects within the district on lands owned or
30 controlled by this state or any of its agencies, with the cooperation of the agency
31 administering and having jurisdiction of the land, and on any other lands within
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1 the district after obtaining the consent of the occupier of those lands or the
2 necessary rights or interests in those lands, to demonstrate by example the
3 means, methods, and measures by which soil and, soil resources, and soil health
4 may be conserved and restored, and soil erosion in the form of soil blowing and
5 soil washing may be prevented and controlled.
6 c. To carry out preventive, restoration, and control measures within the district,
7 including engineering operations, methods of cultivation, the growing of
8 vegetation, and changes in use of land, on lands owned or controlled by this
9 state or any of its agencies, with the cooperation of the agency administering and
10 having jurisdiction of the land, and on any other lands within the district upon
11 obtaining the consent of the occupier of those lands or the necessary rights or
12 interest in those lands.
13 d. To cooperate or enter agreements with, and, within the limits of appropriations
14 duly made available to it by law, to furnish financial or other aid to any agency,
15 governmental or otherwise, or any occupier of lands within the district in the
16 carrying on of erosion control and prevention operations, and soil health
17 improvement programs, within the district, subject to the conditions as the
18 supervisors may deem necessary to advance the purposes of this chapter.
19 e. To obtain options upon and to acquire by purchase, exchange, lease, gift, grant,
20 bequest, devise, or otherwise any property, real or personal, or any property
21 rights or interest; to maintain, administer, and improve any properties acquired; to
22 receive income from those properties and to expend that income in carrying out
23 the purposes and provisions of this chapter; and to sell, lease, or dispose of
24 otherwise any of its property or interest therein in furtherance of the purposes
25 and the provisions of this chapter.
26 f. To make available, on terms the soil conservation district prescribes, to land
27 occupiers, government units or qualified electors within the district, agricultural
28 and engineering machinery and equipment, fertilizer, seeds and seedlings, and
29 any other material or equipment as will assist those land occupiers, government
30 units or qualified electors to carry on operations upon their lands for the
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1 conservation and restoration of soil health and soil and water resources and for
2 the prevention and control of soil erosion.
3 g. To construct, improve, and maintain structures as may be necessary or
4 convenient for the performance of any of the operations authorized in this
6 h. To develop comprehensive plans for the conservation and restoration of soil
7 health and soil resources and for the control and prevention of soil erosion within
8 the district, which plans must specify in such detail as may be possible the acts,
9 procedures, performances, and avoidances that are necessary or desirable for
10 the effectuation of those plans, including the specification of engineering
11 operations, methods of cultivation, the growing of vegetation, cropping programs,
12 tillage practices, and changes in use of land, and to publish such plans and
13 information and bring them to the attention of occupiers and owners of lands
14 within the district.
15 i. To take over, by purchase, lease, or otherwise, and to administer any soil
16 conservation, soil health, soil restoration, erosion control, or erosion prevention
17 project located within its boundaries undertaken by the United States or any of its
18 agencies, or by this state or any of its agencies; to manage, as agent of the
19 United States, or any of its agencies or of this state or any of its agencies, any
20 soil conservation, soil health, soil restoration, erosion control, or erosion
21 prevention project within its boundaries; to act as agent for the United States or
22 any of its agencies or for this state or any of its agencies in connection with the
23 acquisition, construction, operation, or administration of any soil conservation,
24 soil health, soil restoration, erosion control, or erosion prevention project within its
25 boundaries; and to accept donations, gifts, and contributions in money, services,
26 materials, or otherwise from the United States or any of its agencies or from this
27 state or any of its agencies, and to use or expend those moneys, services,
28 materials, or other contributions in carrying on its operations.
29 j. To sue and be sued in the name of the district.
30 k. To have a seal, which seal must be noticed judicially.
31 l. To have perpetual succession unless terminated as provided in this chapter.
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1 m. To make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient to
2 the exercise of its powers, and to borrow funds and pledge all or any part of any
3 income from the district's facilities, equipment, and operations for repayment.
4 n. To make, amend, or repeal regulations consistent with this chapter.
5 o. To require contributions in money, services, materials, or otherwise to any
6 operations conferring benefits under this chapter and to require land occupiers to
7 enter and perform agreements or covenants to use the lands in a manner that will
8 conserve soil health and prevent or control flooding and erosion.
9 p. To expend moneys for education, promotion, and recognition activities consistent
10 with the purposes of this chapter.
11 q. To levy taxes as follows:
12 (1) The supervisors may make a general fund tax levy, not exceeding two and
13 one-half mills, for the payment of the expenses of the district, including
14 mileage and other expenses of the supervisors, and technical,
15 administrative, clerical, and other operating expenses.
16 (2) Immediately after the completion of the district budget and the adoption of
17 the annual tax levy by the district supervisors, but not later than July first,
18 the supervisors shall send one certified copy of the levy as adopted to the
19 county auditor of each county in the district.
20 (3) The county auditor of each county in the district shall extend the levy upon
21 the tax list of the county for the current year against each description of real
22 property lying both within the county and the district in the same manner
23 and with the same effect as other taxes are extended.
24 (4) The treasurer of each county in the district shall collect all district taxes
25 together with interest and penalty thereon in the same manner as the
26 general taxes are collected, and shall pay over to the soil conservation
27 district by the tenth working day of each month, all taxes so collected during
28 the preceding month, with interest and penalties collected thereon and shall
29 immediately send notification of such payment to the treasurer of the soil
30 conservation district.
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1 (5) Voter-approved levy authority authorized by electors of a district under the
2 provisions of this section before January 1, 2015, remains in effect through
3 taxable year 2024 or for the time period authorized by the electors,
4 whichever expires first.
5 2. Any provisions with respect to the acquisition, operation, or disposition of property by
6 other public bodies are not applicable to a district unless the same specifically are
7 made applicable by law.
8 SECTION 7. AMENDMENT. Section 4.1-20-25 of the North Dakota Century Code is
9 amended and reenacted as follows:
10 4.1-20-25. Supervisors may formulate land use regulations for submission to
11 qualified electors.
12 The supervisors of any district may formulate regulations governing the use of lands within
13 the district in the interest of conserving and restoring soil, soil health, and soil resources and
14 preventing and controlling soil erosion, and may conduct public meetings and hearings upon
15 tentative regulations as may be necessary to assist the supervisors in this work. The proposed
16 regulations must be embodied in a proposed ordinance for submission to the qualified electors
17 in the district, and copies of the proposed ordinance must be available for inspection by the
18 qualified electors in the district during the period of time between the publication of the notice of
19 election upon the ordinance and the date of the election.
20 SECTION 8. AMENDMENT. Section 4.1-20-26 of the North Dakota Century Code is
21 amended and reenacted as follows:
22 4.1-20-26. Notice of election - Form of ballot - Conduct of election - Who may vote.
23 The notice of election on a proposed ordinance submitted to the qualified electors in the
24 district under section 4.1-20-24 must be provided in the manner required by section 4.1-20-14
25 relating to notice of election of supervisors, and must recite the contents of the proposed
26 ordinance or must state where copies of the proposed ordinance may be