After the Dust Bowl in the 1930s, soil conservation districts were formed in California to provide farmers and ranchers with help acquiring federal and state funds and technical assistance to support their voluntary efforts to conserve water, soil, and wildlife habitat. In 1995, these existing soil conservation districts became resource conservation districts (RCD). For more information on this change, and the governance of resource conservation districts, see Division 9 of the California Public Resources Code. A weblink to Division 9 is available on our Governance Documents page.
Currently, the RCD network in California consists of 98 special districts serving rural, urban, and suburban communities. RCDs are non-regulatory districts that are publicly accountable, and in their unique position, can partner across sectors and bridge potential divisions. They work hand-in-hand with local communities and other partners on a voluntary basis to support viable agriculture and local conservation. For instance, RCDs can provide a go-to-hub for this support by connecting local communities and individuals to the technical, financial, and educational resources they need. While resource conservation covers California’s lands, waters, soils, and other natural resources, many RCD projects focus on agriculture viability, healthy soils, clean water, and climate resilience.
To learn more about what RCDs around California, visit the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts.