Rural Development

Rural Development

Advancing our mission has become ever more urgent as the Mountain West is now experiencing extraordinary economic and demographic pressure that will forever change the landscape and how it supports our economies and communities.


Rural Development supports vibrant and thriving rural communities by improving quality of life, economic opportunities, and outdoor experiences for residents. 

We recognize that thriving western rural communities are inextricably linked to thriving conservations.

Our Rural Development program bridges the too often and mistakenly polarized interests of rural development and conservation. 

Rural communities provide the food, water, and other natural resources on which we all depend; simultaneously, rural community industries are equipped to accommodate and steward the habitat needed for wildlife to thrive.

How we work

We develop or support projects in collaboration with the community, through an iterative process, to have the highest potential to positively impact that community.

We work to ensure rural communities seeking opportunities to retain their livelihoods do not have to turn to extractive industries or harmful development that fragments the landscape. 

The community-driven projects we support increase revenue from responsible agriculture, tourism, and recreational opportunities. 

What we do

Technical Assistance

Funding for rural development projects is widely available through government and private sources, but often involves a convoluted process to find, apply for, and administer. The communities that most need this funding typically don’t have staff with the time, knowledge, or experience to successfully navigate this process. Our involvement allows existing funding to actually be accessible to the communities that need it.

Business Development

The RD program primarily focuses on access to the USDA-RD’s Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program by providing technical assistance. There are other USDA and state rural development opportunities that the program utilizes to support rural communities in economic development, housing, infrastructure, and producer value-added needs.

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