Based in Rock Falls, BHRC provides planning services in Carroll, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, and Whiteside counties in Northwest Illinois.  It is overseen by an eighteen-member council, consisting of three representatives (one county board member, soil and water member, and at large member) from each of the six counties.

Resource Conservation & Development

BHRC was authorized in March 1974 by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and quickly became a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.  The national RC&D program helps communities protect and maintain their natural resources to improve the local economy, environment, and living standards.  Local RC&Ds identify problems, establish goals and objectives, develop alternatives, and implement plans for resource conservation.  Each RC&D defines its own goals and objectives that are unique to their area, focusing on land conservation, community development, water management, and environmental issues.

Economic Development District

BHRC was designated an Economic Development District (EDD) in March 1992 by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).  The purpose of the EDD program is to accelerate overall economic development planning on a regional basis and use all applicable federal, state, and local agencies, groups, and organizations to implement the plan(s). BHRC maintains the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), which includes shared goals in an effort to improve community and economic development in Northwest Illinois.

Regional Planning Organization

Blackhawk Hills belongs to the Illinois Association of Regional Councils. It was designated a regional planning organization (RPO) and renamed Blackhawk Hills Regional Council in May 2012.