The Eighty-seventh Congress of the United States passed the Food and Agricultural Act of 1962, which authorized the formation of Resource Conservation and Development areas. This legislation was adopted on the premise that local citizens could develop and implement action-oriented plans for the (1) social, (2) economic, and (3) environmental betterment of their own communities, without interference from federal, state, or local government. The function of the RC&D is to develop plans and seek both financial and technical assistance from the best qualified sources available, whether it be federal, state, local, industry or private foundations, to implement their own locally developed plan.
Recognizing the benefits to be derived from such an organization, local citizens made an application for the formation of the Black River-St. Lawrence RC&D Project, Inc. in December of 1969. The Council was approved by the Secretary of Agriculture in December 1973 and adopted a constitution and by-laws in April 1974. The Council received its 501(c)3 non-profit designation from the Internal Revenue Service and was incorporated in the State of New York in December of 1997.
The Black River- St. Lawrence RC&D Council area covers Franklin, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Oswego, Lewis, Oneida and Herkimer counties. The RC&D Council is made up of a pool of volunteers who have expertise in a wide range of fields. These volunteers promote agriculture, forestry, recreation and renewable energy in our communities. The governing body of the Black River-St. Lawrence RC&D Council is the volunteer membership. Each county Soil and Water Conservation District and County Legislature appoints a representative and an alternate and the Council may designate one at-large member from each county. Each year the members elect four officers to the Executive Board to carry out the day to day operations of the Council.