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History of Conservation Districts

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The concept of local resource conservation districts (RCDs) was born in the early 1930s out of concern for soil erosion, floods and sky-blackening dust storms. It was realized that these problems could be solved only with informed participation and cooperation of local citizens through the education of land owners, managers and the public through examples and demonstrations of improved conservation practices. RCDs were formed to focus on these activities.

RCDs are legal subdivisions of state government organized under the State of California Public Resources Code. RCDs are authorized and directed to advise and assist private landowners and public agencies in the conservation and use of soil and interrelated resources including water, plant materials and wildlife.

There are 100 RCDs in the state of California separated in to 10 regions. For more information on RCDs throughout the state, visit the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) webpage.

History of Mission Resource Conservation District

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Mission Resource Conservation District was organized on September 14, 1944 as the Middle San Luis Rey Soil Conservation District. The initial efforts centered on the need to store runoff water, correct the erosion occurring on dry-farmed grain and bean land, and protect the level land along the larger streams and river.

In over 70 years of operation, the farming methods and land use patterns in the District have changed dramatically. Farming changed from non-irrigated crops to irrigated orchards, row crops and pasture; and the trend of land ownership has been toward small farms averaging five to ten acres. In 1971, the name of the District was changed to Mission Resource Conservation District to reflect a broader emphasis on the conservation of soil, water and other natural resources. Presently, land uses within the boundaries of the District include residential, agriculture, commercial, industrial and public lands.