On November 16th the Board of Supervisors of San Diego County voted unanimously to approve the purchase of conservation easements on nearly 300 acres of farmland in the Pauma Valley and Ramona. These in-demand areas have tremendous pressure for development. The county’s efforts to purchase conservation easements on existing farm and ranch land will ensure it is kept in agricultural use for generations to come. Conservation easements are a tool for counties, land trusts and other benevolent organizations to limit the use of land by buying the land rights for the property for the difference between its agricultural value and its unencumbered (often development) value. By paying the difference on these properties, the county now has the power to keep this land in agricultural use in perpetuity. This year’s 293 acres add to the total of nearly 1,000 acres protected by the Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (PACE) since 2013. The program continues to grow and received applications for 1,288.7 eligible acres in the past fiscal year. Read more about the success of PACE here.