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RC&D Measures
Financially assisted (F.A.):
a. Planning in

year (No.).......
b. Installation underway

in year (No.).... c. Installation completed

in year (No.)... d. Planned (no installation)

(No.)............ e. Planned (no

installation) $.. Associated measures (not financially assisted) completed during year Total RC&D measures

completed during year

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1/ All applications will be returned to applicants.
21 Sponsors do not receive assistance from an RC&D coordinator.

Loan Services Assistance: Funds are provided the Farmers Home Administration
(FMHA) to service loans made to sponsors from the Agricultural Credit
Insurance Fund. Loan services must be provided from Resource Conservation
and Development funds because the Agricultural Credit Insurance Fund of the
FmHA is not available for such expenses. The workload consists of servicing
325 loans with will be made by the end of the 1982 fiscal year and loan
counseling to help local sponsors arrange funding necessary to implement
planned financial assistance measures.

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1980 Item

Actual
Status of loans authorized:
Loans, during year........
Loans, cumulative........

293 Obligations for loan services,

current fiscal year....... 210,000 FmHA loan authorization

limit..................... 4,000,000 Obligations for loans, Cumulative................ 21.095.969

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GAO Report

CED-80-132, dated 9/3/80. Improvements Are Needed in USDA's Soil and Water
Resources Conservation Act Report.

JUSTIFICATION OF INCREASES AND DECREASES

(1)

A decrease in appropriation of $7,347,000 for Resource Conservation and
Development consisting of: On the basis of available funds there is a
decrease or $7,785,455. )

(a)

An increase of $1,181,000 for increased operating costs of which
$984.000 is for financial assistance and $197,000 is for other costs.
This increase is necessary to meet increased costs associated with the
recommended level of assistance to RC&D sponsors.

(b) A decrease of $8,528,000 in Resource Conservation and Development

program activities ($35,479,000 available in 1981).

Need for Change: This program was implemented in FY 1962 to accelerate the installation of conservation measures, and to alleviate unemployment in rural areas through the accelerated conservation work. Reviews of the RC&D program, conducted in previous years, have not been able to demonstrate satisfactorily that statistically significant economic progress towards program objectives has been made. In the FY 1980 Agriculture Appropriation Bill report, the Congress directed the Government Accounting Office to conduct a full and complete review of the RC&D program in FY 1980 taking into account both the costs and benefits of the program. The report is scheduled for publication in March of 1981.

During FY 1981, emphasis will be placed on completing planned measures. In addition, some assistance will be provided for planning an estimated 160 new measures, however, sponsors will be informed that the provision of this technical assistance does not infer that any future financial assistance will be provided. RC&D Coordinator positions that become vacant will not be filled when (areawide planning and coordination) assistance can be furnished by other means. In other cases, when the presence of a coordinator is essential, the position will be filled after Washington Office approval. It is estimated that by the end of FY 1981 there will be 120 coordinators.

Nature of Change: No new RC&D areas will be authorized in FY 1982 in order to concentrate resources toward completion of existing high priority projects in progress. Efforts to complete the installation of work in process will result in providing more financial assistance than technical assistance in FY 1982.

The FY 1982 budget proposal completes the phase out of the program by the end of FY 1982. Emphasis will be placed on completing those measures on which work is underway and on which sponsors have expended significant local resources in preparing for installation.

STATUS OF PROGRAM

The Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Program began in February 1964 under authority of Section 102 of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1962 (Public Law 87-703) and other Departmental authorities. Program assistance is provided to RC&D sponsors as authorized by the Secretary of Agriculture. RC&D sponsors, State and local units of government, and nonprofit organizations initiate and direct the continuing planning process, develop and maintain an RC&D area plan, and carry out activities to implement the plan.

Current Activities: Department of Agriculture agencies provide technical, financial, and loan assistance to local sponsors. Program leadership is provided by the Soil Conservation Service. Sponsors also seek the assistance of local, state, and other Federal agencies that can assist them in areawide planning and in carrying out activities to implement plans.

There are three major objectives of the RC&D Program:

1.

To develop and improve the natural resource capability of State and
local governments and nonprofit organizations serving rural areas by
assisting in:

the development of a locally directed and managed area planning and decisionmaking process;

2.

