About Us

The Madera/Chowchilla Resource Conservation District (MCRCD) encompasses approximately 552,135 acres (862.71 square miles) of rural land in Madera County. 

MCRCD Area Boundaries

The MCRCD boundary area is found within western Madera County, in the Central San Joaquin Valley of California. 

It is bounded on the north by both the East Merced RCD and the Mariposa County RCD; on the east by the Coarsegold RCD; on the south by Sierra RCDon the west by both the Columbia RCD and the Poso RCD.

The District also totally surrounds the Picayune Rancheria Tribal RCD.

MCRCD Area Boundaries Map

District Overview

Madera/Chowchilla RCD consists mostly of lower elevations of the Sierra Nevada and the San Joaquin Valley floor, where ranching and productive agricultural activities are prevalent. Properties within our sphere of influence (SOI) generally consist of ranching, productive agricultural activities, and open space lands.

RCDs typically do not anticipate urban development and population growth within their boundaries, however, Madera/Chowchilla RCD has identified urban sprawl as a main concern of the District, due to loss of prime agricultural land, encroachment on rural lands, and water competition.

The Cities of Madera and Chowchilla exist within the geographic area of the District. Currently, lands within both the Madera and Chowchilla city limits are excluded from the MCRCD. However, under both the City of Madera General Plan, as well as the City of Chowchilla General Plan, more than 10,000 acres of land is planned for development in each city, in order to accommodate growth through the years 2030 to 2040. The development of these lands/properties would impact agricultural resources that are of primary concern to the Madera/Chowchilla RCD.

MCRCD Mission

The mission and vision of the Madera/Chowchilla Resource Conservation District is is to provide education and technical guidance in sustainable resource conservation and management to our communities, landowners, and managers; both current and future.

Aerial Arundo Tour Farmlands Chowchilla Watershed Madera County

MCRCD Services

Madera/Chowchilla RCD provides the following services based on the RCD’s listed priorities:

  • Information, assistance, and public education of resource conservation and enhancement methods.
  • Practices conservation of natural resources with co-operative landowners by providing technical, scientific, legal, and professional advice to public agencies on the social, cultural, and economic impact of land use on natural resources.
  • Surface and ground water quantity, quality and cost.
  • Eradication of the Arundo donax, an invasive plant species that is highly prevalent in the watershed and leads to increased flood, fire, and erosion.
  • Urban sprawl which leads to the loss of prime agricultural land, encroachment on rural lands, and water competition.
  • Research agriculture’s impacts on air quality, specifically as a result of PM10, PM2.5, and fugitive dust emissions and determine best management practices to improve air quality.
  • Topsoil depletion as a result of wind and water surface erosion.

History of the Madera/Chowchilla Resource Conservation District

Resource Conservation Districts were created to develop and further ongoing programs designed to conserve natural resources. Chowchilla Soil Conservation District and Red Top Soil Conservation District were both formed in 1956. The two districts consolidated in 1978 to form Chowchilla Red Top RCD. East Madera and Bonita Soil Conservation Districts were both formed in the 1950s. The two districts consolidated in 1995 and became the Madera RCD. In 2018, Madera RCD and Chowchilla Red Top RCD consolidated to form the current Madera/Chowchilla Resource Conservation District.