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About Us

Making Things Happen

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Our Mission

The Southwestern NC RC&D Council is a 501c3 organization that brings communities together to conserve and benefit from the rich cultural and natural resources of western North Carolina.

Map of NC Counties

We are members of the North Carolina Association of RC&D Councils, the Southeastern Association of RC&D Councils, and the National Association of RC&D Councils.

RC&D Program

The Resource Conservation and Development Councils were originally authorized by Congress and then organized as 501C3 organizations so that local citizens could develop and carryout a proactive plan for social, economic and environmental betterment of their own communities. The Southwestern NC RC&D is one of 10 councils in the state and one of 375 in the country. Our RC&D Council works closely with local governments, but is a stand alone non-profit organization.

The Southwestern RC&D Council has a staff of two, an Executive Director and part-time Manager, but our capability is expanded greatly with our consultant team, close working with relationships with County and State agencies and other non-profit organizations. At any time, we may be working directly with 50 or more resource specialists. Project for the RC&D Council can vary from helpful facilitation to large stream and lake restoration projects. A small project may be a pass through grant for an environmental education program while a current large scale project is the Smoky Mountain Agriculture Development Station with regional impact.

Our Vision

Southwestern NC RC&D

The original organization of a Resource Conservation and Development Area for western North Carolina began in 1969. Congressional authorization of the Western Six RC&D came in 1970 and included representatives from Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Macon, Jackson, Swain Counties and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. In 1980 the area expanded to add Haywood County and became the Southwestern NC Resource Conservation and Development Council. In 1987, the Council incorporated with the State of North Carolina and received its 501c(3) private non-profit status with the IRS in 1988.

Currently the Southwestern NC RC&D Council, Inc. is made up of representatives of the local Board of County Commissioners, the local Board of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and an at large member from each of the member counties. Also the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians (EBCI) Tribal Council provides three at large members to the council.

Lynn Sprague

Lynn Sprague

Executive Director

Lynn holds degrees in forestry and wildlife biology, marine studies and environmental education. He has over 30 years of experience in conservation and natural resource management. He worked in Delaware, New York and Raleigh, North Carolina heading up programs for soil and water conservation districts. In his most recent position as the director of agricultural development for Polk County, he worked with farmers, government officials and community members, finding ways to grow the local agriculture economy.
Anita Powell

Anita Powell

Office Manager

Anita is the friendly voice you hear when you call our office. She’s here to help you!