Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about your South Central Mountain Resource Conservation and Development Council.

What does “RC&D” stand for?

“RC&D” stands for “Resource Conservation and Development Council.” There are RC&D Councils organized throughout the country as part of the greater National Resource Conservation and Development Council.

How is the RC&D program authorized?

The National RC&D program was authorized by Congress in 1962 with the passage of the Food and Agriculture Act. Each RC&D Council is a (501(c)(3)) nonprofit organization.

What are some basic concepts of the RC&D program?

RC&D Councils are 501(C)3 non-for-profit corporations. They are not governmental entities, so the typical policies and constraints of local, state, and federal government programs do not limit the types of issues they address or the means they use. RC&D Councils have a high degree of independence to carry out activities that will achieve their most important goals. RC&D Council volunteers are leaders and community stakeholders involved in multiple roles in local government, school boards, churches, and other civic activities. At RC&D Council meetings, they draw from their professional expertise and community connections to determine the needs of their RC&D Council areas, address those needs, and make their communities better places to live, work, and play. Nationwide, over 25,000 volunteers serve on local RC&D Councils.

The RC&D program has always been designed to handle local initiatives through basic concepts like:

  • Recognizing the value of public/private partnerships to make the best use of limited resources.
  • Using grassroots efforts to make decisions about local issues.
  • Bringing USDA agencies together to focus on problems and opportunities.
  • Leveraging limited federal dollars with private funds and other resources to accomplish community goals.
  • Working towards the goal of community sustainability.
  • Promoting rural economic development and stability while protecting natural resources.
Who can get involved with RC&Ds?

As nonprofit organizations, any RC&D can partner with any individual, business, public or private organization, or other nonprofit.

Looking to get involved? Contact us here.

What is the slogan of the RC&D?

“Helping People Help the Land”

How many RC&Ds are there?

There are over 300 RC&Ds throughout the country. Each one is locally organized and sponsored with local people as the decision-makers.

How many RC&D Councils are there in New Mexico, and how are they designated and named?

There are four active RC&D Councils in New Mexico:

  • ADELANTE (San Miguel County)
  • EL LLANO ESTACADO (Quay County)
  • JORNADA (Sierra County)
  • SOUTH CENTRAL MOUNTAIN (Lincoln & Otero Counties)

RC&D Councils are generally designated by groups of counties and named for geographic features or well-known references for the area. When it’s helpful, different Councils collaborate with each other to complete projects.

Tell me more about the South Central Mountain RC&D

The SCMRC&D Council received its nonprofit status in 1992. We cover 7.3 million acres, or about 11,458 square miles, of Lincoln and Otero Counties. Together with local area partners, we plan and carry out activities that help to conserve natural resources, support economic development, and enhance the environment and standard of living in our community.

We work hard to find funding for various projects and community activities and generally offer services at no cost. We also offer technical advice and help in grant writing, project organization, and project implementation. Our current projects include:

  • Hazardous Fuels Reduction Cost Share in Otero County
  • Hazardous Fuels Reduction Cost Share in Lincoln County
  • Emergency Watershed Protection Program following the McBride Fire
  • BLM/Timberon Fuels Reduction Program
  • Outreach & Education Projects for FireWise and Ready, Set, Go
  • Sierra Blanca Wildland Fire Academy
  • Multiple Thinning Projects with NM State Forestry and New Mexico State Land Office
  • Hale Lake Travel Plan
What services can the SCMRC&D Council help me with?

We’re glad you asked! We can help with everything from lot thinning to grant writing. Some of our most popular services include:

  • Acting as a fiscal sponsor for projects and/or organizations
  • Writing grants for projects and/or organizations
  • Assisting property owners with lot thinning and fire preparedness
  • Educating the community at local events about FireWise and Ready, Set, Go programs

Helpful Links (or Partner Links)












Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP)




How can volunteers participate and/or join our Council?

We’d love to have you! Join us at our next Council meeting or contact us to be a part of our Council and/or community initiatives.

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