The RC&D is a 501(c)(3) non profit tax exempt organizations, eligible to secure grant funds from private and public sources, as well as individual donations.


A Steering Committee comprised of representatives from Resource Conservation Districts, cities, counties, various groups and partnering federal agencies contributed to developing the application packet and the goals and objectives set forth in the first long range Area strategic plan. The Committee met monthly at various locations within the proposed area boundaries over a nine month period in 1998 and 1999, with the first organizational meeting being held at the Desert Empire Fair in Ridgecrest, California.

One of the major economic development issues for communities was identified as the severe impact of multiple military base closures and down-sizing, with Army Navy, Air Force and Marine facilities located within the Area. Key resource issues included water management and quality, air quality, the fragility of desert and mountain ecosystems calling for promotion of habitat enhancement and protection and implementation of Best Management Practices for wind and water erosion throughout the Area. Outreach to the many Native American tribes represented in the Area is another major goal to preserve cultural resources as well as to assist with tribal resource issues and economic needs.

The Desert Mountain RC&D was authorized by Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman and approved by Congress in 2000. The Council received its 501c3 non-profit status in 2001.

Founding Officers:

J. Peter Lounsbury, President – Mojave Desert Resource Conservation District

Don Maben, Vice President – Kern County, Board of Supervisors

George Parker, Secretary – Mojave Water Agency, San Bernardino County

Keith Haan, Treasurer – City of Ridgecrest


The Desert Mountain Resource Conservation & Development Council works in partnership to enhance the quality of life and achieve economic growth, development and sustainability while protecting the environment.


The Vision of the Desert Mountain Resource Conservation & Development Council is to enhance economic growth and conserve natural resources, which will create a better quality of life and sustainable communities in our six-county, 24-million acre Desert Mountain RC&D Area.