Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC


  ( Division 9 repealed and added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 513. )

CHAPTER 1. General Provisions [9001 - 9044]

  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 513. )

ARTICLE 1. Policy of State [9001 - 9003]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 513. )


(a) The Legislature hereby declares that resource conservation is of fundamental importance to the prosperity and welfare of the people of this state. The Legislature believes that the state must assume leadership in formulating and putting into effect a statewide program of soil and water conservation and related natural resource conservation and hereby declares that this division is enacted to accomplish the following purposes:

(1) To provide the means by which the state may cooperate with the United States and with resource conservation districts organized pursuant to this division in securing the adoption in this state of conservation practices, including, but not limited to, farm, range, open space, urban development, wildlife, recreation, watershed, water quality, and woodland, best adapted to save the basic resources, soil, water, and air of the state from unreasonable and economically preventable waste and destruction.

(2) To provide for the organization and operation of resource conservation districts for the purposes of soil and water conservation, the control of runoff, the prevention and control of soil erosion, and erosion stabilization, including, but not limited to, these purposes in open areas, agricultural areas, urban development, wildlife areas, recreational developments, watershed management, the protection of water quality and water reclamation, the development of storage and distribution of water, and the treatment of each acre of land according to its needs.

(b) The districts, in addition to any other authority provided by law, may do all of the following:

(1) Ensure consistency with the authorities and policies of the United States, this state, counties, cities, public districts, other resource conservation districts, persons, associations, and corporations.

(2) With the consent of the owner, construct on privately or publicly owned lands any necessary works for the prevention and control of soil erosion and erosion stabilization.

(3) Facilitate coordinated resource management efforts for watershed restoration and enhancement.

(c) The districts shall not conserve water for power purposes or produce or distribute power for their own use or for the use of others.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 719, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1995.)


(a) It is the policy of the state that the protection and management of natural and working lands is an important strategy in meeting the state’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. The protection and management of those lands can result in the removal of carbon from the atmosphere and the sequestration of carbon in, above, and below the ground.

(b) The protection and management of natural and working lands provides multiple public benefits, including, but not limited to, assisting with adaptation to the impacts of climate change, improving water quality and quantity, flood protection, ensuring healthy fish and wildlife populations, and providing recreational and economic benefits.

(c) All state agencies, including, but not limited to, the Natural Resources Agency, the Department of Food and Agriculture, and the California Environmental Protection Agency, and their respective departments, boards, and commissions, shall consider the policy set forth in this section when revising, adopting, or establishing policies, regulations, expenditures, or grant criteria relating to the protection and management of natural and working lands. State agencies shall implement this requirement in conjunction with the state’s other strategies to meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and with the intent to, among other things, promote the cooperation of owners of natural and working lands.

(d) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) “Working lands” means lands used for farming, grazing, or the production of forest products.

(2) “Natural lands” means lands consisting of forests, grasslands, deserts, freshwater and riparian systems, wetlands, coastal and estuarine areas, watersheds, wildlands, or wildlife habitat, or lands used for recreational purposes such as parks, urban and community forests, trails, greenbelts, and other similar open-space land. For purposes of this paragraph, “parks” includes, but is not limited to, areas that provide public green space.

(e) Nothing in this section shall affect the existing authority of a city, county, city and county, state agency, department, commission, or board relating to natural and working lands.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 545, Sec. 2. (SB 1386) Effective January 1, 2017.)


It is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination:

(a) That the construction and maintenance on privately or publicly owned land of works for resource conservation is in the general public interest and for the general public benefit.

(b) That the expenditure of state, county, city, district, or other public funds that are available or may become available for planning, designing, or implementing the above and for the construction or maintenance of such control or preventive works on privately or publicly owned land constitutes expenditure for the general public benefit.

(Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 513.)


The Legislature hereby finds and declares that resource conservation districts are legal subdivisions of the state and, as such, are not-for-profit entities. For the purpose of contracting with state agencies only, resource conservation districts shall be considered agencies of the state.

(Added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 994, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1997.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC1