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Division of Land Resource Protection

Programs to Conserve California's Farmland & Open Space Resources​

Californians make their home amidst some of the most productive farmland and diverse open spaces in the world. The Department of Conservation's Division of Land Resource Protection (DLRP) works with landowners, local governments, and researchers to conserve these resources for everyone's future.

 

​Hot Topics​​​​​​

Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program ​

​The Strategic Growth Council (SGC) is pleased to announce the public comment period on the DRAFT 2017-18 Guidelines for the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALC). Public comments on DRAFT Fiscal Year 2017-18 SALC Program guidelines will be accepted until 5pm on March 29, 2018. The DRAFT Guidelines are available here.

For additional information ​on how to comment or get involved, visit our Stakeholder Feedback ​page.


Agricultural Land Mitigation Program

The Department collaborates with other public agencies through the Agricultural Land Mitigation Program to secure agricultural conservation easements for mitigation purposes. Please check back in the future for further rounds of funding.​​

     

California Farmland Conservancy Program

The California Farmland Conservancy Program's (CFCP) newest conservation easement:

 

Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program

Important Farmland Time Series​ ​​​​NEW​!​​   ​

An online tool to view the Important Farmland map data as a time series, from 1984 to the present.​​​​

California Important Farmland Finder​
An interactive version of the Important Farmland map data. Locate your area of interest, calculate acreage, and other useful features, using this online tool. Introductory material about the site and its features is also available.    

Important Farmland Maps and Statistics​​ ​​ 
New! 2016 data is now available in Amador, Merced, San Luis Obispo, and San Mateo Counties​​​​​​​​.​​​​

​The 2015 California Farmland Conversion Report​ 
The most recent statewide and regional breakdown of farmland conversion trends.  ​

Important Farmland Maps (PDF)
Full size maps for viewing your area of interest; new releases are posted regularly.

Land Conservation (Williamson Act) Program

What is public acquisition of Williamson Act land?

Public acquisition of Williamson Act land is acquisition, by provision in the Act (Government Code §§51290 - 51295, 51296.6), of land located within an agricultural preserve or enforceably restricted by a Williamson Act or Farmland Security Zone contract by a public agency or person for a public improvement. 

 

Who can acquire Williamson Act land by public acquisition?

A public agency or person may acquire Williamson Act land by public acquisition.  As defined by the Williamson Act, "(1) 'public agency' means any department or agency of the United States or the state, and any county, city, school district, or other local public district, agency, or entity, and (2) 'person' means any person authorized to acquire property by eminent domain (Government Code §51291(a)."   A school district cannot acquire land that is under a Farmland Security Zone contract (§51296.6).

 

What happens to the contract?

If requirements for public acquisition of Williamson Act land are met, the land may be acquired and the contract may be terminated.  If requirements are not met, the acquisition may not be valid, and the contract may remain in force and continue to restrict use of the land.  If the acquired property remains within an agricultural preserve, land use remains subject to the rules of the preserve.

 
Other News and Information
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The LESA Model & Mitigation

The Land Evaluation and Site Assessment (LESA) Model  evaluates agricultural characteristics of specific sites, as indicated in California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) guidelines.   

The California Council of Land Trusts offers a guidebook titled Conserving California’s Harvest – A Model Mitigation Program and Ordinance for Local Governments, which contains input from experts in the fields of local governance, agriculture, conservation, law and mitigation.  The guidebook's focus is on implementation and evolution of farmland mitigation programs that preserve and protect California's world-class agricultural landscape.


Legal and Policy Information

Right to Farm Real Estate Disclosure
2009 legislation relies on Important Farmland Maps to define agriculture in real estate transactions. ​