The History of the Wiregrass RC&D

Council History and Structural Organization

Soil Tunnel Trailer: This is a mobile learning center that is housed in an enclosed trailer with a drop-down ramp to allow access to all visitors.

Soil Tunnel Trailer: This is a mobile learning center that is housed in an enclosed trailer with a drop-down ramp to allow access to all visitors.

The initial application for a Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) area in the Wiregrass was submitted to the Soil Conservation Service in 1965. It included the six counties of Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Henry, and Houston. The application was amended in early 1967 to include Barbour, Crenshaw, and Pike counties. Russell County was added to the area in 1984, bringing the total area to ten counties containing 4,339,810 acres, as it stands today. The counties added to the original six had similar resource problems and opportunities, and they included most of the remaining basins of the Choctawhatcheee, Pea, and Chattahoochee Rivers. In September 1967 the Wiregrass RC&D Area was authorized by the Secretary of Agriculture. Approval for operations was granted in October 1967.

The Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the County Commissions in each of the counties served as the sponsors for the original application and they continue to serve as sponsors for the Wiregrass RC&D Area today. Each District and each Commission appoint one representative to serve on the Wiregrass RC&D Council which is the governing body of the Area. In addition, each District and each Commission also appoint an at-large member to the Council, making a 40-member governing organization. The Council elects 3 members from its ranks to serve as Council Officers. Those officers along with one member from each county and the immediate past chairman constitute the Wiregrass RC&D Executive Board. The duties of the Council and the Executive Board are set forth in the Constitution and By-Laws of the Council.

RC&D Area Planning

Planning and implementation are the central functions of an RC&D. Area Planning can improve the organization’s ability to capitalize on changing conditions, improve overall productivity, and make better strategic decisions that result in the implementation of a more efficient and effective program in an RC&D Area. A well developed Area Plan provides a basis and direction for the RC&D Council to serve the area to the best of its ability. The original Area Plan for the Wiregrass was developed in 1967 with assistance from numerous agencies and organizations.

That original Area Plan continues to be maintained; however, it has been modified periodically to reflect changing needs and priorities within the Wiregrass region. Each year an Annual Plan of Work, which is the operational and management tool for the Area Plan, directs an annual schedule of work toward projects that address objectives outlined in the Area Plan.

The contents of this document constitute the Annual Plan of Work for fiscal year 2013 for the Wiregrass RC&D Area.