|WISRCD - Making Things Happen||
What is Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D)?
The RC&D program was initiated by federal legislation in 1962. Since then, seven RC&D areas have formed to serve all of Wisconsin’s counties and the Oneida and Menominee Indian Nations.
Wisconsin’s RC&Ds offer a unique way for private individuals and groups to work with each other and learn to utilize local, state and federal agencies to benefit communities. The RC&D program helps bring together a wide variety of volunteers such as land managers, community leaders, economists and environmentalists. These groups work to identify problems and opportunities, gather necessary background information, plan for desired future conditions, develop strategies, secure necessary funding and implement projects for the good of the area. The projects implemented help enhance our natural resources while improving the standard of living in the state of Wisconsin.
How Do RC&Ds Operate?
RC&D is a grass roots program locally directed by an RC&D council. Each council establishes its own governing policies and develops its own programs to fill local needs.
Council membership varies by council and can consist of Land Conservation Committee members assigned by the county board, corporate members, tribal members, and members assigned by other agencies or local communities. Expansion allows broader citizen representation to help identify problems, develop strategies and implement solutions. All of Wisconsin’s seven RC&D councils have received federal nonprofit 501(c)3 status and State of Wisconsin tax exempt status.
How Are RC&Ds Funded?
Each council receives annual membership dues to help defray operating expenses. Project monies come from federal, state, local, private, and foundation grants or donations and can consist of hard money or in-kind services. The ability to secure funding for projects is growing in areas served.
How Do RC&D Committees Function?
RC&D councils create committees to address local concerns. Committees are the “action level” of an RC&D council. They identify projects and carry them to completion. Committee membership is open to anyone interested.
How do RC&D Projects Originate?
Project ideas come from a wide variety of sources including private citizens, organizations, elected officials, corporations, agencies and RC&D representatives. RC&D councils review and prioritize these concerns and ideas for inclusion in annual and long-range work plans.
What is the Wisconsin Association of RC&Ds?
The individual RC&Ds come together to form the Wisconsin Association of RC&D Councils, Inc. Some fundraising projects are run through the Association, and each council pays annual Association dues. The Association helps pay for council members to attend out-of-state regional and national RC&D functions. The Association also hosts an annual business meeting bringing together all member RC&Ds. Project and information exchange is a benefit of the annual meeting.