District Guides

Designed with conservation district needs in mind, these guides provide helpful hints for district meetings and activities. We are continually creating and searching for useful tools for districts, so check back regularly for new guides.

RSET Trailblazers Recognition Program Letter Template and Press Release Template

NACD and NRCS are partnering to salute early adopters of the agency’s new Resource Stewardship Evaluation Tool (RSET). RSET Trailblazers are farmers and ranchers who have opted to use a free, comprehensive, and voluntary way of tracking and meeting their conservation goals. Through the RSET Trailblazers program, forward thinking producers who have developed and implemented RSET-derived conservation plans receive official letters of recognition signed by their local district board chair and NRCS district conservationist. State associations and local districts are encouraged to use the recognition letter and press release templates above to promote the use of RSET and reward good stewardship. To learn more about how your state association or district can help deliver this program, read this informational letter sent to state contacts in January 2017.

NACD Conservation Delivery System of the Future

Created by District Operations and Membership Services Committee
This white paper can be used as guidance and a reference tool for local and state conservation partners. It describes some of the building blocks needed to design a conservation delivery system of the future and several strategies for districts to use.

Taking Minutes Made Easy: A Training Tool

Created by NACD North Central Representative Beth Mason
Organizations often focus most on making sure a meeting is running smoothly at the expense of quality meeting minutes. Having a uniform standard for the proper recording of minutes at your meeting is an important reference point for your district or group to archive. For this reason, NACD has developed a PowerPoint presentation with notes to help your organization learn how to take better minutes at your next meeting.

Establishing and Maintaining Relationship with Lawmakers

Created by NACD North Central Representative Beth Mason
This PowerPoint presentation with notes is a tool conservation districts and state conservation associations can use as they develop relationships with their legislators. Information for the tool was provided by the Center on Congress at Indiana University.

AgLearn Resources

AgLearn offers over 2,500 USDA-developed AgLearn courses in Microsoft Office, project management, leadership, time management, communications, and more.

Fun Ways to Fundraise

Created by NACD Southeast Representative Phylis Vandevere and NACD North Central Representative Beth Mason
This six-page guide offers numerous fundraising activities for conservation districts, state associations, and other groups looking for fun, effective ways to raise money.

More Dollars for your District

Despite a shortage of  public funds, demand for district action continues to grow. This 10-page document provides ideas and approaches for financing district operations – many of them from conservation districts themselves! – that can be accomplished by districts large and small with minimal staff.

Fundraising for Districts

Created by NACD Southeast Representative Phylis Vandevere and NACD North Central Representative Beth Mason
This PowerPoint presentation highlights fundraising techniques discussed in “More Dollars for your District” and “Fun Ways to Fundraise.”

Parliamentary Procedure: A Quick Reference Guide for Conservation District Officials

Running efficient and effective meetings is challenging. To help conservation districts improve the quality of their meetings and make sure they are orderly, fair, and concise, NACD has developed this one-page fact sheet on parliamentary procedure.

Community Conservation Brochure and Resources for Community Conservation Brochure

Does your district want to tell people about community conservation and how you can help them? These two Word document brochures can be downloaded and customized with district-specific information and photos. Both are trifold and letter-sized for easy printing in color or black and white.

The first general brochure, Community Conservation, focuses on what community conservation is and why it’s important to support it. Districts can use this brochure to inform the general public and targeted audiences about the importance of natural resource assessments and conservation planning in communities of all sizes. The second brochure, Resources for Community Conservation, briefly describes NACD’s partners — CD/NRDs, state conservation agencies, and NRCS — and their roles. Links to online resources are also included.

The Forest Landowner Natural Disaster Desk Guide and Toolkit

The Forest Landowner Natural Disaster Desk Guide and Toolkit is designed to be used by forest landowners. Its purpose is to provide information and resources to help forest landowners develop plans for the removal of salvage timber products and biomass generated by natural disasters. It also lists ways to reduce response and recovery time, as well as expenses associated with cleanup.

Establishing and Maintaining Relationships with Lawmakers

Developing and maintaining personal relationships with elected officials is an important part of successfully delivering your conservation message and influencing legislation, policy, and budgets. In this document, NACD outlines the steps each conservation district can take to build and sustain relationships with their own lawmakers in this story from the summer 2009 edition of The Resource.

Community Wildfire Desk Guide and Toolkit

The NACD Community Wildfire Desk Guide and Toolkit were designed as references for conservation districts, resource conservation development councils, and Extension professionals. The desk guide provides information about activities prior to, during, and after wildfire; while the toolkit provides more thorough explanations and examples of these activities.

Tips for Working with Local Media

Members of the local media can and should be an integral part of conservation districts’ outreach efforts. This brief guide, first published in the summer 2009 edition of The Resource, provides tips for establishing and maintaining relationships with media in your community. Also included in this tip sheet are suggestions for honing your conservation message.

Woody Biomass Desk Guide and Toolkit

Designed for use by conservation districts, resource conservation development councils, and Extension professionals throughout the U.S., the Woody Biomass Desk Guide and Toolkit provides an overview of woody biomass production and utilization in the U.S., tips for how to provide effective outreach for your clientele, and educational handouts to share with your audiences. The purpose of this guide is to equip natural resource professionals and outreach specialists with the information and tools they need to increase awareness around the use of woody biomass for energy in the U.S.

District Program Evaluation Guide

Evaluation is crucial to ensuring your district’s operations are running as efficiently and effectively as possible. NACD has put together a district program evaluation guide – and published it in the fall 2008 edition of The Resource – to help your district board rate the effectiveness of our district’s activities. This process allows the district board and district employees to identify strengths and weaknesses, and make improvements accordingly.

Board Diversity: Adding Diversity to the Conservation Partnership

This guide provides strategies for recruiting new board members and generating interest in conservation district activities within your board’s leadership.

Conservation District Board Member Recruitment and Community Outreach Guide

Community outreach is at the heart of building a strong and responsive district program that provides the best possible customer service. This community outreach guide is a great source of information on the importance of community outreach and the recruitment process.

Working With Conservation Districts: A Guide for Military Installations


NCDEA Shutdown Procedures

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