Essex County Natural Resources

Conservation District


ECNRCD is a municipality unit of local government, established in 1947 under the act of the 1939 General Assembly, authorizing the creation of Soil Conservation Districts to carry out natural resource conservation programs and projects at a local community level.


The Legislature of the State of Vermont has amended the original District Act twice to change the District title.  In 1963, the word “water” was added, thus expanding the title to read “Soil and Water Conservation District”.  In 1968, the name was changed to “Natural Resources Conservation District”.  These name changes have enlarged the responsibilities of the District’s programs to promote the wise use of all natural resources in the County.

About Us

The ECNRCD is organized as a local non-profit that coordinates with organizations and state and federal agencies in the County’s 13 towns, three unified towns, two gores, and one grant to encourage and support the integrity of land use practices and ensure environmental quality in Essex County through implementing appropriate, cost-effective programs.

ECNRCD receives a small amount of core funding from the State of Vermont through via the state agency called the Natural Resources Conservation Council.  This core state funding is used to leverage additional resources to support staff and programing through fundraising and grant writing.  We are rooted in the community through five unpaid elected supervisors, and have a unique ability to identify resource needs and coordinate at the local level. We have extensive partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies, and private partners.

ECNRCD offers a resource to landowners, farmers, schools, and businesses through their efforts with water quality, agriculture, education and other community conservation projects. In addition, Conservation Districts have focused on areas of interest including connectivity and restoration of floodplain forests, watershed planning, water quality issues, invasive species eradication, soil surveys, and agricultural non-point source pollution control. Conservation Districts offer a unique and powerful vehicle for citizens to become involved with local conservation work and establish programs that protect their environment.

Mission Statement

The Essex County Natural Resources Conservation District’s mission; “Sustain and protect the vast and varied natural resources of Essex County through the creation of local solutions for natural resource concerns.”

Guiding Principles

  • Natural resources, upon which we depend, are finite and must be used wisely to ensure a sustainable future.
  • Agriculture and forestry production provide a valuable resource, a way of life and a diversity of habitat.
  • Increase in rate of consumption and its potential pressures to the natural resources and way of life of the region will require a better informed citizenry to achieve sustainability.
  • To be an effective community member, one must first have a basic understanding of and respect for the natural resources and cultural heritage of the Northeast Kingdom.
  • The environmental and social impacts that pressure our natural resources and communities can be resolved through our local, collective human resources.


  • To observe, research and monitor the activities that impact these natural resources;
  • To gather and disseminate information about our natural resources and the activities that impact them;
  • To provide education to the public, particularly to youth, about these natural resources;
  • To be in continual dialogue and collaboration with all concerned citizens, Conservation Districts throughout the State, and governmental bodies.

Vermont Association of Conservation Districts (VACD) 

Each District in Vermont is a member of VACD, our parent organization that represents Districts on a statewide level, employs regional technical staff, and coordinates programs with state and federal partners.  Visit their website for more information!