Thanks to the California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment (CRAE) for this posting. CalCAN is a member of CRAE and provided input on this report. CalCAN produced a related and complementary report in 2013 entitled “Triple Harvest: Farmland conservation for climate protection, smart growth and food security in California.”
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.
More information about CRAE is available at http://aginnovations.org/roundtables/crae/.