Last week, the California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment (CRAE) released A Call to Action to Preserve California Agricultural Land, which describes a suite of policy recommendations to slow the loss of farmland in the state. Although California has the most productive farmland in the world, 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.
Policy recommendations include:
- 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.
CRAE is a project of Ag Innovations Network (AIN), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to helping stakeholders solve problems in the food system through effective collaboration. For more information about AIN, see http://aginnovations.org/.