RCRC’s thirty-nine member counties cover more than 60 percent of California’s total land mass, amounting to over 155,000 square miles. Our member counties extend from the Oregon border in the north, to the Mexico border in the southeast, and from the Central Coast to the Eastern Sierra. California’s rural counties are home to many of the state’s diverse natural resources: Forested lands, desert flora, watersheds, lakes and rivers, fish and wildlife, and minerals are all within the boundaries of California’s rural counties.
RCRC member counties are the local government that have land use and public trust responsibilities over this rich landscape that provides much of California’s drinking water and recreational opportunities all while maintaining a diverse biological ecosystem. In addition, California’s reputation as the Nation’s breadbasket is largely found in the rural counties of the state.
Many of California’s rural counties also have large forested or wildland areas under state and federal ownership. These publicly owned lands include state parks, national parks, and national forests, all of which are an important element of the rural economy. A strong working relationship for the care and stewardship of these lands between counties and public land managers is crucial if the balance between economic health, public safety, and forest sustainability is to be achieved and passed on to future generations of Californians.