DAVIS, Calif., November 19, 2012 - The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has honored four California Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) as "Outstanding Districts of the Year." The honors were presented at NRCS's partnership awards luncheon held during the 67th annual California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) conference in San Diego on November 15.
The Outstanding Districts of the Year are:
- Sutter County Resource Conservation District: Many of the district's projects and programs include commitment to student education, land stewardship, and water quality improvement efforts.
- Loma Prieta Resource Conservation District: Several of the district's projects and programs include commitment to student education, land stewardship, and water quality improvement efforts.
- Amador Resource Conservation District: Some of the district's projects and programs include commitment to community outreach, fire safety efforts, and leadership in assisting the formation of the Sacramento–Amador Water Quality Alliance.
- Inland Empire Resource Conservation District: Various projects and programs include removing invasive plant species, protecting local waterways, restoring degraded wildlife habitats and installing pollinator-friendly hedgerows.
RCD board members and staff were on-hand to accept the prestigious awards presented by NRCS Acting State Conservationist Jeff Burwell in recognition of the Districts' leadership in innovation, outreach to stakeholders, furthering science in conservation, and reaching historically underserved communities.
"RCD's are one of NRCS's key partners in conservation, and we have a long and successful history together," says Burwell. "I applaud this year's four outstanding districts of the year for their dedication to partnerships, innovation, and outstanding work in getting conservation on the ground in California."
RCDs are "special districts" of the state of California, set up under California law to be locally governed agencies with their own locally appointed, independent boards of directors. Conservation Districts work with farmers, ranchers, and urban dwellers to voluntarily improve soil, water, and wildlife habitat resources across the U.S. California now has 104 RCDs, most of which are funded largely through grants. California's size, geographic diversity, and rapidly growing population make natural resource conservation a growing and critical issue in the Golden State.
NRCS works with farmers and ranchers through conservation planning and assistance designed to benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animals that result in productive lands and healthy ecosystems.
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