Natural Resource Conservation Districts (NRCDs) are organized under State and Tribal law. Governed by locally elected and appointed officials, districts evaluate the conservation needs of their respective areas, and create unique partnerships between federal, state and local agencies to address natural resource concerns. NRCDs are administered by the Arizona State Land Department, which is also responsible for ensuring that NRCDs are complying with state laws and regulations.
The NRCD program promotes the restoration and the conservation of the state’s natural resources. District activities include watershed management, enhancement and restoration of riparian areas and integrated land use planning to improve water and air quality. The NRCD program was established in response to the 1930’s dust bowl and is established under A.R.S. Title 37, Chapter 6. 42 NRCDs currently cover the entire state, including tribal land. Ten of these districts are organized under tribal law. However, the State Land Department only provides funding and oversight to the 32 districts on state land. The purpose of the conservation districts is defined in statute as follows:
“to provide for the restoration and conservation of lands and soil resources of the state, the preservation of water rights and the control and prevention of soil erosion, and thereby to conserve natural resources, conserve wildlife, protect the tax base, protect public lands and protect and restore this state's rivers and streams and associated riparian habitats, including fish and wildlife resources that are dependent on those habitats, and in such manner to protect and promote the public health, safety and general welfare of the people.” (A.R.S. §37-1001)
NRCD Supervisor List
NRCD Meeting List
NRCD Handbook/Operations Manual
Open Meeting Law
Three Supervisors serve on the NRCD Board in an elected capacity with staggered 6 year terms of office. Two Supervisors are appointed by the Arizona State Land Department for 2 year terms. Elections and appointments are conducted each even numbered year. Arizona Revised Statue (A.R.S.) §37-1051 sets the date for the elections as the first Saturday in May of each even numbered year and states that at least one polling place shall be provided. Arizona’s election laws are found in Arizona Revised Statue Title 16, but districts must also adhere to Title 37.
Only qualified electors may run for office or vote in district elections. A.R.S. § 37-1036 defines qualified electors as district cooperators, 18 years of age or over, who are registered to vote and live in the district. Rules relating to residency are found in A.R.S. §16-593. District cooperators are any person who has entered into a cooperative agreement with the district for the purpose of protecting, conserving and practicing the wise use of natural resources under his control.
Any district or education center desiring to receive state financial assistance for the next ensuing fiscal year shall apply not later than June 20, on a form supplied by the Arizona State Land Department division of Natural Resource Conservation. Each application shall include, but not be limited to:
The extent of conservation programs or education center programs proposed to be undertaken during the fiscal year for which the financial assistance is being requested.
Resources & Training