California Announces Funding for Projects to Conserve Agricultural Land and Fight Climate Change

Special to the Vanguard

Sacramento, CA – It is a program that has awarded $373 million to date, conserving more than 194,000 acres of agricultural land across California.  On Thursday, the Governor’s office announced funding for the next round of the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Program, which fights climate change by providing grants to projects that conserve agricultural lands and encourage sustainable development.

“California is enlisting our working lands to fight climate change, support local economies, and combat urban sprawl,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “Across the state, we’ve conserved thousands of acres of agricultural land under this program, and will continue to support a wide range of innovative projects to reduce emissions and protect our communities.”

The California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) and the Department of Conservation (DOC) yesterday announced the release of funding for Round 9 of the program, which is funded by Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds. While the total amount available in this round will be determined later this year, funds available in Round 8 last year totaled nearly $105 million.

The SALC Program prioritizes funding for projects that benefit California Native American tribes, beginning farmers and ranchers, farmers and ranchers who are U.S. Military Veterans, and farmers and ranchers who live in disadvantaged communities or low-income communities or households.

SGC has reduced the match requirement for acquisitions from 25% to 10%, recognizing that match funding requirements may be prohibitive in communities where such match funding is harder to access. Applicants whose projects will benefit priority populations may apply for 100% funding with no match funding required.

SALC grants are available for projects that develop plans to protect agricultural lands or to conserve such lands directly by acquiring agricultural conservation easements or purchasing land outright for conservation. The program also provides grants to support the capacity of local organizations to develop agricultural conservation projects.

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1 Comment

  1. Ron Oertel

    The California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) and the Department of Conservation (DOC) yesterday announced the release of funding for Round 9 of the program, which is funded by Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds.

    A boondoggle, to ensure that “others” can buy their way out of getting “counted” toward greenhouse gas emissions. If I’m not mistaken, this is partly how Davis is planning to “meet” its zero-emission goal. Probably the state itself, as well.

    What a farce.

    Meanwhile – pursue something like DISC, as they’ll be able to “buy their way out” of being counted, as well.

    The SALC Program prioritizes funding for projects that benefit California Native American tribes, beginning farmers and ranchers, farmers and ranchers who are U.S. Military Veterans, and farmers and ranchers who live in disadvantaged communities or low-income communities or households.

    SGC has reduced the match requirement for acquisitions from 25% to 10%, recognizing that match funding requirements may be prohibitive in communities where such match funding is harder to access. Applicants whose projects will benefit priority populations may apply for 100% funding with no match funding required.

    And no requirements to do anything at all, I suspect. Other than receive money.

    SALC grants are available for projects that develop plans to protect agricultural lands or to conserve such lands directly by acquiring agricultural conservation easements or purchasing land outright for conservation. The program also provides grants to support the capacity of local organizations to develop agricultural conservation projects.

    Conservation easements and land purchases are the only thing that have any meaning at all, here. But it sounds like this is only a “portion” of the program.

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