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News - NRCS California Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Resource Conservation and Development Councils

Natural Resources Conservation Service - News Release

NRCS California Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Resource Conservation and Development Councils

Jonathan Groveman (530) 792-5692
Jim Kocsis (530) 792-5605

DAVIS, Calif., September 28, 2012—For more than 50 years, California’s Resource Conservation and Development Councils (RC&Ds) have dedicated hundreds of thousands of hours, and raised millions of dollars, to helping sustain the land, protect natural resources and grow local communities. RC&Ds are a critical partner to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and together we have helped local communities protect the landscape.

"These RC&Ds have had a profound impact over the years working with schools, community-based organizations, and a multitude of other organizations to protect natural resources," said Jeff Burwell, Acting State Conservationist for NRCS California. "RC&Ds have helped communities implement a wide range of unique and innovative projects and together have enhanced these communities for local residents."

Over the years in California, RC&Ds have tackled projects that help their communities become successful and viable. These locally-driven, volunteer councils work to grow local economies, improve natural resources and promote sustainable-use practices.

A few of the many success stories over the years:

  • In Fresno, the San Joaquin Valley RC&D helped create a community garden specifically tailored to growing Southeast Asian vegetables. Local farmers had limited resources but high demand for these specialty crops and the RC&D helped fund this vital project. With additional help from NRCS California, the local Southeast Asian community now has a community garden they can be proud of.
  • In Weaverville, the Northwest California RC&D helped create a children’s garden to provide young children with opportunities to learn about health and nutrition, growing their own food, protecting soil and other natural resources and to have an opportunity to sell excess vegetables at a nearby farmers market.
  • Along California’s north coast, the North Coast RC&D created the Cultivating Commerce program to provide leadership and entrepreneurial training to beginning, struggling, and transitioning agricultural producers that will be sustainable over the long-term.

RC&Ds are grassroots organizations comprised of community members and local government representatives. Created through the federal Food and Agriculture Act of 1962, they deliver resource conservation and community development assistance throughout rural America, including soil and water quality projects, job creation programs, and renewable energy assistance.

NRCS has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America's private land owners and managers conserve their soil, water and other natural resources since 1935. For more information on NRCS, visit


 The Natural Resources Conservation Service provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people
conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment.

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