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 (SGC) 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 and SGC 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. 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 communication with diverse stakeholders regarding the coalescence of agricultural land conservation and sustainable housing development.
SALC is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities. For more information, visit California Climate Investments.
SALC Ag Lands Strategy Map
As part of SALC, MCRCD worked with UC Agriculture & Natural Resources in Hopland to develop an online Ag Lands Strategy map for public information as well as for use by County planning departments. This map contains county-wide information on urban-agricultural boundaries, farm land at-risk of urban conversion, Williamson Act/Conservation Easement properties, designated Important Farmland, flood zones, and other important agricultural land assessments.
The map is hosted through UCANR at: https://ucanr.maps.arcgis.com/apps/instant/basic/index.html?appid=e8c1d85dfa414890989d2e4f82134823
- Climate Smart Agriculture and Technical Assistance
- What is Carbon Farm Planning?
- 2022 SALC Agricultural Climate Assessment Summary
- Sustainable Ag Lands Committee Fact Sheet
- Conservation Easements Fact Sheet
- Williamson Act Fact Sheet
- Carbon Sequestration Fact Sheet
- 2017 Sustainable Ag Lands Committee (SALC) Final Report
- 2022 SALC County Ag Climate Assessment Report
- 2022 Carbon Cycle Institute Memo to the SALC County Ag Climate Assessment Report
Williamson Act Resources
- Williamson Act Webinar Recording – February 10, 2021
- Williamson Act Webinar Recording – February 24, 2021
- Williamson Act PowerPoint Presentation
- Mendocino County Williamson Act Ordinance
- Mendocino County Agricultural Preserve Application
- Mendocino County Agricultural Preserve Contract
Williamson Act Contacts
- California Farm Bureau – Policy Advocate, Taylor Roschen: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mendocino County Farm Bureau – Executive Director, Devon Jones: email@example.com
- Mendocino County Department of Planning and Building Services – Russ Ford: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mendocino County Assessor/County Clerk/Recorder/Elections Office – Katrina Bartolomie: email@example.com
Agricultural Conservation Easements Resources
- Agricultural Conservation Easements Webinar Recording – March 22, 2021
- Agricultural Conservation Easements Webinar Recording – March 24, 2021
- The Last Crop, a film about farmers Jeff and Annie Main
- Webinar: Farmland Protection 101: Tips, Advice, & Guidance for Saving the Land That Sustains Us with Jerry Cosgrove, American Farmland Trust’s Farm Legacy Director
- Legacy of Working Lands Workshop resources with information on farm succession, family planning, revocable family trusts, estate planning, and transferring the business
- Land Trust Alliance
Agricultural Conservation Easements Contacts
- Anderson Valley Land Trust – Patrick Miller: firstname.lastname@example.org, General office number: (707) 895-3150
- Inland Mendocino Land Trust – Darcy Vaughn: email@example.com, https://www.imclandtrust.org/easements-an-introduction
- Mendocino Land Trust – Ed Welter: firstname.lastname@example.org, Nikki Houtz: email@example.com