Powers and duties of districts
(1)A conservation district, in the exercise of its public powers, has the following powers and duties in addition to others granted in this article, which powers and duties may be exercised by the supervisors subject to the rules, regulations, and bylaws adopted by such district and to the direction of the qualified voters at any regular or regularly called special meeting of the district:
(a)To conduct surveys, investigations, and research relating to the character of soil conservation and the preventive and control measures needed. In order to avoid duplication of research activities, such work, where possible, shall be conducted in cooperation with the government of this state or any of its agencies or with the United States or any of its agencies.
(b)To conduct demonstrational projects within the district on lands owned or controlled by the United States or the state of Colorado or any of their agencies, with the consent of the agency administering and having jurisdiction thereof, and on any privately owned lands within the district, upon obtaining the consent of the owner of such lands;
(c)To erect structures and maintain any facilities to arrest or prevent the erosion of soils or lands within such district by reason of wind or water or from any other cause;
(d)To cooperate or enter into agreements with and, within the limit of its available funds, to furnish financial or other aid to any agency, governmental or otherwise, or any owner or occupant of lands within the district in the carrying on of erosion control, flood control, and water conservation practices within the district, subject to such conditions as the supervisors may deem necessary to advance the purpose of this article;
(e)To obtain options upon and to acquire or acquire control of, by purchase, exchange, lease, gift, grant, bequest, devise, or otherwise, any property, real or personal, or rights or interests therein; to acquire real property or any interest therein by eminent domain under the provisions of articles 1 to 7 of title 38, C.R.S., for projects designed exclusively for flood control, or sediment control, or both, as authorized under Public Law 566, enacted by the eighty-third congress (1954), but such power of eminent domain shall not be exercised by any district unless and until not less than two-thirds of the resident landowners owning at least fifty percent of the privately owned lands within the watershed area, as established by the watershed work plan map, shall, by petition filed with the supervisors of the district, approve the exercise of such power for any specified project; to maintain, administer, and improve any properties acquired, to receive income from such properties, and to expend such income in carrying out the purposes of this article; and to sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of any of its property or interests therein in furtherance of the purposes of this article;
(f)To make available to landowners and occupants within the district, on such terms as it shall prescribe, agricultural and engineering machinery and equipment, fertilizer, seeds and seedlings, and such other material or equipment as will assist such landowners or occupants to carry on operations upon their lands for the conservation of soil or water resources and for the prevention and control of soil erosion and floods;
(h)To accept grants, services, and materials and to borrow money from the United States or from any corporation or agency created or designed by the United States to loan or grant money, or from the state of Colorado or any of its subdivisions, or from any other source, but in no event shall such district pledge the faith or credit of the state of Colorado or any county or other political subdivision, except that of such district. In connection with such grants or loans, it may enter into such agreements or contracts as may be required for such purposes.
(i)To take over, by purchase, lease, or otherwise, and to administer any soil conservation, erosion control, or erosion prevention project located within its boundaries undertaken by the United States or any of its agencies, or by this state or any of its agencies; to manage, as agent of the United States or any of its agencies or of this state or any of its agencies, any soil conservation, erosion control, or erosion prevention project within its boundaries; and to act as agent for the United States or any of its agencies or for this state or any of its agencies in connection with the acquisition, construction, operation, or administration of any soil conservation, erosion control, or erosion prevention project within its boundaries;
(j)To sue and be sued in the name of the district; to have a seal which shall be judicially noticed; to have perpetual succession unless terminated as provided in this article; to make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of its powers; to make, and from time to time amend and repeal, rules and regulations, not inconsistent with this article, to carry into effect its purposes and powers;
(k)To prepare a plan for the care, treatment, and operation of the lands within the district. This plan may be known as the district program and plan of work and shall establish in general its objectives and serve as a guide for carrying out its work to attain its objectives. This plan, from time to time, may be amended to meet the needs of the district.
(l)To cause annual audits to be made in accordance with the “Colorado Local Government Audit Law”;
(m)To make contributions of information, data, statistics, funds, or other contributions valuable in the furtherance of land conservation to any state association or other organization representing the interests of conservation districts in the state in the accomplishment of that purpose;
(n)To sponsor, plan, construct, maintain, and operate flood prevention and watershed improvement projects for the development, conservation, control, and utilization of water resources and, in so doing, to have and exercise all of the authority and power otherwise granted in this article;
(o)To participate in the formulation and implementation of nonpoint source water pollution control programs related to agricultural practices in order to implement programs required or authorized under federal law and section 25-8-205 (5), C.R.S., enter into contracts and agreements, accept funds from any federal, state, or private sources, receive grants or loans, participate in education and demonstration programs, construct, operate, maintain, or replace facilities, and perform such other activities and adopt such rules and policies as the board deems necessary or desirable in connection with nonpoint source water pollution control programs related to agricultural practices.
Section 35-70-108 — Powers and duties of districts,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-35.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).