On April 15, 2011 some federally funded programs were zeroed out. This budget cut to the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) program resulted in the removal of federal support for RC&D Councils across the country.
Federal funds, a coordinator, and an office support were eliminated as the NRCS cut the Resource, Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council collaboration from its budget. Funding from USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service provided the Cawaco council with a coordinator, Heidi Richards; 2 vehicles for program implementation; and office rent and expenses.
Cawaco RC&D Council will continue to receive financial support from administrative fees from grants, Challenge and ACES grant administration, and water partnership support. At this time, the council does not use fund raising events for project support.
The Cawaco RC&D mission, vision and goals will remain the same, and the 501(c)3 organization will continue to serve Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby, and Walker with four board members from each county. Collaboration with other entities – such as Soil and Water Conservation Districts – will also continue.
Former Cawaco RC&D Project Coordinator, Heidi Richards, has been transferred to the NRCS Bessemer Field Office. Projects such as the promotion of green technology for Chilton County, led by Heidi and council member Tracia Bussey will need to be re-evaluated.