Sustainable Ag Lands Conservation Program Draft Guidelines Released

The Strategic Growth Council (SGC) and the Department of Conservation (DOC) recently released the draft program guidelines for the third round of funding for the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALCP). Part of the council’s smart growth climate programs, SALCP funds easements on agricultural lands at risk of sprawl and rural ranchette development. The program also provides funding for local governments to adopt land use policies that protect at-risk agricultural lands. No significant changes were made this year to the draft program guidelines.

While the draft program guidelines are out, the funding levels for SALCP are not yet decided. The third cap-and-trade auction for the current fiscal year takes place this month. How the auction fares will help determine the funding levels for SALCP as well as the larger Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program (AHSC) at SGC.

Since the program’s inception, CalCAN has worked with land trusts and others in the conservation and agriculture communities to support robust SALCP funding and implementation. We will send out an update on the once SGC and DOC release their proposed funding levels for the program. Meanwhile, there are several opportunities to engage and offer comment on the new draft guidelines.

Read the guidelines on the DOC website. Public comments are due on March 17, 2017. DOC will also host a workshop on the program guidelines on March 2, 2017. Get more details and RSVP information.

The SGC will meet on April 11, 2017 in Sacramento where it will take up SALCP program guidelines and funding levels for 2017. Join us there!

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This article was written by Jeanne Merrill.

Jeanne Merrill is the Policy Director of the California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCAN). CalCAN brings a sustainable agricultural perspective to climate change and agriculture policy. Their efforts are aimed at increasing funding for research, technical assistance, and financial incentives for farmers whose practices provide environmental benefits. 

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