Saving Farmland, Growing Cities: A Framework for Implementing Effective Farmland Conservation Policies in the San Joaquin Valley
By: , Edward Thompson, Serena Unger
This report from the American Farmland Trust examines farmland conservation in California’s fast-growing San Joaquin Valley and outlines a new framework for land-use policy choices that affect farmland and agriculture. The report also identifies six key challenges that must be addressed to conserve farmland and for each proposes specific, measurable outcomes by which to evaluate success. The six objectives against which the valley’s farmland conservation efforts are evaluated are (1) avoiding development of high quality farmland, (2) minimizing farmland loss with more efficient development; (3) ensuring stability at the urban edge, (4) minimizing rural residential development, (5) mitigating the loss of farmland with conservation easements, and (6) encouraging a favorable agricultural business climate. The report ends by making recommendations for improving the performance of local governments in conserving farmland.