The MISSION of the RESOURCE CONSERVATION DISTRICT OF THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS is to promote land stewardship and resource conservation through ecological research, conservation planning and design, habitat restoration and environmental education, while adhering to the highest standards of transparency and accountability as a public agency. The District engages in a strategic planning process every five years and produces annual plans prior to the start of each fiscal year.
The District encompasses the Santa Monica Mountains from Point Mugu to Topanga State Park and includes the Simi Hills, Santa Catalina Island, Pierce College, Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area and Chatsworth Reservoir. A map of the district can be found here: District Map
The District is governed by a board of five non-salaried directors appointed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. They are assisted by Associate Directors and Resource Associates: scientists, educators, and community leaders who have volunteered to assist the District in its work, serve on committees, represent the District on request of the Board, and participate in meetings. Board of Directors’ meetings are public and can provide a forum for current conservation issues.
The District is partially funded by a <0.1% portion of residents’ regular property tax. Other revenues include grants from public agencies or private foundations, contracts for education, research, and restoration services, and from donations. All donations are tax-deductible.
The District works closely with the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service, California Department of Conservation, California State Parks, Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board to carry out the District’s responsibilities for providing leadership to identify local resource conservation needs, advocate for effective solutions, and work with appropriate parties on implementation.
Professional educators are employed by the District to assist administrators and faculties of school districts to develop resource conservation curricula and to conduct education programs with schools, youth groups, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. Scientists and consultants are employed to enhance the District’s role as a consulting agency to planners in other units of government and as a contractor for natural resource study and restoration projects. The District also employs two administrative/clerical personnel.
Current services and projects of the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains include:
- Lead agency coordinating federally funded Malibu Creek Watershed Executive and Advisory Committee
- Assistance to landowners with permit reporting and compliance
- Watershed restoration
- Oak monitoring
- Wildlife inventory and biodiversity studies
- Regional and local conservation planning
- Natural science education field programs at Malibu Lagoon, Topanga State Park and Sepulveda Basin
- A research/reference conservation library.
A State of Harmony
If you have ever wondered what a Resource Conservation District or a Land Trust does, check out this video. “A State of Harmony” depicts the shared land ethic behind the important protection and stewardship work being done by RCDs and Land Trusts in California.