The General Assembly enacted legislation in 1960 authorizing Rhode Island cities and towns to establish Conservation Commissions. The Town Council first established the South Kingstown Conservation Commission on March 4, 1961.
The South Kingstown Conservation Commission also serves as the Town Tree Board as well as the On-site Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS) Commission.
The Advisory duties of the Conservation Commission, pursuant to 1960 Public Law, Chapter 203, are as follows:
1. To promote and develop natural resources to protect watershed resources, and to preserve natural aesthetic areas.
2. To conduct research into local land areas and to coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes, and to advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which in its judgment are deemed necessary for its work.
3. To recommend to the Town Council and to other municipal boards and agencies a program for the better promotion, development, utilization or preservation of open areas, streams, shores, wooded areas, roadsides, swamps, marshlands and natural aesthetic areas.
4. To work with organizations such as, but not limited to, the South Kingstown Land Trust, toward the goals of natural resource protection and open space designation.
The Conservation Commission should adopt rules of conduct and hold annual elections for officers.
Decisions and recommendations by the Conservation Commission should be made within the discipline of good conservation practice, unfettered by concern for legal or other considerations.
The Conservation Commission meets regularly on the first Wednesday of the month. Staff assistance is provided by the Senior Planner and the Planning Department.