June 8, 2020
Last week, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors upheld their promise to fund nearly $5 million for farmland preservation. They unanimously approved a transfer of the funds to the County Planning Department budget and a memorandum of understanding with the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority that will allow for the purchase of agricultural conservation easements.
Thank you to the more than 350 people who responded to our call to action on this issue! Please email the Supervisors today using the form below and thank them for hearing your voice and fulfilling their promise to preserve local farmland.
The Supervisors’ actions will ensure the County meets its local match obligation to the California Department of Conservation for the $15 million it was awarded to purchase agricultural conservation easements (ACE). Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding, the near $5 million in funds must be used to preserve farmland within one of two priority areas most at risk of development – Coyote Valley or San Martin.
We appreciate these first steps taken by the Board to fund farmland preservation at the local level. However in January 2019, the Agricultural Preservation Task Force had recommended to the Board setting aside up to $20 million annually to fund a regional ACE purchasing program to help with preserving the more than 12,000 acres of farmland most at-risk of development in our county.
A local funding source for farmland preservation was one of the Task Force’s top recommended implementation priorities for the Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan. Therefore, we have asked the Board to strongly consider any opportunities that may arise over the next few years to allocate funds for the purchase of ACEs to further the County’s dedication to agricultural preservation, food security, and regional resilience.
What You Can Do
Please join me in thanking the Supervisors for upholding their promise!