The Department of Conservation (DOC) has released the California Agricultural Conservation Land Trust Listening Tour Report. The listening tour provided DOC executives and staff with an opportunity to learn about the challenges and issues facing land trusts, by meeting with representatives from land trusts, park and open space districts, nonprofits, and resource conservation districts.
The listening tour took place during the spring and summer of 2018. DOC representatives conducted interviews with forty conservation organizations and spent five days visiting local partners and touring properties. Participants throughout the state expressed similar challenges and identified similar threats to agricultural land conservation. Needs identified by participants included:
A reassessment of the methodology used to calculate easement values
Public awareness and outreach
Collaboration and networking among the land conservation community
Conserving agricultural lands for multiple benefits
Stimulating additional agricultural landowner interest
Capacity to explore and utilize additional conservation tools
DOC staff and executive leadership are committed to working with the agricultural land conservation community to implement changes that address the opportunities and impediments discussed in this report, and to ensure that available funding is used efficiently to conserve California's agricultural lands.