Western Landowners Alliance 2
While city dwellers have an idea about the tough reality of running a farm or ranch, many people outside of the agriculture profession know very little about how critical it is to keep working lands working and profitable.
Landowners say as drought and wildfires become more regular in California, policy and programming should help them do the conservation work that must be done.
Western Landowners Alliance Executive Director Leslie Allen says there are some remarkable educational and incentive programs available to California farmers and ranchers. She says the National Resources Conservation Service is a front line agency.
“You see a partnership between the Point Blue Conservation and the NRCS to do rangeland health and habitat improvements. That’s a pretty exciting program and it’s got a lot of landowners involved. There’s a lot of good dialogue going on and monitoring. You have ranches like the Paicines Ranch and the TomKat Ranch doing all kinds of educational outreach and experiments , data collection and supporting biologists to collect the data we need to make good and informed decisions. So you have private ranches like that participating in those kinds of programs.”
The state wildlife agency also works with landowners through incentive programs. There are other groups such as the NRCS and Partners for Fish and Wildlife helping landowners in California.
Her group is urging lawmakers to consider how losing more agricultural lands to bankruptcy and development puts even more stress on undeveloped and wilderness areas.
She points to a new program that is emerging in a few states called “Conservation without Conflict.” We’ll have more on that program in a future report.