The Randall RC&D area is located in south central South Dakota along the Missouri River. The southern boundary is Nebraska. Iowa is approximately 100 miles to the east and Wyoming is 200 miles to the west. The Randall name is derived from Ft. Randall (a U.S. Calvary Post) which was located near the present town of Pickstown. The Fort was established in Dakota Territory in 1856 and abandoned in 1892.

The area contains 2,920,320 acres located in the six counties of Bon Homme, Brule, Buffalo, Charles Mix, Douglas and Gregory. The Randall RC&D program office is located in Lake Andes and was established in April of 1965.
Randall RC&D Sponsors include County Commissions, Conservation Districts, Irrigation Districts, Tribal Agencies, Non-Profit Organizations and Communities located in the 6-county area.

Randall RC&D 1964 to 1994
The Randall RC&D began in February 1964 when a steering committee was formed to establish the direction of resource development in Charles Mix and Bon Homme counties. The name was “Bon Homme-Charles Mix Resource Conservation and Development Area”.

The first recorded minutes of the RC&D Project were taken April 30, 1964, at a Steering Committee Meeting in Wagner, SD. Joe Sperl opened the meeting. Members present were Harvey Johannsen, Ted Krell, Harold Pavlis, Steve Sedlacek, Ed Dwight, and Fred Brandt. Others present were Lyle Laberee, Donald Boone, Joe Sperl, and Jim Hughes.

Sperl acted as temporary chairman for the election of officers. Ted Krell was elected Chairman, Ed Dwight was elected Vice Chairman, and Lyle Laberee was elected Secretary.

The project work plan was submitted to Washington, DC, on October 20, 1964. Secretary of Agriculture, Orville Freeman, signed for authorization of the RC&D Area on January 8, 1965.

Douglas County joined in 1967 and Gregory, Brule and Buffalo counties in November 1969. The name was changed in October 1967 to Randall RC&D when Douglas County joined.

One of the initial sponsors was the Randall Conservancy Sub-District. The Southern Missouri Water Development District covers the same area as the Sub-District but also includes that portion of Lyman County, south of the White River.

The initial work plan identified the needs for erosion control, water development, recreation opportunities, transportation system improvement, and improved job opportunities. Many of these items have been addressed but the task still is apparent for more efforts in these same areas today.

Early projects were the Randall Community Water District, numerous critical erosion projects, Randall Hills Country Club, Spring-Bull Creek Watershed, numerous Grazing Associations, and formation of seven Irrigation Districts including Northwest, Hilltop, Johnson, and Lake Andes-Wagner Irrigation. The project measures number from 001 to the most recently adopted #327.

A Water Quality initiative that involved numerous hydrologic units within south central South Dakota was started in 1989. A major effort in residue management awareness and range management improvement are recent efforts.

Rural development is being emphasized by encouraging development of tourism, recreation, and Ag-based value-added initiatives.

The Randall logo was officially adopted in 1977 and the council was incorporated on August 20, 1986, receiving its non-profit status on March 31, 1987.

The council Bylaws were adopted July 29, 1971, and revised on January 24, 1985, and March 25, 1993.
The Randall RC&D has the distinction of being one of the first ten RC&D’s approved in the United States. Presently there are 275 RC&D’s nationwide approved for operations with 6 approved areas in South Dakota.

-30th Anniversary narrative, August 1994

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To provide leadership and assistance to communities, local units of government, and individuals to conserve the natural resources, improve the environment, and develop economic opportunities.

To be recognized as a vibrant, self-motivated, pro-active organization of local leaders that works cooperatively to conserve land, water and air resources, and enhance economic opportunities in the 6-county area of Bon Homme, Brule, Buffalo, Charles Mix, Douglas and Gregory counties of South Dakota; making this area a better place to live, work and play.