Lake Plains RC&D Information

Agenda & Minutes
in pdf

Meetings are scheduled on the second Thursday of
Feb., Apr., Jun., Aug., Oct., and December.
See Meeting Notice and Minutes for further details.

Meeting Notice
Previous Meeting Notice

Meeting Minutes
Meeting Minutes before June 2009 are available at the Lake Plains Office.

Project Measures
Annual Report


Other Links


To carry out the RC&D concept, diverse groups of local volunteers are brought together in a unique partnership to find solutions to their problems. The structure for this process involves:

  • Identifying problems
  • Establishing goals and objectives
  • Developing alternative plans
  • Implementing plans

Local people are best able to determine needs and create solutions for their community. The strength of RC&D is in the commitment of people to solve their own problems.

What Is the Resource Conservation & Development Program?

The Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Program is a national program that helps communities improve their economies through the wise use of natural resources. Currently there are 348 RC&D Areas designated for United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance by the Secretary of Agriculture. In New York, communities have used the RC&D program to improve watershed conditions, attract new forest industries, upgrade town parks, and improve farm profits. The purpose of the RC&D program is to accelerate the conservation, development and utilization of natural resources, improve the general level of economic activity, and to enhance the environment and standard of living in authorized RC&D areas. The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) provides administrative support for the RC&D program including office space and staff.

How Does the RC&D Program Work?

Local people plan and carry out programs in each RC&D area through the RC&D Council, which includes representatives from local sponsoring agencies. The RC&D Council and committee members include people from all walks of life - farmers, bankers, politicians, consumers, business people and others who volunteer their time to help make their community a better place to live. The Council identifies the community needs, plan projects to address those needs and secures help from appropriate state, federal, and private agencies to get the job done. The Council also appoints committees to advise on specific natural resource areas of concern, such as recreation, watershed protection, agriculture, and forestry. Committee members usually include interested citizens with expertise in the committee's area of responsibility and professional advisers from local, state, and federal agencies.

The Beauty of the RC&D Program

Environmental problems do not stop at township, county or state boundaries and that is where the beauty and flexibility of the RC&D program comes in to play. The RC&D program was designed to handle multi-county problems, which involve more than one unit of government. RC&D Councils can form partnerships with private individuals, private companies and public agencies to assemble resources to help correct environmental problems or any other problem where Council members feel they can help.

The History of RC&D: How it Began

In 1961, the Administrator of the U.S. Soil Conservation Service (now the Natural Resources Conservation Service), and the Secretary of Agriculture decided to test a new approach to rural development. It was their belief that "given the opportunity, local people could develop and carry out an action-oriented plan for the social, economic, and environmental betterment of their communities."

The success of this idea rested on three fundamental principles: (1) give local citizens the authority to identify and prioritize local issues and the power to administer a program that addressed those concerns, (2) detail a U.S. Department of Agriculture employee to serve as staff to this local group to help them determine and implement a plan of action, and (3) provide limited financial support to the effort.

Three demonstration sites were selected to test the validity of this unique approach to community development. Local rural development councils were created, staff was assigned, and soon the planning and community assessment effort began. The results were so impressive that Congress was asked to establish the Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Program as a permanent part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural development thrust. With passage of Public Law 97-98 in 1962, the RC&D concept was born.

The RC&D concept is based on forging partnerships, between the program and state and local governments, local Conservation Districts, and the dedicated citizen volunteers who contribute their time and effort to making their communities a better place. Today, Lake Plains RC&D Council is one of 348 RC&D program areas located throughout the nation working to improve their communities.