the urban areas of Napa County expanded
between the years 2000 and 2002, so,
too, did the agricultural economy,
according to new data released by the
California Department of Conservation.
accounted for many of the 2,193 acres of
irrigated farmland created in the county
in that two-year span. Most of the new
irrigated acres came from former grazing
or pasture land. Additionally, 280 acres
were added to the urban total.
The Farmland Mapping
and Monitoring Program (FMMP), part of
DOC's Division of Land Resource
Protection, documents land-use
conversion on 45.8 million acres of
Californias private and public land
every two years. The maps and statistics
are designed to help local governments
evaluate land-use planning decisions.
The 2000-2002 mapping the clearest
look yet at state land use thanks to
improved digital mapping processes -- is
ongoing throughout the state.
helps counties and cities see the
patterns and make informed choices about
how they want to direct growth in the
future, Department of Conservation
Director Darryl Young said. The
population of California will continue
to grow. Its vital that we ensure
theres enough room both people and
The Farmland Mapping
and Monitoring Program classifies land
as either farmland (prime being the best
of four types of farmland), grazing
land, urban land, other land or water.
The other category includes
low-density "ranchettes," wetlands, and
brush or timberlands unsuitable for
Examples of recent
urbanization in Napa County include the
130-acre La Vigne Homes development in
American Canyon and a 60-acre industrial
development near the interchange of
highways 29 and 12.
Since the 1990 FMMP
survey, Napa County has gained 2,057
urbanized acres and 10,664 acres of
irrigated farmland. Grazing and pasture
land have decreased by nearly 12,000
acres to accommodate these changes.
The agricultural land
in Napa County will continue to face
development pressure in the foreseeable
future. The California Department of
Finance projects that the countys
population will increase from 125,800 in
2000 to 158,400 by 2020.
According to the
California Department of Food and
Agriculture, the gross value of Napa
Countys agricultural production was
$388 million in 2002.
To help local
governments make the best choices
regarding agricultural land, FMMP
upgraded the maps in 2002 by
incorporating new digital soil data from
the USDA Natural Resources Conservation
Service. Accurate soil information is
the basis for determining the quality of
land for farming.
The maps have been
sent to county planning officials and
organizations such as the county Farm
Bureau, Local Agency Formation
Commission, city planners, irrigation
districts and county resource
conservation districts. Printed copies,
enlargements, or digital versions of the
maps are available to the public. Call
(916) 324-0859 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
The latest statewide
study by the FMMP, Farmland Conversion
Report 1998-2000, was released last
June. More than 91,000 acres were
urbanized throughout the state a
30-percent increase from the 1996-98
mapping cycle and 27 percent of that
total came from irrigated farmland.
Department of Conservation, the state
offers programs that provide financial
incentives to keep land in agricultural
use. The California Farmland Conservancy
Program makes grants available to local
governments, land trusts or resource
conservation districts to purchase
permanent agricultural conservation
easements from willing landowners. These
easements prohibit future development.
Farmland Security Zone and Williamson
Act contracts provide potential tax
benefits to landowners who commit to
keeping their land in agricultural use
for periods of 20 or 10 years,