Soil Conservation Districts, now known as Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs), were formed in the 1930’s after the unparallel ecological disaster known as the Dust Bowl. They were created to serve as the local liaisons between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly known as the Soil Conservation Service) and local landowners.
Division 9 of the California Public Resources Code defines the basic framework for the organization, operation, and roles and responsibilities of RCDs and the Board of Directors that govern them.
Today, RCDs are also challenged with greater diversity as the management of whole watersheds assumes a higher level of priority in resource conservation goals. RCD’s work is in coordination with other local, state and federal agencies to apply a broad range of solutions to resource problems. At the present time almost every county in the United States is included in the boundaries of a conservation district, there are currently 97 districts in California.
Organization of the Colusa County RCD
Originally Colusa County had two Districts that were voluntarily organized by landowners. The Stonyford Resource Conservation District (Western portion of Colusa County) was formed in 1956 and the Colusa Resource Conservation District (Eastern Colusa County) was organized in 1959. In 1996 the two separate districts merged to better serve the needs of Colusa County, becoming the Colusa County RCD (CCRCD). The District is governed by a seven-member board that is made up of local landowners and managers that are familiar with the needs and conditions of Colusa County. The Directors serve without pay and are appointed to four year terms of office by the Colusa County Board of Supervisors. The purpose of the Board is to identify resource concerns within Colusa County, representing soil, water, and wildlife conservation interests of rural landowners and managers requesting assistance. The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service provides technical assistance for the District’s projects.
The CCRCD focuses their efforts on:
- Promoting resource management and conservation practices that will improve the health of Colusa County Watersheds
- Supporting measures that provide for the best use of the land while sustaining our natural resources and local economy
- Providing conservation education to insure Colusa County’s natural resources will be valued and protected in the future
CCRCD’s Natural Resource Priorities:
- Identify natural resources issues and concerns within all Colusa County Watersheds
- Reduce erosion and sedimentation
- Improve water quality and development
- Promote conservation practices for municipal, industrial and residential use
- Encourage the use of native vegetation and removal of non-native invasive species
- Improve Rangeland and Forest Resources
- Improve and Conserve wildlife and fishery habitat
- Reduce roadside pollution
- Protect agricultural viability
- Promote conservation education
- Promote director and staff development