By Patricia Hunting
Never heard of a Resource Conservation District (RCD)?? These three letters carry huge importance. RCDs make up nearly 3,000 conservation district projects across the United States. They work directly with landowners to conserve and promote healthy soils, water, forests and wildlife. And so?
Established in 1939 by farmers from San Mateo, they pioneered the first RCD to help protect their farm land. Many escaped the Midwest Dustbowl disaster and wanted to prevent a repeat else where. Their idea grew in importance, impacting the rest of the United States!
California has its own association, the CARCD with projects throughout the state.
The CARCD helps restore, preserve, and protect natural resources whether open spaces, public lands, water sources, or even private lands with owners who support these causes. They mostly operate on a tiny budget through local taxes and also rely on grants, donations, and volunteers to manage the work that they do.
One example of the work that RCDs do is fire prevention!
They come to visit properties and offer suggestions for how to make the land less vulnerable to California’s yearly wildfires. Another is helping to conserve open spaces for our appreciation. In dense cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles, these undeveloped spaces are treasures.
The California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) will soon be having their annual event bringing together representatives from federal and state agencies, non-profits, private industries, farming communities, and resource conservation districts (RCDs) to share knowledge, build partnerships, and address urgent natural resource challenges including climate-smart agriculture, the tree mortality crisis, community fire resilience, sustainable groundwater management, watershed health, social equity in conservation, and wildlife preservation. Check out their list of projects: https://carcd.org/our-work/projects/ To learn about projects across the US, the NACD has a directory here.
Stay tuned for more RCD info, as BAGT will be featuring some of their work in our upcoming series, Solutionaries Speak.
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