The RC&D Program (Resource Conservation and Development) was established in the Agriculture Act of 1962. From then until 2011 the Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) was responsible for the administration of the program. Successive farm bills provided for the further development of the program, including deepening the partnership between RC&D Councils and the NRCS. There were approximately 375 RC&D Councils located in all 50 states.
Unfortunately, due to extreme budget cuts, on April 15th, 2011 the RC&D Program lost all of its federal funding. However, since many RC&D’s are actually made up of local community board members, non-federal employees and independent grants, many Councils have been able to continue on their own. The National Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils (NARC&DC) still exists and provides what assistance it can to its Councils as they work to maintain their positions in their communities and continue to promote wise use of natural resources and improve the quality of life.
The makings of the Bayou Land RC&D Council began in June of 1998 when the Louisiana NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) hosted a public meeting for the purpose of educating the community on the RC&D Program. Parish governments, local soil and water conservation districts, cities, state senators and representatives, planning districts and many others participated in this forum. From this initial meeting community interest was piqued and a steering committee was established to facilitate the creation of the organization.
The steering committee met monthly from August of 1998 until April of 1999 and guided the organization’s formation. In January, 1999 the steering committee adopted the organization's By-Laws and the Articles of Incorporation. On April 6, 1999 the Articles of Incorporation were certified with the Louisiana Secretary of State. Officers were then elected and the council was established. On November 9, 1999 the Bayou Land RC&D Council acquired a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service. Since then, Bayou Land RC&D has been working to promote the wise use of our natural resources and improve the economic, environmental and social conditions in Southeastern Louisiana. Click here to learn more about Bayou Land RC&D's recent and ongoing programs!