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The Peter Francisco Soil and Water Conservation District (PFSWCD) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia and is responsible under State Law for soil and water conservation work within the boundaries of Buckingham and Cumberland Counties. The District’s purpose is to encourage and initiate land use practices that help improve water quality and reduce soil erosion as well as educating the community in protecting our natural resources.


Soil conservation is not something new or recently considered. In the mid-1930’s, Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote to the governor of each state recommending legislation to establish soil and water conservation districts to prevent the loss of valuable soil resources. The President’s letter expressed this concern: “The nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself.” Soil Conservation District laws were passed in all states to provide local leadership for soil conservation programs.


The Peter Francisco SWCD was originally organized on July 24, 1940, and was made up of the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Campbell, Buckingham, and Cumberland. During a time of reorganization, Buckingham and Cumberland Counties separated to form the Peter Francisco SWCD in December 1972, and became active on January 1, 1973. The District covers an area of 873 square miles and is located in the Southern Piedmont Region of Virginia. It is bounded on the North by the James River and bounded on the South by the Appomattox River. Within the District, there are over 17 watershed dams that were built for flood control that affect the Slate and Willis Rivers and are a part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The District is a rural, agricultural district with the majority of the area in woodland and small farms. The main industries are timber, cattle, and poultry.


The Commonwealth of Virginia supports the District through financial and administrative assistance provided by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) as well as the District utilizing local and some federal funds. The Board of Directors is the governing body of the District, consisting of six members: Four Directors, two from each county, elected every four years in the general election; one is appointed by the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Board, and one is appointed as a representative of the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service within the District. 

The Peter Francisco Soil & Water Conservation District will provide the citizens of Buckingham and Cumberland Counties educational programming, technical assistance and conservation practices to encourage stewardship of the environment and natural resources.


The Peter Francisco Soil & Water Conservation District envisions Buckingham and Cumberland Counties as agricultural, rural and urban areas committed to water quality and soil health.  The District is accessible, committed and focused on service for our community.  We strive to educate our rural and urban landowners and the general public to be responsible stewards now and into the future.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Statement

We value the educational and program benefits of diverse ideas, peoples and cultures in order to contribute to equitable inclusion through collaboration and partnerships, guided by open expression, self-awareness and mutual respect.  

Committed to conservation practices

Promote Stewardship and conservation

Provide educational programs

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