Ag Easements: the Advantages Can tie together much of what Blueprint Process trying to accomplish. Protect farmland; open-space benefits Keep urban areas separate and distinct. Used strategically, can channel growth Mitigation for conversion of ag land due to projects Habitat mitigation Protect ag economy Floodplain growth
About the Project Permanently shields 300 acres of prime farmland from development High-profile land along the I-80 corridor between Davis and Dixon at Kidwell Road exit Solano Land Trust, cities of Dixon and Davis hold easement First step in building ag buffer between those communities Land is farmed in hay, sunflowers and tomatoes
Cooperative effort DOC California Farmland Conservancy Program: $2.2 million USDA Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program: $720,000 City of Davis: $507,500 City of Dixon: $150,000 UC Davis: $77,500 Total: $3,692,500
Farmland forever Landowner Jean McConeghy, left, had this to say: “That land is very meaningful to me and my family … I think what we’ve done would have made my parents very happy.”
About the Project 146 acres north of I-80 in Solano County Local farming families purchased the easement- protected property and will expand agricultural operations Second major step in creation of an ag buffer between cities of Davis and Dixon Solano Land Trust, cities bought easement 2 new property owners envision establishing an agricultural showcase -- sell to & teach the public
Cooperative effort DOC/California Farmland Conservancy Program: $971,500 City of Davis: $810,000 Solano Land Trust: $115,000 City of Dixon: $20,000 Sellers contributed $75,000 of the appraised easement value through a bargain sale Total - $1,991,500
A Bright Future Rich Collins, who bought some of the land under easement, said: “We intend to honor the property’s agricultural past while enhancing and maximizing its productive future…” Sacramento Bee photo
About the project Shields 237 acres of prime farmland from development Expands existing greenbelt between fast-growing communities of Dixon and Vacaville Grows wide variety of field crops Solano Land Trust purchased 152 acres in ‘03, 85 acres in ’06 Sold to Tom Galindo with easement in place, making land more affordable Reduces pressure from rural ranchette development
Cooperative effort Both the California Department of Conservation’s California Farmland Conservancy Program and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service contributed $462,500.
Planning grants Much of the work leading to completion of these easements facilitated by CFCP planning/technical assistance grant to SLT CFCP provides these grants to land trusts and local governments Can be used for creation & expansion of land trusts, developing strategic farmland conservation plans, developing projects or facilitating landowner outreach efforts
Williamson Act Easement Exchange Project in Lathrop, San Joaquin County
About the project Nearly 17 million acres protected under Williamson Act Williamson Act exchange projects are more beneficial than straight cancellations In Lathrop, 308 acres of farmland taken out of Williamson Act to be developed In exchange, 927 acres of farmland permanently shielded from development Only 5 th Williamson Act easement exchange since program began in 1998 Largest in terms of acreage Template for future projects on farmland?
Cooperative effort City of Lathrop, Richland Planned Communities, San Joaquin County, Central Valley Farmland Trust and DOC all involved. Secretary Chrisman: “A win-win project” Senator Michael Machado and DOC Director Bridgett Luther.
Farmland Mapping & Monitoring DOC’s Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program (FMMP) produces maps and statistical data used for analyzing impacts on California’s agricultural resources. The maps are updated every two years.
Land-use change in the Fresno area from FMMP. Areas in yellow represent urban growth from 1990- 2004. Irrigated farmland is shown in green.
Critical FMMP Data In the last two decades, FMMP has mapped loss of more than 1 million acres of farm/grazing land That’s an area larger than Sonoma County Biggest component: Prime farmland Upcoming report shows largest drop in prime farmland in program’s history Our hope: new report will help local governments grasp need to direct future development away from prime farmland