(a) There is hereby established, to serve as an agency of the state and to perform the functions conferred upon it in this article, the State Soil and Water Conservation Committee.
(b) This committee shall consist of nine persons: The Director of the State Cooperative Agricultural Extension Service, the Director of the State Agricultural Experiment Station, the Supervisor of Vocational Agricultural Education and six members who are soil and water conservation district supervisors, to be appointed by the Governor, one such appointive member from each of the six major geographical areas of the state as such areas are designated on January 1, 1972, by the State Association of Soil and Water Conservation district supervisors. The appointive members of the committee shall hold office for a term of three years and until their successors are appointed. Such members shall be appointed by the Governor from a list containing the names of not less than three soil and water conservation district supervisors as nominated by their respective areas and submitted to the Governor through the State Soil and Water Conservation Committee. From this list so submitted, the Governor shall appoint one member of the committee from each of the six aforesaid areas. The appointed soil and water conservation district supervisors now serving on the committee shall continue to serve, representing their area, until the expiration of their present terms of appointment and until their successors are appointed. The additional three appointive supervisor members shall serve for the following terms: One shall serve for a term of one year; one for a term of two years; one for a term of three years and thereafter such appointive members shall serve for terms of three years. Any vacancy among appointive members shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as original appointments are made under this section. Successor appointive supervisor members, at the expiration of their term of appointment, shall be appointed by the Governor in the manner as hereinabove provided. It is hereby intended that of the six appointive soil and water conservation district supervisors from the six areas serving on the State Soil and Water Conservation Committee, two such member terms shall expire at the end of each year.
(c) The committee shall keep a record of its official actions, shall adopt a seal, which seal shall be judicially noticed, and may perform such acts, hold such public hearings and promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the execution of its functions under this article. The State Soil and Water Conservation Committee may employ an administrative officer and such other agents and employees, permanent and temporary, as it may require and shall determine their qualifications, duties and compensation. The compensation of the administrative officer shall be fixed by the committee without reference to the pay plan of the State Personnel Department or limitations otherwise prescribed by law and shall not exceed such amount as is set by statute. The committee may call upon the Attorney General of the state for such legal services as it may require or may employ its own counsel and legal staff. It shall have authority to delegate to its chairman, to one or more of its members or to one or more agents or employees such powers and duties as it may deem proper. It shall be supplied with suitable office accommodations in the City of Montgomery and shall be furnished with the necessary supplies and equipment. The committee may request any state agency or state institution of learning to make special reports, surveys or studies for the purpose of carrying out any of the committee's functions. The supervising officer of any such agency or institution shall comply with such requests insofar as may be reasonable and consistent with the duties, available funds and personnel of the agency or institution. The committee shall designate its chairman and may, from time to time, change such designation.
Each ex officio member of the committee shall hold office so long as he shall retain the office by virtue of which he shall be serving on the committee. A majority of the committee shall constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of a majority in any matter within their duties shall be required for its determination. The chairman and members of the committee shall receive no compensation for their services on the committee, but shall be entitled to expenses, including traveling expenses, necessarily incurred in the discharge of their duties on the committee. The committee shall provide for the execution of surety bonds for all employees and officers who shall be entrusted with funds or property, shall provide for the keeping of a full and accurate record of all proceedings and of all resolutions, regulations and orders issued or adopted and shall provide for an annual audit of the accounts of receipts and disbursements.
(d) In addition to the duties and powers conferred in this article upon the State Soil and Water Conservation Committee, it shall have the following duties and powers:
(1) To offer such assistance as may be appropriate to the supervisors of soil and water conservation districts, organized as provided in this article, in the carrying out of any of their powers and programs.
(2) To keep the supervisors of each of the several districts organized under the provisions of this article informed of the activities and experience of all other districts organized under this article and to facilitate an interchange of advice and experience between such districts and cooperation between them.
(3) To coordinate the program of the several soil and water conservation districts organized under this article so far as this may be done by advice and consultation.
(4) To secure the cooperation and assistance of the United States and any of its agencies and of agencies of this state in the work of such districts.
(5) To disseminate information throughout the state concerning the activities and programs of the soil and water conservation districts organized under this article and to encourage the formation of such districts in areas where their organization is desirable.