The White River and Douglas Creek Conservation Districts (Districts) are made up of locally elected landowners who provide leadership in the wise use of the natural resources within the Districts' boundaries. Conservation districts in Colorado are defined as "local governments" thus have the ability to participate in government-to-government interactions with the federal agencies. The Districts joined with Rio Blanco County to develop a Land & Natural Resource Use Plan and Policy (LUP) to translate their statutory mandate (Colo.Rev. Stat. section 35-70-108) into land management policy and direction guided by local landowners. One of the Districts' responsibilities is: "To prepare a plan for the care, treatment, and operation of the lands within the district." Colo. Rev. Stat. Section 35-70-108(1)(K). Additionally, Colorado conservation districts were created by the state legislature to provide for constructive methods of land use providing for the conservation and preservation of natural resources, including adequate underground water reserves, the control of wind and water erosion, and the reduction of damage resulting from floods. The purposes of the conservation districts are to "insure the health, prosperity, and welfare of the state of Colorado and its people..." Colo. Rev. Stat. section 35-70-102.
This plan identifies the Districts' and County's policies to facilitate, protect, and preserve the utilization and conservation of natural resources on public lands. These policies support access to and wise use of natural resources on federal land; protect private property rights; protect and enhance the customs, cultures, and the economy; protect the tax base; assure the well-being of the people; and provide for the public health, safety, and welfare of the County citizens.