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June  2014

Welcome to the Agricultural and Land Stewardship Website.

We have now completed the third phase of the development of the Agricultural Land Stewardship Strategy Discussion paper begun in 2013.  In May 2013 and October 2013, we developed a list of strategies for a Tool Box of what we are now calling Agricultural and Land Stewardship (ALS) Strategies and added a number of these strategies to this website.  In October 2013, we also included a Framework for Planning. The Framework provides some suggestions for how to incorporate the Tool Box of ALS Strategies into planning processes and how to develop Agricultural and Land Stewardship Plans for projects that make use of the ALS Strategies. This third phase reorganizes and adds a number of new and revised ALS strategies.  See below for What's New?. There are still a few ALS strategies in development that will be added to the website when they are completed.  We expect to update the ALS Strategies periodically and welcome your input.

You may have noticed that we changed the name of the strategies from Agricultural Land Stewardship Strategies to Agriculture and Land Stewardship Strategies.  Several comments were received that said that some of the strategies, such as having local landowners manage restoration land, did not promote agriculture and, therefore, should not be called agricultural land stewardship.  The goal behind developing these ALS Strategies was to provide proponents of projects that affect agricultural land with a tool box of a broad set of strategies that would take into account local concerns.  Most of the strategies are focused on helping agriculture.  However, recognizing that some projects will take land out of agriculture, several strategies for good land stewardship encourage continued involvement of local landowners in managing project lands. The name of the Tool Box has been changed to recognize that some of the strategies are agricultural stewardship strategies and some are land stewardship strategies.

Some of the comments we received asked for clarification of who the strategies are directed to and how they should be applied.  The ALS Framework and Strategies can provide project proponents and those affected by the projects with a collaborative approach for addressing impacts associated with the use of agricultural land for project purposes and the conversion of agricultural land to different uses, especially uses that continue an open space use of the land.  The ALS Framework and Strategies encourage the exploration of a voluntary process that encourages project proponents and other interested parties in pursuing mutually beneficial solutions that are based on the following fundamental premises:

  • provide the environmental and habitat benefits that are part of the project
  • are consistent with state and regional polices
  • provide opportunities for farmers to stay on the land
  • maintain agricultural and economic viability in the area where the project is located

We would like to get your input on this latest draft. Throughout this website and the associated documents, you will find various surveys requesting your feedback. Please share your thoughts, so that we can do our best to incorporate your input in upcoming documents. Comments received will be considered in subsequent versions of the strategy paper and be treated as public records.

If you have general comments, such as those on this approach or the website, please submit on the following link: General Survey. Otherwise, for your comments related to potential strategies, please click here or submit through the links located at the end of each strategy page. 

Please feel free to contact DWRAgriculturalStewardshipInfo@water.ca.gov  if you would like to discuss this further. 

Copies of each ALS Strategy can be printed from each strategy page.  Please click here for a PDF version of the Overview and the Framework and Strategies.

What's new?
We have made a number of changes and addition since October 2013.  Here is a short summary of what's new:

  • We changed the numbering of the Table of ALS strategies. In order to identify what is new or revised and what has not changed, we have done the following:
    • The title in the Table will (1) have a date, (2) show whether the strategy is new or revised since the October 2013 listing, and (3) indicate the number of the strategy in the October 2013 listing.
    • Each strategy has a title and date at the end of the strategy.  Those strategies that have not changed since October 29, 2013 will continue to have that date. All the new or revised listings will have a June 10. 2014 date.
    • We have modified some of the titles. 
    • The text in strategies identified as "No change" are the same as those that were on the October 29, 2013 listing except that references to other strategies have been changed to match the new Table and the reference to BDCP has been deleted.
  • We have revised or added the following:
    • Overview
    • Table of Framework and Strategies
    • IA Incorporate Toolbox of ALS Strategies into planning processes (revised)
    • IB Develop ALS Plans for projects (revised)
    • Reinvigorate County Weed Management Areas (revised)
    • Prioritize weeds and other pests for area-wide control (revised)
    • Establish good neighbor policies (revised)
    • Provide "take" coverage for neighboring lands (revised)
    • Support local efforts to reduce nuisance and illegal activities (new)
    • Provide incentives for farmers and landowners to take part in market-based conservation programs (revised)
    • Investigate options to designate subsidence reduction and carbon sequestration crops as agricultural production for regulatory and incentive purposes (new)
    • Public advisor for government projects (new)
    • Early project planning (new)
    • Involve farmers and landowners in project planning (new)
    • Reduce impacts on land (new)
    • Reduce impacts on ground water levels (new)
    • Mitigate for conversion of agricultural land (new)
    • Implementation and funding (new)
    • Coordinate with local planning efforts (new)
    • Implement actions required by the Williamson Act (new)
    • BDCP Impacts and Mitigation Measures (new)
    • California Litigation on Agricultural Resources (new)