Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains

aka RCDSMM   |   Topanga, CA   |  www.rcdsmm.org
This organization has provided GuideStar with documentation indicating that it is recognized as tax-exempt by the IRS. If you have any questions or concerns, please check with a tax professional to confirm the tax deductibility of any contributions.

Mission

The mission of the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains is to promote land stewardship and resource conservation through ecological research, conservation planning and design, habitat restoration and environmental education, while adhering to the highest standards of transparency and accountability as a public agency.

Ruling year info

1961

Executive Officer

Clark Stevens

President, Board of Directors

Richard C. Brody

Main address

540 S. Topanga Canyon Blvd.

Topanga, CA 90290 USA

Show more addresses

Formerly known as

Topanga Las Virgenes Resource Conservation District

EIN

95-2158325

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is an arm of a state or local government.

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Santa Monica Mountains are a unique treasure—an island of green in the midst of one of the most populated urban areas in the United States. Surrounded by dense urban development, these mountains are an oasis for native mountain lions; support one of the last historic runs of southern steelhead trout in southern California; contain endangered native amphibians that serve as indicators for the overall health of the ecosystem; and are covered with sensitive and diminishing oak woodlands that support many species of birds, plants, insects, and wildlife. We believe that this special place deserves to be conserved and enhanced for the benefit of the animals and plants that live here—and their human neighbors who also call this place home.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Habitat Restoration

The RCDSMM restores natural habitat for the benefit of native species and humans through water quality and quantity enhancement, increased recreational and environmental services and climate change reduction. Funding is needed for restoration of Topanga Lagoon , Malibu Creek , Trancas Lagoon and various other sites.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The drought in southern California has hit the southwestern pond turtle especially hard. The ponds they depend upon for food and shelter have mostly dried up, leaving them starving and at the mercy of predators. The RCDSMM needs funding to monitor their population and rescue turtles injured or no longer able to survive in the wild.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The non-native red swamp crayfish introduced to Topanga Creek multiply quickly and eat the young of some threatened and endangered native species, such as the southern steelhead trout and the California newt. The RCDSMM needs funding for materials and coordination of local schools and other volunteers to remove crayfish from Topanga Creek. Initial studies have shown that the whole creek ecosystem rebounds when crayfish are removed, making this an important step to the health of Topanga Creek.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Many Los Angeles students that live within an hour's drive of the ocean and Santa Monica Mountains aren't able to visit these natural wonders. The RCDSMM provides a standards-based, outdoor education program at 3 locations for students of all ages, introducing them to the natural world and ways they can help the environment. Funding is needed to cover program expenses for school that lack field trip funds.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goals are to promote land stewardship and resource conservation through ecological research, conservation planning and design, habitat restoration and environmental education. Some of the goals from our Strategic Plan include:

• Key species of the Santa Monica Mountains are protected
• The RCD, landowners and regional partners work cooperatively and proactively to address natural resource priorities for the Santa Monica Mountains
• Residents and visitors to the Santa Monica Mountains understand the natural resource needs of the area and actively support the protection and enhancement of local ecosystems
• The RCD has the funding, recognition, and infrastructure it needs to accomplish its goals

Some of the RCDSMM's strategies include:

1. Conduct research to support the protection of key species
2. Participate in activities to protect and enhance key habitats
3. Provide information to policy makers on natural resource concerns in the Santa Monica Mountains
4. Proactively convene regional conversations on key shared natural resource concerns for the Santa Monica Mountains
5. Work with private landowners in the Santa Monica Mountains to implement best management practices for land stewardship on their properties
6. Provide opportunities for adult residents, students and visitors to learn about and connect to the Santa Monica Mountains and understand their role in protecting and enhancing the area
7. Establish a diversified and resilient funding structure for the organization
8. Ensure that the RCDSMM communicates its value to stakeholders

The RCDSMM has a professional staff of biologists and a credentialed architect/land planner to assist landowners and local jurisdictions with resource issues. We have almost 60 years of experience in the Santa Monica Mountains doing research, restoring habitat, monitoring endangered species and guiding ecologically sensitive development.

Much of the scientific work we do also informs our education programs. The RCDSMM has a staff of 25 professional educators to conduct field trips in the mountains to show students the importance of this environment and how they can protect it. RCDSMM staff and Directors also meet regularly with local government officials to discuss natural resource issues within their jurisdiction.

While the RCDSMM has the knowledge and skills to make a difference for the natural resources of the Mountains, we don't have enough funding to do all of the projects we envision, such as monitoring native turtles and amphibians or restoring coastal lagoons.

The RCDSMM has accomplished the following in the last 10 years:

1. Restoration of Malibu Lagoon, a 31 acre brackish body of water at the interface of Malibu Creek and the ocean
2. Removal of Rodeo Grounds berm in lower Topanga Creek and restoration of 12 acres of riparian habitat
3. 19 years of monitoring endangered southern steelhead trout
4. Approximately 40 southwestern pond turtles rescued
5. Over 5000 crayfish removed from local creeks
6. 450 oak trees planted
7. About 5000 students brought to education programs each year
8. About 60 education programs funded by donors each year
9. Received an average of $720,000 in grants and donation per year
10. Over 45 papers published or reports submitted to granting agencies

Our wish list includes restoring Trancas Lagoon, finishing lower Topanga Creek and Lagoon restoration, funding more education programs for inner city schools, continuing to monitor trout (funding ended in 2019), and mitigating spread of tree-killing beetles.

Financials

Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains

Board of directors
as of 9/9/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Richard Brody

RCDSMM/CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife

Term: 2021 - 2022

Beth Burnam

RCDSMM

Nancy Helsley

RCDSMM

Steve Rosentsweig

RCDSMM

Deborah Klein Lopez

RCDSMM

Richard Brody

RCDSMM

Laurie Price

RCDSMM

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 09/09/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data