The Arizona Association of Conservation Districts (AACD) is a nonprofit organization that unifies and supports Arizona’s 32 Natural Resource Conservation Districts (NRCDs) and 10 Tribal Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). All 42 Districts are members with representation on the Board of Directors. The AACD provides expertise that a typical NRCD with $13,245 of annual State funding and an all-volunteer Board of Supervisors would find challenging to muster.
Beginning in 2018, the AACD developed a 5-Priority Strategy, as follows:
- Provide assistance to assess resource conservation needs, District-wide, for each District. Map and incorporate the comprehensive assessments into a statewide GIS portal for conservation planning.
- Support the Education Centers with K-12 programs and adult workshops, e.g, Beginning Farmer and Rancher Workshops, Drought Planning, etc. Support research, e.g., quantifying the benefits of brush management on rangelands. AACD also has developed comprehensive District Supervisor and Clerk training programs, which are accessible through the AACD website.
- Support District outreach and recruitment of new cooperators. This is achieved through educational workshops along with the recently upgraded AACD website, social media (Facebook, Instagram) and a new magazine, ConserveAZ.
- Provide technical and financial support to the Districts. The AACD seeks out major funding opportunities and works with partners including the National Association of Conservation Districts, BLM, NRCS and others to achieve landscape-scale results. AACD provides professional assistance with archaeological clearances, grant writing, planning, and contract management.
- Provide direct District support. Between January and September of 2020, AACD helped various Districts write 13 grant proposals, 7 of which were funded, 3 were rejected, and 3 more awaited a decision. That is a far better rate of success than is typically seen by grant writers.
More details and contact information can be found in an outline of the presentation AACD President Frank Krentz gave to the Board of Directors in September 2020. Click <<HERE>> to see the outline.