Sustainable Agricultural Lands Strategy Program
In 2015, the Mendocino County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office and MCRCD were awarded funding through the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Strategic Growth Council to help Mendocino County prepare a Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Plan. Program elements included:
⦁ Prioritizing agricultural conservation values such as important farmlands, agricultural lands at risk of conversion to non-agricultural use, and agricultural lands with high natural resource and habitat values.
⦁ Identifying and addressing barriers to participation in agricultural preservation programs such as agricultural conservation easements and farmland mitigation programs.
⦁ Providing technical assistance to the agricultural community to build climate change resiliency.
In 2020, the Mendocino County Department of Agriculture was awarded a DOC Agricultural Land Conservation Planning grant to build upon the efforts started in 2015. The Mendocino County Sustainable Ag Lands Committee (the project team) consists of the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, MCRCD, a representative from the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, Mendocino Land Trust, Inland Mendocino Land Trust, Anderson Valley Land Trust, Mendocino Local Agency Formation Commission, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Mendocino County Farm Bureau, and local farmers and residents. The goals of this project are to protect valuable agricultural lands while also supporting sustainable housing development and to build a sustainable and resilient agricultural community through promotion of climate beneficial farming practices that sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Current project objectives include:
⦁ Develop an agricultural component for the Mendocino County Climate Action Plan.
⦁ Expand the Carbon Farm Planning Program and local Soil Health Initiative.
⦁ Increase participation in Williamson Act and Conservation Easement programs.
⦁ Increase communiation with diverse stakeholders regarding the coalescence of agricultural land conservation and sustainable housing development.
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