Press Release California Awards $116.8 Million to Conserve Agricultural Lands across the State, Strengthening Rural Economies and Climate Action


To date, Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) investments have protected 381 square miles of California agricultural and working lands, making further progress on the State’s 30x30 conservation goal. For the first time, SALC funding this year will support California tribes with land acquisitions.

Sacramento, CA — The California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) approved over $116 million in Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program grants last week to permanently protect approximately 50,500 acres of croplands and rangelands, as well as lands utilized by California Native American tribes for the cultivation of traditional resources.

This year, for the first time, SALC funding will support California tribes with land acquisitions, advancing the state’s work to support tribal access, co-management, and acquisition of ancestral lands. SALC investments from this round of funding also provide pathways to land ownership and access to agricultural lands for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

This is the ninth round of annual SALC funding, which is in the process of protecting 244,000 acres of agricultural and working lands statewide, making further progress on California’s goal to conserve 30 percent of California’s lands and coastal waters by 2030.

"The Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program is helping California fight climate change by advancing healthy soils and permanently protecting agricultural and working lands at risk of development,” said Lynn von Koch-Liebert, Executive Director of the California Strategic Growth Council. “What’s exciting this year is that our SALC investments are continuing to take a multi-benefit approach by ensuring those who seek access to land can do so regardless of their background, helping California bolster rural economies and support the health, access, and diversity of California’s land stewards and farmers.”

Investments from this round of funding will create 33 agricultural easements and result in the purchase of 4 properties across 23 counties spanning from San Diego County almost to the Oregon border. When completed, this suite of acquisitions will permanently protect approximately 50,500 acres. Safeguarding this agricultural land will avoid an estimated 4.65 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent over the next 30 years, which amounts to taking 133,424 cars off the road for one year.

SGC has also awarded its second round of SALC capacity grants to 19 capacity building applicants. These projects will facilitate the development of agricultural conservation acquisition projects in 21 counties as far north as Modoc and Humboldt counties and as far south as San Diego County. Of the 19 capacity projects recommended for funding, four are for projects led by tribes or non-profits serving tribes and 12 are from applicants that have never applied for a SALC acquisition grant before.

Logan Robertson Huecker, Executive Director of the Sequoia Riverlands Trust said: "Sequoia Riverlands Trust is so honored that our SALC Capacity and Acquisition grants have been recommended for funding. With the implementation of SGMA, our organization is serving multiple critically overdrafted subbasins, all of which are facing significant impending land use changes. Strategic conservation efforts on agricultural and working lands are critical to addressing regional issues, and will also contribute to statewide efforts to reduce impacts from climate change, create sustainable markets, and support coordinated land use planning."

Additionally, the SALC Program has awarded eight planning grants to seven public agencies and one California Native American tribe to support planning for the implementation of Sustainable Community Strategies and the protection of agricultural lands.

"To date, this program has permanently protected agricultural land roughly eight times the size of San Francisco, avoiding millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions associated with development on that scale," said David Shabazian, Director of the California Department of Conservation. "Our partnership with SGC and landowners is helping California reach its climate goals while supporting the nation's most vibrant agricultural economy." 

The Department of Conservation administers the Program on behalf of SGC, developing guidelines, providing technical assistance to applicants, and identifying projects and communities with greatest impact on reducing emissions while protecting California’s valuable natural and working lands. Over the life of the Program, Conservation staff have recommended 283 projects for funding. 

SALC Round 9 Awardees:

Acquisition Grantees

  • 40 Acre Conservation League
  • Ag Land Trust
  • Bear Yuba Land Trust
  • California Farmland Trust
  • California Open Lands
  • California Rangeland Trust
  • County of San Diego
  • El Rio Reyes Conservation Trust
  • Land Trust for Santa Barbara
  • Land Trust of Santa Cruz County
  • Marin Agricultural Land Trust
  • Mendocino Land Trust
  • Mother Lode Land Trust
  • Northcoast Regional Land Trust
  • Northern Chumash Tribal Council
  • Placer Land Trust
  • Sacramento Valley Conservancy
  • Sequoia Riverlands Trust
  • Shasta Land Trust
  • Sierra Foothill Conservancy
  • Siskiyou Land Trust
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Trust for Public Land

Capacity grantees

  • Ag Land Trust
  • Anderson Valley Land Trust
  • Bear Yuba Land Trust
  • Blue Lake Rancheria
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • El Rio Reyes Trust
  • Garden 31
  • Lassen Land & Trails Trust
  • Native American Land Conservancy
  • Northern California Regional Land Trust
  • Northern Chumash Tribal Council
  • Oswit Land Trust
  • Possibility Labs (Ujamaa Farmer Collective)
  • Resource Conservation District of Monterey County
  • Sequoia Riverlands Trust
  • Starlight Universal Church
  • Sutter Buttes Regional Land Trust
  • World Be Well
  • ytt Northern Chumash Nonprofit

Planning grantees

  • City of Tulare
  • Cold Springs Rancheria of Mono Indians
  • Nevada County RCD and County of Nevada
  • Placer County
  • San Benito County
  • Solano County
  • Southern California Association of Governments
  • Ventura County

Media Contact

Agustin Arreola, 279-386-2183

About the California Strategic Growth Council

The California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) is a 10-member council comprised of seven state agencies and three public members with the mission to build healthy, thriving, and resilient communities for all. Funded through California’s Cap and Trade system and the California General Fund, SGC’s grant programs, strategic initiatives, and interagency coordination focus on multi-benefit and community-centric solutions at the nexus of climate and equity. Since 2008, SGC has invested over $4 billion in projects strengthening communities and addressing climate change.

About the California Department of Conservation

With a team of scientists and other dedicated professionals, the Department of Conservation (DOC) administers a variety of programs vital to California's public safety, environment and economy. The services DOC provides are designed to balance today's needs with tomorrow's obligations by fostering the wise use and conservation of energy, land and mineral resources.

About California Climate Investments

California Climate Investments is a statewide initiative that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.