Resource Conservation Districts in California's Central Coast Region

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An environmental summary created by the ENVS 560/L Watershed Systems class at CSUMB.


Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) are special districts established to implement and monitor natural resource conservation projects across private and public land [1]. They were originally established by the U.S. federal government under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as Soil Conservation Districts, and in 1939 were formally authorized as a California state special district by Division 9 of the California Public Resources Code (PRC) [2]. PRC section 9003[2] declares RCDs as not-for-profit legal subdivisions of the state that, for the purpose of contracting with state agencies, are considered agencies of the state, but are otherwise not a government agency. They work closely with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to achieve conservation goals on a regional level, sometimes within a single county and other times across counties.

RCDs are governed by an independent Board of Directors made up of locally appointed or elected individuals, within boundaries set by the State of California. The mission of these non-regulatory locally governed special districts is to educate the public and land owners about resource conservation in each area. In doing so, they provide an integral link to conservation programs and agencies on the local, state, and federal level. RCDs engage in:

  • Agricultural land conservation
  • Conservation education
  • Forest stewardship
  • Fuels management
  • Irrigation management
  • Recreational land restoration
  • Soil and water management on non-agricultural lands
  • Urban resource conservation
  • Watershed planning and management
  • Water conservation
  • Water quality protection and enhancement
  • Wetland conservation
  • Wildlife habitat enhancement

The RCDs of California's Central Coast Region include:


  1. RCD (Resource Conservation District). 2017. Resource Conservation District Assistance. State of California Department of Conservation.
  2. 2.0 2.1 CaliforniaPublic Resources Code. 1975. DIVISION 9. RESOURCE CONSERVATION [9001 - 9972



This page may contain student work completed as part of assigned coursework. It may not be accurate. It does not necessary reflect the opinion or policy of CSUMB, its staff, or students.