When the conservation pioneers created the Natural Resources Conservation Service, it put in place a Federal, State, and local government partnership for delivering conservation assistance to the landowners. They had concluded that the Federal agency could best deliver technical and financial assistance to the landowners while State governments and local conservation districts could more effectively connect with the individual landowners and set local pursuits for action.
Rhode Island's Conservation Districts, the Rhode Island State Conservation Committee, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are collectively known as the Conservation Partnership. Conservation Districts are subdivision of State government and were established under State law to carry out programs for the conservation and wise management of soil, water, and related resources.
Conservation district directors work hand-in-hand with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to deliver technical assistance to the people of Rhode Island. NRCS provides technical services while the districts provide representation from the local community and the leadership to set priorities for conservation activities and develop new programs.
There are three conservation districts in Rhode Island: Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District; Northern Rhode Island Conservation District; and Southern Rhode Island Conservation District. Each district is governed by a board of directors which has locally elected and appointed citizens who volunteer their time and leadership to the conservation effort.