What’s an RCD?

Resource Conservation Districts are highly local, non-regulatory organizations that are go-to hubs for natural resource conservation and agriculture on public and private lands at local, regional, state, tribal, and federal levels.  

Mission & Vision

The mission of the Marin Resource Conservation District is to conserve and enhance Marin’s natural resources, including its soil, water, vegetation and wildlife. It is our belief that the health of the county’s natural landscape is dependent upon a robust agricultural economy and the active preservation of our agricultural heritage. In addition, it is our firm conviction that the agricultural productivity of the county is dependent upon the diligent application of practices which conserve and enhance our natural resources.

Our district was formed to serve its landowners at their request, with no thought of domination or interference in their affairs, but to assist them in their attempts to make the most efficient use of their farms and ranches. We believe that this grassroots approach is in line with the best of American traditions, and that gradually but surely excellent conservation accomplishments will be made through education, friendly persuasion and cooperative action. Benefits of our program will extend from individual landowners, to their immediate community and to the public at large.

Our History

In 1938, in response to congressional enabling legislation and several years of Dust Bowl tragedies, California generated legislation authorizing the formation of soil conservation districts. Division 9 of the CA Public Resources Code gives RCD’s authority to oversee and manage countywide or regional natural resource conservation projects on both public and private lands. The role of the publicly elected RCD Board of Directors is to “take available technical, financial, and educational resources, whatever their source, and focus or coordinate them so that they meet the needs of the local land user and local communities for conservation of soil, water, and related resources”. The original purpose of the districts was to assist landowners with erosion and flood control problems, primarily on agricultural lands.

Today, 100 Resource Conservation Districts (originally called Soil Conservation Districts until 1971) encompass more than 80%of the State. Resource Conservation Districts now have the authority to engage in a broad array of resource conservation activities. In addition to erosion control and project assistance for agricultural lands, the district’s function has expanded to include: agricultural land conservation, watershed planning and management, water conservation, water quality protection and enhancement, soil and water management on nonagricultural lands, wildlife habitat enhancement, wetland conservation, irrigation management, conservation education and forest stewardship.

For more information about Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) please visit the California RCD website (www.carcd.org).

Strategic Plan

Review our Strategic Plan, which outlines the goals and initiatives that guide the work we do.