In 1955, the Iowa State Legislature passed a law providing for the creation of county conservation boards. In 1956, a public vote of Buchanan County residents authorized the creation of the Buchanan County Conservation Board (BCCB).
Chapter 350.1 of the Code of Iowa defines the many purposes of the county conservation board system. Conservation boards are authorized to provide the public with parks, preserves, forests, and other natural areas, as well as educational and recreational programs and facilities. The Buchanan County Conservation Board works toward "improving our quality of life through programs of conservation and education."
The Buchanan County Conservation Board is directly responsible to the residents of Buchanan County. They function as a corporate body, making policy and budget decisions regarding the preservation and enhancement of local natural resources, development of recreation areas, and environmental education. Conservation Board policies are implemented by the Conservation Director, who is responsible to the Board. Other staff members are hired by the Executive Director with Board approval, and are directly responsible to the Executive Director.
The Conservation Board consists of five county residents appointed to five-year, staggered terms by the Board of Supervisors. Members of the board are selected and appointed on the basis of their demonstrated interest in conservation matters and abilities to serve on a board, and serve without compensation. The five appointed members of the 2011 board are:
-Jim Klever (Chair), Independence
-Don Shonka (Vice Chair), Independence
-Karen Stephenson (Secretary), Independence
-Pat Fencl, Independence
-Loren Hamilton, Independence
Buchanan County Conservation Board Meetings
Monthly meetings are normally held in the board meeting room of the Fontana Interpretive Nature Center, Fontana Park, 1883 125th Street, Hazleton, Iowa 50641. Board meetings are tentatively scheduled for the third Tuesday of each month, at 7:00 p.m. Other meetings are called as needed. Meetings are open to the public, and public notice is given for all meetings.