Introduction to the Resource Conservation
District of Greater San Diego
WHAT IS A CONSERVATION DISTRICT?
A Resource Conservation District is an independent, non-enterprise (local government) special District organized under Division 9 of the California Public Resources Code. It is authorized and directed to promote and provide conservation education, to conduct research, and to advise and assist other public agencies and private individuals in the areas of land-use planning, soil and water conservation, wildlife habitat enhancement and restoration, control of exotic plant species, and watershed restoration.
Resource Conservation Districts are non-regulatory agencies. RCDs can advise regulatory agencies and act as intermediaries between other agencies. Certain federal benefits are available to counties and cities only through these special Districts.
The General Powers of an RCD include:
Conduct surveys, research, dissemination of information
Accept financial gifts and grants
Accept fees for services
Contract with agents, officers, and employees
Acquire lands and properties
Take conveyances, leases, and contracts
Conduct improvements and operations on public and private lands
Operation and maintenance of works constructed by District
Dissemination of information, and demonstrational projects
Assistance to private landowners or land occupants; loan or rental of equipment; eligibility of Director as a landowner to receive assistance or loan
Development of annual and long-range plans
Acceptance and administration of projects located within District
Management of projects within District as an agent
Cropping and tillage operations and range practices
Cooperation with other Districts; association of Districts
Legislative intent; conservation between State and Federal agencies
District Attorney or County Counsel; legal advice and assistance
Educational programs; awards and prizes
The RCD works closely with an extensive list of partners to carry out the District's responsibilities for providing leadership to identify local resource conservation needs, advocate for effective solutions, and work with appropriate parties on implementation.
About the Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County
The RCD of Greater San Diego County is a local government agency and an independent special District, formed in 1941 and self-governed by a seven-member Board of Directors. Separate from County, State, and Federal agencies, an RCD is charged with locally securing "the adoption of conservation practices including, but not limited to farm, range, open space, urban development, wildlife, recreation, watershed, water quality and woodland, best adapted to save the basic resources of the State from unreasonable and preventable waste and destruction."
(ref.: Div. 9 of the California Public Resources Code, Section 9001 – Declaration of Policy; Purposes)
The RCD of Greater San Diego County has been consolidated from eleven smaller Districts over the years to what it is today. The District's boundary now encompasses a service area of approximately 2,886 square miles or 1,847,300 acres. The adopted sphere of influence includes all types of land use and falls within all or portions of a number of incorporated communities.
Today, there are three RCDs working within San Diego County:
The RCD of Greater San Diego County
Upper San Luis Rey RCD
Funding for the District is obtained from a number of private and public grants, corporate and individual tax-deductible donations and property taxes. The Board of Directors is responsible for setting policy, and fiscal oversight. Staff is responsible for the implementation of all District programs.