National Association of Conservation Districtslast updated: December 2014

NACD in a Nutshell

The National Association of Conservation Districts is the nonprofit organization that represents the nation's 3,000 conservation districts and 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. Conservation districts are local units of government established under state law to carry out natural resource management programs at the local level. Districts work with more than 2.5 million cooperating landowners and operators to help them manage and protect land and water resources on nearly 98 percent of the private lands in the United States.

NACD's mission is to enable conservation districts to pool their resources to accomplish collectively what would be difficult or impossible to accomplish individually. The association was founded on the philosophy that conservation decisions should be made at the local level with technical and funding assistance from federal, state and local governments and the private sector. As the national voice for all conservation districts, NACD supports voluntary, incentive-driven natural resource conservation programs that benefit all citizens.

NACD maintains relationships with organizations and government agencies; publishes information about districts; works with leaders in agriculture, conservation, environment, education, industry, religion and other fields; and provides services to its districts. NACD is financed primarily through the voluntary contributions of its member districts and state associations.

The association's philosophy is that conservation decisions should be made by local people with technical and funding assistance from federal, state and local governments and the private sector. The association's programs and activities aim to advance the resource conservation cause of local districts and the millions of cooperating landowners and land managers they serve.


NACD's Mission

The mission of NACD is: "To enable conservation districts to pool their resources to accomplish collectively what would be difficult or impossible to accomplish individually."

Among the goals of the organization are to:

  • Represent districts as their national voice on conservation issues.
  • Provide useful information to conservation districts and their state associations.
  • Build partnerships with federal and state agencies and other organizations in order to carry out district priorities and programs.
  • Analyze programs and policy issues that have an impact on local districts.
  • Offer needed and cost-effective services to districts.

The Conservation Partnership

For nearly 60 years, conservation districts have worked in partnership with state and federal agencies and private organizations to deliver conservation assistance to land users nationwide. The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) works closely with the National Conservation District Employees Association (NCDEA), National Association of State Conservation Agencies (NASCA) and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to provide national conservation leadership.

  • NASCA is a coalition of state conservation agencies across the country. These agencies provide guidance and funding for conservation districts. They operate numerous state environmental, sediment control, and soil erosion prevention programs.
  • NRCS is the federal government agency that works hand-in-hand with the American people to conserve natural resources on private lands. Formerly the Soil Conservation Service, NRCS brings 60 years of scientific and technical expertise to the Partnership.

The partnership among conservation districts, state and federal agencies and other groups was formalized in January 1993 when the leaders of NACD, NASCA and NRCS signed a national agreement, pledging to work together for natural resource conservation. The agreement recognizes that partnership members have independent responsibilities for sustaining the environment and conserving the nation's natural resources. Yet, as partners in conservation, they are dependent upon one another for the successful delivery of programs that will help realize their common vision: A productive nation in harmony with a quality environment.

The local/state/federal Conservation Partnership is committed to:

  • Listening and responding to customers' local resource conservation needs.
  • Advocating a holistic, ecosystem-wide approach to conservation.
  • Maintaining and enhancing grassroots conservation delivery systems.
  • Building alliances with a wide variety of agencies and organizations.
  • Fostering economically viable environmental policies.


Contact National Association of Conservation Districts


Contact National Association of Conservation Districts

John Larson
Chief Executive Officer
509 Capitol Ct. NE
Washington , DC  20002
Phone: (202) 547-6223
Fax: (202) 547-6450


 

Service Area

National service provider


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Related Success Stories for National Association of Conservation Districts

America’s Private Lands Conservation Partnership
Conservation Districts carry out natural resource management programs at the local level and work with more than 2.5 million cooperating landowners on nearly 98 percent of U.S. private lands.

Upper Mississippi River Basin
New drainage water management systems in the Midwest are improving water quality and wildlife habitat in the Mississippi River Basin.