MCRCD Mission

The mission of the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District (MCRCD) is to conserve, protect and restore wild and working landscapes to enhance the health of the water, soil and forests in Mendocino County.

Who We Are

MCRCD is a non-regulatory, public agency providing conservation leadership through technical, financial, and educational support for voluntary stewardship of natural resources on public and private lands in our community.

What We Do

MCRCD works with communities to voluntarily conserve, protect, and restore natural resources in a landscape that supports agriculture, timberland, wild lands, and urban areas. We provide technical assistance, educational programs, monitoring and assessment services to landowners, and secure millions of dollars in grant funding to help meet local and regional conservation goals. The District serves as a clearinghouse of information on natural resources conservation, technical guidance, permitting, and financial assistance programs for landowners interested in implementing conservation practices or habitat enhancement. MCRCD uses a watershed approach in addressing natural resource issues, collaborating closely with federal, state, county, and other local resource agencies and organizations. The District also works closely with industry associations, community groups, businesses, schools, and the general public. 100% of our annual funding comes from local, state and federal grant programs, professional service agreements, and tax-deductible donations.

MCRCD 2020-2024 Strategic Plan

MCRCD Guiding Principles

Our guiding principles are based in a strong commitment to broad-based stakeholder engagement, voluntary stewardship, and science-based decision making. The MCRCD is non-regulatory and relies on partnerships with landowners, tribes, conservation organizations, other resource conservation districts, and local, state, and federal agencies to plan, fund and implement conservation projects and programs. As we carry out our programs we are guided by the following principles: 

  • Science-based Decision Making
  • Long-Term Stewardship
  • Trust and Integrity
  • Collaborative Partnerships

Resource Conservation Districts throughout California maintain a special relationship with each other and with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS). MCRCD is one of 11 RCDs in the North Coast Region. We work together to address regional natural resource management concerns.

MCRCD History

Resource Conservation Districts are one of California’s earliest grassroots conservation organizations–identifying conservation needs and supporting local land managers in implementing solutions on a voluntary basis. The catastrophic soil losses of the dust bowl era sparked national and state recognition that soil erosion was the greatest challenge to the country’s ability to feed its people and be a leader in agricultural production. Non-regulatory Conservation Districts were conceived by the federal government and were later sanctioned by the State of California in 1938 to provide assistance to local managers in addressing soil and resource conservation challenges.

MCRCD was formed as an independent special district under the provisions of the California Soil Conservation District Act, and was established by election on May 14, 1945. At that time, it was named the Willits Soil Conservation District and was comprised of 146,000 acres in the Little Lake Valley. In 1956, the District became essentially countywide with the exception of the territory within the incorporated areas of the county. Today, the District’s Sphere of Influence includes all 2.2 million acres of forest, rangeland, production agriculture, and cities and towns in Mendocino County. MCRCD is a “Special District,” a legal subdivision of the state, organized under Division 9 of the California Public Resources Code. Examples of other independent, special districts are Park and Open Space Districts, Mosquito Abatement Districts, and Flood Control and Water Conservation Districts.

MCRCD Leadership and Governance

Leadership and governance of the MCRCD is provided by a five-member volunteer Board of Directors, which consists of local landowners with diverse backgrounds and interests. The roles of the Directors are to establish priorities, set policies and guidelines, and oversee general operations. Day-to-day management of the MCRCD is conducted by an Executive Director and the work of the MCRCD is performed by a staff of natural resource and administrative professionals. Board & Staff page