To establish or improve the coordination system used in rural communities

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effectively utilize available Federal, State, and local programs and applicable new programs to achieve sponsors' objectives;

develop priorities for activities that will result in the
maximum conservation, economic, and social benefit to the area;

3.

To obtain effective use and conservation of natural resources of
community concern to:

carry out erosion control, flood prevention, recreation,
and other such activities in the RC&D area plan in keeping with
State and local plans.

obtain full utilization of natural resources through
orderly development and improvement;

conserve natural resources and provide for continuing wise and
sustained use.

In FY 1982, the RC&D Program is to be terminated. Program funds will be used to cover the cost of a "reduction of Force," reassignments of remaining personnel,

nt and facilities. The remaining funds will be used to provide technical and financial assistance to complete measures already started.

Types of Assistance Furnished by the Department

Assistance provided within an RC&D area are:

1.

Technical assistance was being provided to 190 authorized RC&D areas as
of September 30, 1980. Land, water, and related natural resources are
studied by the sponsors and the cooperating Federal, State, and local
agencies and organizations in each area. These studies identify problems,
needs, and the importance and availability of resources in the RC&D area.
Local goals and objectives are redefined as studies are completed and the

sponsors record the actions and develop the RC&D plan. This process of evaluation and redefinition of goals and developing the plan of action is repeated each year in each area to obtain improvements in rural communities.

Essential in the planning process are coordination and cooperation.
USDA, through the soil Conservation Service, provides a person known as
an RC&D Coordinator to assist sponsors in coordinating activities to
achieve the goals and actions recorded in the RC&D area plan. The typical
RC&D area has 17 sponsors including six county governments, seven soil
and water conservation districts, two cities, a substate district and one
other organization. This group of sponsors organize by having each
sponsor designate a representative to serve on the RC&D council. The
council, with assistance from the RC&D Coordinator and other agency
representatives, carries out the coordinating function to make effective
use of all financial and manpower resources available in the area.

RC&D area planning focuses on natural resource programs through its local citizen leadership and participation. The planning process leads to an enhancement of the environment; an orderly approach to land use change; reduction of flooding and drainage problems; development of recreation facilities; protection of scenic and historic attractions; the development of local industry and the generation of other rural community developments.

In fiscal year 1980, RC&D measures benefiting about 1,800 communities were completed. These measures are made up of a variety of activities carried out under the leadership of the RC&D council with assistance from Federal, State, and local cooperating agencies. The Soil Conservation Service and other cooperating USDA agencies provided technical assistance on about 335 of the total 1,226 measures. This technical assistance included providing soils information, farm market analysis, wood utilization studies, and that assistance needed by the sponsors to plan, layout and supervise installation of works of improvement and described below in "Financial Assistance." The assistance on the remaining 891 measures was provided through the RC&D Coordinator and consisted of identifying sources of assistance, determining probable impacts, and advising RC&D sponsors on actions to be taken.

Financial assistance: There were 126 measures installed with financial assistance in fiscal year 1980, bringing the total to 1,706 measures completed. Financial assistance is provided by the Soil Conservation Service for critical area treatment (erosion and sediment control), flood prevention, farm irrigation, land drainage, agriculture-related pollutant control, public water-based recreation, fish and wildlife developments, and water quality management measures.

Loan assistance: The Farmers Home Administration authorized 8 loans in
fiscal year 1980 for a total of about $1,819.00. These loans were made
to local sponsors to carry out RC&D measures. Approximately 135 active
borrowers were serviced in fiscal year 1980 in addition to the new loans.

Program Assignments

Administrative leadership for this program is assigned to the Soil Conservation Service. USDA area planning assistance as well as technical assistance for implementing the plan is provided by the Soil Conservation Service and Forest Service. With direction from the Science Education Administration arrangements are made for the State Cooperative Extension Service in selected RC&D areas to provide educational assistance to meet sponsors' special needs. The farmers Home Administration is responsible for the loan provisions of the Program. The Economics Statistics Service aids in evaluating activities having impact in more than one RC&D area and in the evaluation of applications and RC&D plans. In addition, other agencies of the Department provide assistance in accordance with their Departmentally assigned functions.

Before – Severe erosion resulted as people from a nearby campground sought access to water. Erosion control and improved camping facilities were needed

After - The eroded area was shaped and vegetated and tacilities improved for

recreation of people in the Huron Pines RC&D Area in Michigan.

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