The Inland Empire Resource Conservation District is a special district responsible for the preservation and wise management of the resources of 823,390 acres, or approximately 1,286 square miles, of public and private land in the Inland Empire of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.
Our 21st century resource conservation district emerged from the old soil conservation districts common in the first part of the 20th century. Slowly over the decades, various districts merged together to form larger entities until in the early 1970’s and 1980’s two modern districts appeared, the West End Resource Conservation District and the East Valley Resource Conservation District. The final unification came on July 1st, 2005 when the Inland Empire West Resource Conservation District (a newer name for the West End RCD) and the East Valley Resource Conservation District were consolidated by the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) to form the current Inland Empire Resource Conservation District.
Today, the board and staff of the Inland Empire RCD work tirelessly to preserve the original mission of the Soil Conservation Act of 1935 to stop soil erosion and degradation. Of course, in this 21st century we face a host of modern resource issues as well, such as increasing numbers of invasive species, loss of wildlife habitat, and diminishing water supply and quality. We continue to find new ways of coping with these modern threats. We are actively restoring natural wildlife habitat, eliminating exotic species and putting increasing emphasis on public outreach and youth education.
One of our most effective strategies is to work closely with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (US Department of Agriculture). Together we address the agricultural needs of our service area residents. Both the Inland Empire RCD and the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service know how challenging the increasing urbanization of the Inland Empire has been to our environment. The District also works with the US Forest Service, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the California Department of Fish and Game, and many preservation-minded non-profits and community organizations. Together we begin to see the whole picture more clearly and work out the sometimes competing needs of our natural world and human activities
The purpose of the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District is to promote the understanding that the quality of the environment determines the quality of life. In cooperation with landowners, local, state and federal agencies, the agricultural community, environmental and community groups, we will promote good stewardship of our soil, water and other natural resources. We will provide strong education programs that will encourage today’s youth to accept the responsibility of conserving our natural resources for tomorrow’s generations.
AWARDS AND HONORS
2019 Outstanding Service Award
IERCD Board President Paul Williams was presented with an Outstanding Service Award at the 2019 California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) Conference in Redding, CA.
2019 CARCD Employee of the Year
At the 2019 California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) Conference in Redding, IERCD District Manager Mandy Parkes was awarded Employee of the Year. This award was created to celebrate individuals that demonstrate excellence, dedication, and hard work.
2018 NRCS Conservation Innovators Award
At the 2018 California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) Conference in San Diego, IERCD Programs Manager Susie Kirschner and NRCS District Conservationist Tomas Aguilar-Campos accepted the Association's annual Conservation Innovators Award presented to the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District and the Redlands NRCS office. This award celebrated the District's work in greatly accelerating the local capacity to complete forest restoration by developing unique partnerships.
2016 CARCD Service Award
At the 2016 November California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) Conference, IERCD Board President Paul Williams accepted the Association's annual Service Award presented to the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District. The award was in recognition of the contribution by IERCD Board and staff to the success of the annual conference, and presented to President Williams by CARCD Executive Director Karen Buhr and CARCD Board President Glenn Franklin. CARCD is an incredibly important IERCD partner and District Board and staff felt incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to partner on such a successful event.
Outstanding District of the Year for 2011- 2012
The Inland Empire Resource Conservation District (IERCD) was honored as an “Outstanding District of the Year” at a well-attended USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Partnership Awards Luncheon during the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts’ (CARCD) 67th Annual Conference held in San Diego on Nov. 15.
Board President Paul Williams accepted the prestigious award presented by Acting NRCS State Conservationist Jeff Burwell in recognition of the district’s commitment to natural resource conservation and outreach to schools and communities. IERCD was among only four award winning conservation districts from around the state, with one honoree in each of NRCS’s four administrative areas in California.
2009 CARCD District Merit Award
Inland Empire Resource Conservation District has recently been awarded the District Merit Award by the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts. This honor has been bestowed upon IERCD for its "extremely active on-the-ground work encompassing many successful projects and partnerships."
HISTORY OF RESOURCE CONSERVATION DISTRICTS
In California, Resource Conservation Districts are special districts organized under Division 9 of the State's Public Resources Code. All Resource Conservation Districts operate with a Board of Directors made up of elected or appointed volunteer landowners in that district. Resource Conservation Districts are mostly funded with grants and donations, although some receive limited funding through county property tax revenues. Though RCD's are not governed directly by the State, they are subject to the state law that requires legal and open meetings, elections and mandates certain responsibilities. RCD's do, however, derive their authority to conduct conservation work in California from Division 9.