Multiple Benefits of Land Protected Under the Williamson Act
A 2010 study completed by UC Davis rangeland watershed specialist Ken Tate and other faculty found that 43 percent of the 10 million acres of “non-prime” land enrolled in the program is also critical for statewide conservation goals. Conservation status was determined by the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition, a voluntary partnership between ranchers, environmentalists, government agencies, and others working to preserve and enhance the state’s rangeland areas.
The researchers surveyed 700 members of the California Cattlemen’s Association, and determined that loss of Williamson Act funding at the state level would put critical habitat at risk for development. Forty-two percent of the surveyed ranchers said they would sell some or all of their rangeland without the tax relief. Fifty-six percent of the ranchers predict their sold land would be developed for non-agricultural uses.
For more information on the study: UC Davis link; PDF summary