Agricultural Land Mitigation Program (High-Speed Rail)

On behalf of the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority), the Department of Conservation administers the Authority’s 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. 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.

To date, there have been two rounds of easement acquisition funding, which have produced eight viable projects. Round 1 closed 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 May 2017, and the Authority approved funding for 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.

Stay Tuned

Please check back in the future for new rounds of funding.  In the meantime, please review the last Request for Grant Applications to gain familiarity with this program.  Interested landowners should contact the California Council of Land Trusts to connect with a land trust and begin the process. 

For more information about Agricultural Land Mitigation, please refer to the following resources: