About Us

What is Western Prairie RC&D?

Western Prairie Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Area, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was created to help groups and individuals in the eight northwest counties of Kansas develop and improve the social, economic, and environmental conditions in their communities.

WPRCD Areas Map

Click to view:
ByLaws (DOC)
Articles of Incorporation (PDF)

How does RC&D help?

No one knows better than local citizens what their community needs are and which are most urgent.  Through the Western Prairie RC&D, citizens gain access to a network of public and private services and financing to accomplish projects.  Help is provided by working "with" people rather than "for" people.  Development of local leadership and community pride is a key part of RC&D activities.

Local People Key to RC&D

Volunteers from each participating county comprise a governing council to plan and conduct the activities of the Western Prairie RC&D.  Council members include people from all walks of life-farmers, ranchers, teachers, local entrepreneurs, bankers, homemakers, and others.  These people volunteer their time to help make positive things happen in their communities.

Project Assistance

The Western Prairie RC&D area council considers applications for assistance from project sponsors.  Technical or financial assistance can be requested for any type of project that the sponsors cannot complete themselves.
The area council will consider providing assistance for the project based on the goals and objectives established for the RC&D area.  Once adopted, the council has the authority to seek and coordinate project assistance from sources best qualified and able to provide that assistance.  This may include technical help from a private consultant or government agency.  It may also include planning a financial package for a project that includes donations, grants, loans, or cost sharing from public and private sources.

Sponsors & Membership

The county commissions and conservation districts of Cheyenne, Decatur, Logan, Rawlins, Sheridan, Sherman, Thomas, and Wallace counties are the local sponsors of the Western Prairie RC&D area.

Associate membership is available to any individual, group, organization, or business that pays the required dues.  Associate members will receive a certificate of membership, an invitation to the annual meeting, and the opportunity to share in the development of a higher qualify of life in northwest Kansas.

Summing it Up

In short, the locally-governed Western Prairie RC&D Area, Inc. can help local people be more effective in meeting many kinds of needs in their communities by providing these services:
• Help groups or individuals plan or organize a project in their community, county, or between counties.
• Help to fund projects through fund-raising, grant application assistance, or direct funding.
• Help in getting answers to technical problems through in-house expertise or other services.

The Western Prairie RC&D area is rich in cultural and natural resources.  The scenic rangelands reveal remnants of historic trails such as the Butterfield Overland Dispatch to the south and the Leavenworth-Pike Peak's Trail in the northern tier of counties.  Military roads associated with Fort Wallace and also be discerned in some areas as well as remnants of cattle trails used in the late nineteenth century.
Much of the region has not been significantly altered by modern intrusions.  The "wide-open" spaces display the area's unique rock formations along the Smoky Hill drainage, the playas on the tablelands, buffalo wallows, and the rugged breaks of the Republican River.

Agriculture plays a major role in the economy of the RC&D area.  Cropland accounts for two-thirds of the land area and rangeland, one-third.  Winter wheat, corn, sorghum, sunflowers, and alfalfa are the main cash crops; cattle sheep, and hogs are the primary livestock raised.

The Ogallala aquifer, the largest water bearing formation in the United States, underlies the majority of the area and is relied on for both irrigation and domestic use.
The area also supports a sizeable population of wildlife that includes deer, pheasant, wild turkey, and antelope which allows for recreation opportunities year-round.  Ultimately though it is the people, many of whom are descendents from the first frontier settlers, or who came to visit and decided to stay, that continue to provide the rich history and ethnic traditions of the area.