California Strategic Growth Council Invests to Conserve Agricultural Lands
The California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) awarded nearly $57 million for agricultural land use planning and land conservation to promote infill development and keep the state’s valuable farm and ranch lands available for agricultural production. The investment of California cap-and-trade dollars in the fifth round of SGC’s Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALC) will fund six planning grants and 31 agricultural conservation easements in regions across the state. SGC awarded more than $55.5 million to land trusts and local governments working with farm and ranch owners to implement agricultural easements to conserve their properties. These projects were selected based on their risk of being converted to other uses, their potential to promote infill development, as well as their agricultural, economic, and ecological values. The Council also awarded more than $1.4 million in planning grants to help local governments prepare to conserve agricultural lands while planning for increased housing and other critical needs.