Farm Land Protection

CAFF supports stronger land use planning tools at the local level. For example, local zoning and general plan processes should be strengthened to improve the effectiveness and quality of mitigation programs that protect farmland. We support adoption and enforcement of stronger ag elements in County General Plans.


Mitigation of Farmland Development

The Community Alliance with Family Farmers, the American Farmland Trust, and the California Climate and Agriculture Network jointly sponsored a bill in the California Legislature to require the mitigation of the development of farmland. Susan Eggman (D-Stockton), the chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, is the author of AB 823, the California Farmland Protection Act, which clarifies that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires such mitigation by saving in perpetuity at least one comparable acre of farmland for every acre developed.

AB 823 fact sheet

“Overview of Legal Restraints on Agricultural Land Mitigation Programs” by Osha R. Meserve | February 16, 2011

“Tools for Farmland Protection: CEQA and Local Mitigation Ordinances” by Osha R. Meserve and Kate Hart

Decision of the Fifth District Court of Appeals Upholding the Stanislaus County Farmland Mitigation Ordinance


Williamson Act

California Department of Conservation


Organizations Working to Save Farmland

American Farmland Trust

Farmland Working Group


Links to Land Trusts that are Saving Farmland

California Council of Land Trusts

Yolo Land Trust

Land Trust of Santa Cruz County

Central Valley Farmland Trust

Marin Agricultural Land Trust

Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District

Land Trust of Napa County

Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo


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