Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) is a
unique program that is led by local volunteer councils that help people care for
and protect their natural resources in a way that improves the local economy,
environment and living standards. RC&D is a way for people to work
together to plan and carry out activities that will make their areas a better
place to live.
The RC&D Program consists of 375 RC&D Councils nationwide. Each RC&D
Council is organized and directed by local people to meet local needs. The
RC&D Program identifies and solves problems in rural communities that include
human, economic and environmental issues. RC&D addresses local problems by
obtaining assistance from the private sector, corporations, foundations and all
level of government.
Resource Conservation and Development is a program of the United States
Department of Agriculture. It was created by a provision of the Food and
Agriculture Act of 1962. The Secretary of Agriculture gave Natural
Resources Conservation Service (NRCS - formerly Soil Conservation Service)
responsibility for administering the program. RC&D is based on the
assumption that local citizens, with help provided through the USDA, can develop
and carry out an action oriented plan for the social, economic and environmental
enrichment of their communities.
The Secretary of Agriculture, through authorities delegated to the NRCS and
other USDA Agencies, makes available the technical and financial assistance to
operate and maintain an RC&D area to states, local units of governments, and
local nonprofit organizations. This assistance is available from NRCS to
implement projects adopted by the local RC&D Area Council. These funds are
to be used to assist councils in carrying out their area plans.
The purpose of RC&D is to promote conservation, development and utilization of
natural resources; to improve the general level of economic activity; and to
enhance the environmental and standard of living in all communities. The
aim is to provide a system of rural development, encourage the wise use of
natural resources, and improve the quality of life in America.
The RC&D Program is based on a number of concepts that make it a truly unique
government program. These concepts include: