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About Us

Who We Are

Conservation Districts emerged during the 1930s as a way to prevent the soil erosion problems of the Dust Bowl from recurring. Formed as independent local liaisons between the federal government and landowners, conservation districts have always worked closely with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly the Soil Conservation Service).

In California, Resource Conservation Districts are "special districts" organized under the state Public Resources Code, Division 9. Each district has a locally elected or appointed volunteer board of directors made up of landowners in that district. RCDs address a wide variety of conservation issues such as forest fuel management, water and air quality, wildlife habitat restoration, soil erosion control, conservation education, and much more.

California now has 103 Resource Conservation Districts, most of which are funded largely through grants. A few receive limited funds through county property tax revenues. The Department of Conservation and the Natural Resources Conservation Service provide training and in-kind support, as well as a watershed grant program for districts.

Today, RCDs work in urban areas as well as with farmers and ranchers on agricultural-related concerns. California's size and geographical diversity-along with an ever-growing population-make natural resources stewardship a great challenge in the Golden State.