(707) 462-3664 info@mcrcd.org

Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation 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 (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 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 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.


 Useful Resources:


Fact Sheets:

Ag Lands Committee Fact Sheet

Conservation Easements Fact Sheet

Williamson Act Fact Sheet


Sustainable Ag Lands Committee (SALC) Final 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: troschen@cfbf.com

Mendocino County Farm Bureau – Executive Director, Devon Jones: director@mendofb.org

Mendocino County Department of Planning and Building Services – Russ Ford: fordr@mendocinocounty.org

Mendocino County Assessor/County Clerk/Recorder/Elections Office – Katrina Bartolomie: bartolok@mendocinocounty.org

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

Farm Link

Agricultural Conservation Easements Contacts:

Anderson Valley Land TrustPatrick Miller: avlt@mcn.org

Inland Mendocino Land Trust – Darcy Vaughn: darcy.vaughn@gmail.com 

Mendocino Land TrustLarry Turner: lturner@mendocinolandtrust.org, Nikki Houtz: nhoutz@mendocinolandtrust.org