Bitter Root RC&D
Stewards of the Rural Community
Established in 1965 by the Agricultural Act of 1962, the Bitter Root RC&D has successfully completed more than 2,000 projects toward maintaining the rural lifestyle while improving the quality of life. A 501(c)3 charitable organization since 1993, we were supported by a Director and funding from the U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) until 2011 when USDA budget cuts defunded RC&D's nation wide. We serve Ravalli, Mineral and Missoula Counties in Montana.
As a fiscal sponsor for local projects, we have played a role in incubating many nonprofit organizations including the Clark Fork Coalition, Bitter Root Water Form and Bitterroot Land Trust. A few of the organizations we are currently the fiscal sponsor for include: the Ravalli County Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID), the Bitterroot National Forest's and Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge's Interpretive Associations, Bitterroot Arts for Autism and the Josh and Schuyler Cancer Foundation.
We operate four programs. Hazardous Fuels Reduction, Healthy Kids - Healthy Forests, Home Buyer Education and Bitterroot Collective Impact.
Born out of the catastrophic fires of 2000, our Hazardous Fuels Reduction program has administered cost-share grants totaling over $7,500,000 in government funds matched in-kind by landowners. The program has reduced hazardous fuels and improved forest health on over 10,000 acres of private property in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). Byron Bonney currently leads the program and serves as our Community Forester, He is also a member of the Fire in the Root council.
Our Healthy Kids – Healthy Forests program empowers youth and adults to become better stewards of public lands. We have partnered with a wide variety of groups including local schools, wildlife refuges and government organizations to provide natural science and land stewardship education to youth and adults.
As a part of NeighborWorks America our Home Buyer Education program creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities.
Bitterroot Collective Impact established in November 2016 is facilitating the efforts of the Bitterroot Task Force on Homelessness and Housing to end homelessness and alleviate housing insecurity in Ravalli County and improve the capacity of local nonprofits to provide their services.