Agricultural Land Mitigation Program (High-Speed Rail Authority)
Agricultural Conservation Easements
The California Department of Conservation (DOC) assists the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) in meeting its environmental commitments associated with agricultural land conversion through a mitigation services agreement. The DOC’s California Farmland Conservancy Program (CFCP) provides the technical expertise needed to establish permanent agricultural conservation easements on land of similar acreage, location, and quality to that impacted by the rail project's alignment and maintenance facilities.
On behalf of the Authority, the DOC administers the Agricultural Land Mitigation Program. Through permanent agricultural conservation easements, the program compensates for the loss of 2,500 acres of Important Farmland resulting from the construction for the sections from Merced to Fresno, Fresno to Bakersfield, and San Jose to Merced.
To date, there have been two rounds of easement acquisition funding, which have produced eight viable projects. Round 1 closed in February 2017, and the Authority approved five projects located in four counties totaling 1,174 acres of Important Farmland for a total cost of $12.8 million. The Round 2 application period closed in May 2017, and the Authority is considering funding three projects located in Santa Clara and Merced counties totaling 178 acres of Important Farmland for a total cost of $4.6 million. With all Rounds 1 and 2 projects funded, the Authority will have acquired easements on 1,352 acres of Important Farmland for a total cost of $17,422,474.
Please check back in the future for new rounds of funding. In the meantime, click here to view the last Request for Grant Applications to gain familiarity with this program. Interested landowners should contact the California Council of Land Trusts at (916) 497-0272 to connect with a land trust to begin the process. Department staff is available for questions and assistance: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about the Agricultural Land Mitigation Services Agreement and CFCP is available: