Although RCRC's thirty-nine member counties comprise more than 60 percent of California’s land mass, approximately 14 percent of California’s population resides in these counties.  Low population, geography, and distance present California’s rural counties with unique challenges in providing county services.  Consequently, requirements imposed by the state on county operations can have a significant or disproportionate impact on rural counties.  Given the many functions of counties, RCRC strives to inform and educate policymakers about how these responsibilities will be executed in RCRC member counties.

Many of the functions passed on to counties are ultimately overseen and administered by each county's Board of Supervisors.  Actions and discussions of the Boards of Supervisors must be conducted under the Brown Act/Open Meeting Law to ensure public participation.  Most documents associated with counties are subject to public disclosure under the Public Records Act.