The origin of Iowa's county conservation system started back in 1934 when a group of people, which included renowned conservationists such as Ding Darling and Aldo Leopold, developed a plan that would provide outdoor recreational opportunities to local county residents. The Jefferson County Conservation Board mission is to enhance the quality of life in Jefferson County by acquiring, developing and managing public areas so that its citizens will have opportunities for quality outdoor recreation experiences, and to cultivate good land stewardship through natural history and environmental education activities. From this idea, the first attempt was made in 1942 to pass enabling legislation. It wasn't until 1955 that the county conservation law passed in the general session. Since then, all 99 counties in Iowa have established a county conservation program. Jefferson County voted into existence their county conservation board program in 1972. Board members that have been appointed by the County Supervisors and have served on the Jefferson County Conservation Board include Wayne Parsons (photo above), Gene Parker, Bill Briggs, Dean Johnson, Norman Baird, Carl Zillman, Bill Baker, Terri Diers, Ron Meyers, Keith Wells, Kathy Tollenaere, Cory Klehm and Wayne Atwood. Three directors have been employed by the Board in the last thirty years: Joan Sturdavent (1973 - 76), Jim Bashor (1977 - 83) and Dennis Lewiston (1983 - present).