The idea of forming local conservation districts was founded in the early 1930’s when dust storms and floods swept the nation and aroused public concern around soil erosion. Congress passed Public Law 46 in 1935 declaring conscious land use and soil conservation a national policy, after which the federal government initiated associated technical and financial assistance programs. What was needed, however, was informed cooperation and participation of local citizens. In 1937 President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote to the governors of all states recommending legislation allowing landowners to form conservation districts.
Today, more than 3,000 conservation districts exist throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In California, Soil Conservation Districts began forming across the state in the 1940s. Many have been consolidated over time so that of the hundreds of Districts that once existed in California, 103 now remain. Under California Public Resources Code, Soil Conservation Districts were originally empowered to manage soil and water resources for conservation, but these powers were expanded in the early 1970s to include “related resources,” including fish and wildlife habitat. This expansion of powers was reflected in the name change from “Soil” Conservation Districts to “Resource” Conservation Districts in 1971.
The Siskiyou Resource (Soil) Conservation District has been in operation continuously since a referendum and election was held May 17, 1949 approving the creation of this non-taxing special district within Siskiyou County. The District is managed by a Board of Directors consisting of five non-paid volunteers appointed by the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors for 3-year terms allowing for renewals. Board Members must be active registered voters in Siskiyou County and reside within the District boundaries.
The Siskiyou Resource Conservation District was established and organized in accordance with Division 9 of the Public Resources Code of the State of California. Under Division 9, the District is empowered to research, develop and implement actions to address the conservation and management of natural resources including soil, water, and other related assets such as habitat. The RCD can cooperate directly with the United States, the State of California, counties, cities, public districts, corporations, associations, non-governmental organizations and individuals to consistently carry out work within District boundaries. The protection and management of natural and working lands has been determined to be in the general public interest and therefore, the use of public funds for these actions on privately or publicly owned land constitutes expenditure for the general public benefit. Publicly funded work by the District involves a contractual agreement between one or more government agencies and the District. It is the policy of the District to obtain complete landowner consent before proceeding with any project on private or public land.
Sphere of Influence
The District consists of 1,176,160 acres of privately (294,160 acres) and publicly (882,000 acres) owned lands in the Scott River watershed, Salmon River watershed, and portions of the Klamath River. This includes the Klamath National Forest in the western and northern areas of the District and portions of the Shasta National Forest in the southern end of the District. Small portions of Native American lands lie within District boundaries. The towns of Fort Jones, Greenview, Etna, and Callahan are excluded.
Board of Directors
Caroline Luiz - Board Chairman
Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700) are filed with the Siskiyou County Clerk
Tamara Braden - District Manager, Bookkeeper
Preston Harris - Contracted (Third-Party) Project Coordinator
Lea Van De Water - Technical Writer
Lindsay Cummings - Project Coordinator
Christopher Voigt - Lead Field Technician
Emma Morris - Field Technician
Evan Senf - Field Technician, Project Coordinator
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