Thursday, September 4, 2014

Call to Action to Preserve CA Agricultural Land!

California has the most productive farmland in the world. Unfortunately, it is being converted to nonagricultural uses at a rate of 30,000 acres per year, threatening our food production capacity, environmental health, and economy.
However, the California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment (CRAE) believes that opportunities exist to slow this trend. A Call to Action to Preserve California Agricultural Land describes a suite of policy recommendations, including:
  • Fully fund efforts to understand the scope of the challenge, such as the California Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program.
  • Strengthen state and local land use policies that prioritize the conservation of California’s agricultural lands, such as updating general plan guidelines to conserve agricultural lands and creating policies that discourage urban sprawl.
  • Finance long-term and permanent conservation of agricultural land by reinstating Williamson Act subvention payments, dedicating on-going AB 32 auction proceeds to farmland conservation, and providing statewide agricultural land mitigation guidelines.
  • Keep farmers farming by ensuring strong markets for agricultural products, appropriate regulations, adequate labor force and infrastructure, and community support.
The members of CRAE urge you to join them in moving forward an effective agricultural land conservation program by supporting the implementation of the recommendations contained in A Call to Action to Preserve California Agricultural Land.
A press briefing was held on July 10, 2014. You may download the press release and remarks of CRAE member, Edward Thompson, Jr., California Director of American Farmland Trust. This was followed by a California Department of Food and Agriculture news release on July 11, 2014, entitled Secretaries Ross, Laird issue joint statement on CRAE’s ‘Call to Action to Preserve California Agricultural Land.’
Contact: Serena Coltrane-Briscoe, Project Manager, 707.823.6111 ×220 or serena@aginnovations.org
http://aginnovations.org/articles/view/call_to_action_to_preserve_ca_agricultural_land/