Conserving Agriculture and Natural Resources Since 1944
In 1944, Arizona's Conservation Districts established the Arizona Association of Conservation Districts (AACD), or the "State Association", as a means of support to help coordinate and fund conservation efforts across the state, and as a way to unify and represent District goals and interests.
Since 1992, AACD has been a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with a Board of Directors comprised of one representative from each of Arizona’s Conservation Districts. AACD accomplishes their directive to support Arizona’s Conservation Districts by establishing partnerships with federal, state, Tribal, and local entities, as well as non-governmental organizations.
AACD takes a holistic, collaborative approach to the challenges producers and conservationists face today and seeks to bring different groups together to find common ground in conserving our valuable natural and agricultural resources.
On the Ground Conservation Highlighting 10 years of Conservation in Arizona
In 2007, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) launched the national Healthy Lands Initiative (HLI) program to “accelerate land restoration, increase productivity, and improve the health of public lands in the Western United States” (blm.com). Over the last 10 years, the AACD, AZ NRCDs; Arizona ranchers, private landowners, and managers; and multiple state and federal partners have collaborated on two HLI projects, the Healthy Landscapes Partnership (HLP) program and the Arizona Landscapes Enhancement Collaborative (ALEC), which saw almost $19 million dollars of on-the-ground natural resource conservation improvements across the state! Both projects saw the successful completion of program goals: decrease and/or eliminate invasive plant species, limit shrub encroachment within native grasslands, decrease habitat fragmentation, manage altered fire regimes and fuel loads, and improve water quality and quantity.
Between 2010-2015, the AACD and Arizona’s Conservation Districts were engaged in a cooperative agreement with the BLM to implement the HLP program in Arizona. Over this five-year period, the AACD administered over $2.4 million in funding from the BLM and incorporated over $3.83 million in leveraged funds and in-kind match towards program goals. But the work didn’t stop there! From 2015-2020, AACD and Arizona’s Conservation Districts were engaged to implement the ALEC program. Over this second five-year period, the AACD administered over $2.38 million in funding from the BLM and incorporated over $10 million in leveraged funds and in-kind match!