Three farms on deck for protection
Funding conservation easements, those agreements we talk about that make farms stay farms forever – is a challenge because they are costly (think anywhere from $4,000 – 8,000 per acre, plus transaction costs). Fortunately, we have several tools to help us match our private funding with state money to make conservation happen. Among those tools are our state agency partners.
Recently, Central Valley Farmland Trust applied for funding through the Sustainable Agricultural Land Conservation Program for three farm conservation projects (AKA conservation easements) … and drum roll, please… we have been awarded! Nearly 300 acres are now on deck for protection. That’s three family farms that will forever be family farms.
This funding means we have cleared the biggest hurdle to protecting these farms that feed your family walnuts, almonds, and sweet potatoes. These properties are also near other conserved lands, creating larger swaths of farmland under protection for our next generations to reap the benefits.
So where did this funding come from?…
The Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALC Program) is a component of the Strategic Growth Council’s Affordable Housing and Sustainability Program (AHSC). The SALC Program complements investments made in urban areas with the purchase of agricultural conservation easements (this is the tool that CVFT uses to protect farmland), development of agricultural land strategy plans, and other mechanisms that result in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reductions and a more resilient agricultural sector.
The program invests in agricultural land conservation (this is what CVFT does) with revenue from the California’s California Climate Investments (CCI) Fund, made available for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing additional benefits to California communities. CCI is derived from quarterly cap-and-trade auction proceeds, which are administered by the California Air Resources Board.
The Department of Conservation works in cooperation with the Natural Resources Agency and the SGC to implement the program. The application process that CVFT went through was administered by the Department of Conservation.
And what does that mean?
This all means that your Central Valley Farmland Trust is working with our state agency partners and other entities to ensure that our precious farmlands are protected for you and our next generations – because we protect the farms that feed your family. It means that CVFT cares about farmers and will pursue partnerships and collaborative projects that keep farmers farming and California thriving. It means that for every dollar you donate, we are able to secure three more from programs like SALC to protect even more farmland.
To learn more about these programs visit: http://www.conservation.ca.gov/dlrp/SALCP/Pages/Index.aspx