(a) It is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination:
(1) That the farm, forest and grazing lands of the State of Alabama are among the basic assets of the state and that the preservation of these lands is necessary to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of its people;
(2) That improper land-use practices have caused and have contributed to, and are now causing and contributing to, a progressively more serious erosion of the farm, forest and grazing lands of this state by wind and water;
(3) That the consequences of such soil erosion are the silting and sedimentation of stream channels, reservoirs, dams, ditches and harbors, the loss of fertile soil material, the reduction in productivity or outright ruin of rich bottom lands by overwash of poor subsoil material, sand and gravel and the deterioration of soil and its fertility; and
(4) That to conserve soil resources and control and prevent soil erosion, it is necessary that land-use practices contributing to soil wastage and soil erosion be discouraged and discontinued and appropriate soil-conserving land-use practices be adopted and carried out.
(b) It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Legislature to provide for the conservation of the soil and soil resources of this state and for the control and prevention of soil erosion, thereby to preserve natural resources, control floods, prevent impairment of dams and reservoirs, assist in maintaining the navigability of rivers and harbors, preserve wildlife, protect the tax base, protect public lands and protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the people of this state.