Western Maryland Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Established in 1993

What is RC&D?

  • Resource Conservation & Development
  • Unique program that helps people protect and develop their economic, natural, and social resources to improve their areas economy, environment, and quality of life
  • Provide a way for people to plan and implement projects to make their communities better places to live
  • Brings together people, needs, concerns, opportunities, and solutions
  • A process….as well as a program
  • Provides “facilitated self-help” for conservation and economic development
  • Provides the framework for dealing with issues through citizen participation
    • Locally led
  • Action-directed. It accomplishes what is planned and agreed to by communities, public and private organizations, and programs—all working together for a common goal
  • Unique combination of private enterprise and federal assistance that encourages the blending of natural resources use with local economic and social values
  • People’s Program!

What are the Benefits of RC&D?

  • Designed to make communities more viable, productive, and better places to live
  • Projects may create new jobs in agriculture, forestry, tourism, and other industries
  • Projects may focus on natural resource issues, or may work to improve community development, economic growth, or quality of life in Western Maryland

Who can be involved?

  • Anyone who……
    • believes that one person can make a difference
    • wants to be involved in making things happen in their community, county, region, or state
    • wants to see natural resources utilized without adversely affecting the environment
    • wants to improve the quality of life in their community

How can you get involved?

  • You can make things happen!!
    • People from all walks of life—there’s a place for YOU
      • Doesn’t matter whether you live in the country or city
      • Doesn’t matter if you’re a teacher, business or farm owner, homeowner, consumer, school council member
    • Involvement or assistance
      • Provide technical assistance or funding
    • Most work is accomplished in committees
      • Seek private citizens, businesses, and organizations to become members to participate, plan projects, or help identify priorities
    • Your participation is WELCOME!

What are RC&D Sponsors

  • Board of Commissioners (appoint qualified representative to serve on Council to represent their interests)
  • Conservation Districts Board
  • Cooperative Extension Service (County Level)
  • Others may include:
    • cities, townships, civic organizations, regional planning bodies, local non-profit organizations, Indian tribal bodies, special districts (i.e., conservancy), and others

What is an RC&D Council?

  • Not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization within the state and are 501 (c)(3) entities by the Internal Revenue Service Determination
  • This standing makes them eligible to secure grant funds from private foundations and others
  • Councils are made up of people like YOU who want to “make things happen”
  • Each RC&D sponsor appoints one representative and one alternate to serve on the RC&D Council
    • cities, townships, civic organizations, regional planning bodies, local non-profit organizations, Indian tribal bodies, special districts (i.e, conservancy), and others

How is RC&D Funded?

  • Received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for staffing and some additional financial support
  • Support provides a coordinator to work with the Council to identify problems, establish goals and objectives, build strategies, and implement plans
  • Provides a part time assistant, office space, some equipment, supplies, and a government vehicle for the staff
  • Although we receive assistance from NRCS and other partnering agencies and organizations, the priorities and policies are determined by local people
  • No additional federal dollars (other than competitive grants) for projects and activities
    • Receive technical and in-kind assistance from NRCS & other USDA agencies and CDs for operations and many other partners-Tribes, private groups, private individuals, other governmental groups

What can RC&D do that others cannot?

  • Unlike Conservation Districts, Cooperative Extension Service, NRCCS, and other County Organizations….RC&D Councils can:
    • Partner rather than duplicate the efforts of other agencies
    • Bring private enterprise to the table
    • Work across jurisdictional, political, and other boundaries to address multi-county issues
    • Diverse partners and private citizens & businesses to solve problems
    • Another tool for these agencies to find resource to address local issues: examples
      • Create a park, open a tourist attraction, work on multicounty water quality or weed control or issues, promote an industry or small businesses, provide funding for rural emergency medical services and equipment, preserve a historical site, develop a wildlife habitat, conduct workshops (e.g., alternative energy)….

What does a Coordinator do?

  • Primary Role
    • Serve as the liaison between USDA agencies & the RC&D Council and provides technical assistance to Council
    • Assists Council to communicate plans and activities with potential partners
    • Coordinates the writing of grants and the Council administers the grant
    • Provides public information, develops information and educational programs
    • Provides staff leadership regarding RC&D projects
  • Act as a sounding board for ideas
  • Assist council to develop step-by-step plans to reach goals