Resource Conservation Districts are grassroots government organizations that advise and assist individual landowners and public agencies in planning and implementation of conservation practices for the protection, restoration, or development of land, water, and related natural resources.
The El Dorado County Resource Conservation District (1940) and the Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation District (1953) – (RCD’s) are local, independent, non-enforcement, non-regulatory, self-governed districts organized under Division 9 of the Public Resources Code. Each District has a five member board of directors who serve without compensation for a four year term period.
Each RCD advises and assists individual landowners and public agencies in planning and implementation of conservation practices for the protection, restoration, or development of land, water, and related natural resources.
The creation of Resource Conservation Districts was in direct response the economic and ecologic disasters of the 1930s.
Following a severe and sustained drought, soils began to erode and blow away, creating huge black dust storms that blotted out the sun and swallowed the countryside, displacing thousands of “dust refugees”.
Facing such disastrous circumstances, congress unanimously passed legislation declaring soil and water conservation a national policy and priority. Since about three-fourths of the continental United States is privately owned, Congress realized that only active, voluntary support from landowners would guarantee the success of conservation work on private land.
In 1937, President Roosevelt wrote the governors of all the states recommending legislation that would allow local landowners to form soil conservation districts. States then divided the responsibility among counties, and by 1940 El Dorado County Resource Conservation District was formed, then later, by 1953 the Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation District was formed.