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Farmland Legislation Needs Support


Did you know there are more than 81,000 farms in California totaling over 25 million acres? Did you know the Salinas Valley has more than 250,000 acres of farmland producing more than $4 billion in crop revenue? Current state policies are failing to mitigate the impacts of farmland conversion as the State of California is losing more than 30,000 acres of farmland each year to commercial and residential developments.

AB 823 (California Farmland Protection Act) intends to prevent the loss of more agricultural acreage by preserving one acre for each acre that is developed. The goals of this legislation include supporting a vibrant agricultural economy, ensuring California’s long-term food security, supporting climate protection benefits of farmland and addressing the need for consistent farmland mitigation. Active farmlands are critical to Monterey County’s economy and this is why LandWatch supports AB 823.

LandWatch supports AB 823 for the following reasons:

  • California lacks clear standards for farmland protection. AB 823 provides those standards.

  • The bill requires, through the California Environmental Quality Act, minimum statewide mitigation standards for converting agricultural lands to non-agricultural uses.

  • This bill helps to ensure our long term food security, encourages smart growth in urban areas and maintains a productive agricultural economy.

Download a copy of our support letter (252K PDF file)

Action to Take:

AB 823 will be heard by the Natural Resources Committee of the Assembly on April 15th. Please consider spending 90 seconds calling Assembly Natural Resources Committee Chair Wesley Chesbro and other Committee members to voice your support by April 15th. Ask to speak to the staff person who handles agriculture issues. The message is simple:

"I am calling to ask for you to support AB 823, the California Farmland Act. AB 823 will help protect one of California’s most valuable resources – farmland. California lacks adequate policy tools to support farmland conservation.”

If you can, please also reach out to the other Assembly Natural Resource Committee members. Follow this link to get their phone numbers or follow this link to send a group email to the entire Committee.

[Return to Ag Land Issues and Actions]

posted: 04.01.13

LandWatch's mission is to protect Monterey County's future by addressing climate change, community health, and social inequities in housing and infrastructure. By encouraging greater public participation in planning, we connect people to government, address human needs and inspire conservation of natural resources.



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