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. 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:

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:


Fact Sheets


Williamson Act Resources

Williamson Act Contacts

Agricultural Conservation Easements Resources

Agricultural Conservation Easements Contacts