A Resource Conservation District is an independent, non-enterprise (local government) Special District organized under Division 9 of the California Public Resources Code. The District is authorized and directed to promote and provide conservation education, 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, and disseminate 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
  • Demonstration projects
  • Assistance to private landowners or land occupants; loan or rental of equipment; eligibility of director as 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 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
  • Advisory committees

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.