The serious erosion problems that occurred during the Dust Bowl of the 1930's were the driving force for the modern soil conservation movement.  In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt initiated the creation of the conservation district system by introducing model legislation titled the Standard Soil Conservation Law. 

On May 15, 1945, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed the Soil Conservation District Act (Act 217) to provide for the protection of the soil resources of the Commonwealth.  It established the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and provided for the organization of county Conservation Districts.  County governing bodies became authorized to declare their county a Conservation District by a simple majority vote after receiving a petition from the public.  Within those counties, a District Board of Directors was given responsibility for assisting farmers in implementing voluntary erosion control plans.  The Fulton County Conservation District is the second-oldest Conservation District in the Commonwealth, formed on December 8, 1945.