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California gets $22 million from USDA for conservation program

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that $328 million in conservation funding (more than $22 million to California) is being invested to help landowners protect and restore key farmlands, grasslands and wetlands across the nation.

The USDA initiative will benefit wildlife and promote outdoor recreation and related sectors of the economy.

“Conservation easements help farmers and ranchers protect valuable agricultural lands from development, restore lands that are best suited for grazing, and return wetlands to their natural conditions,” Vilsack said. “These easements are making a dramatic and positive impact for our food supply, rural communities and species habitat.”

The funding is provided through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), which was created in the 2014 Farm Bill to protect critical wetlands and encourage producers to keep lands in farming and ranching.

Approximately 380 projects nationwide were selected to protect and restore 32,000 acres of prime farmland, 45,000 acres of grasslands and 52,000 acres of wetlands.

In addition to protecting cropland and critical habitats, conservation strengthens outdoor recreation and helps boost the economy.

According to the National Fish and Wildlife Federation, annual United States conservation spending totals $38.8 billion, but it produces $93.2 billion of economic output throughout the economy – 2.4 times more than what is put in.

This output takes the form of more than 660,500 jobs, $41.6 billion in income and a $59.7 billion contribution to national Gross Domestic Product, or GDP.

Through ACEP, private or tribal landowners and eligible conservation partners working with landowners can request assistance from USDA to protect and enhance agricultural land through an agricultural or wetland easement.

These easements deliver many long-term benefits. For example, this year’s projects will:

– Improve water quality and wetland storage capacity in the California Bay Delta region;
– Reduce flooding along the Mississippi and Red rivers;
– Provide and protect habitat for threatened, endangered and at-risk species including sage grouse, bog turtles, Florida panthers, Louisiana black bear, and whooping cranes to recover populations and reduce regulatory burdens; and
– Protect prime agricultural land under high risk of development in urban areas to help secure the nation’s food supply and jobs in the agricultural sector.

ACEP consolidates three former Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) easement programs – Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program, Grasslands Reserve Program and Wetlands Reserve Program – into two components. One component protects farmlands and grasslands, and the other protects and restores agricultural wetlands.

 

California surpasses 100,000 plug-in car sales; Californians buying 40 percent of nation’s plug-in cars

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California sped past a major mile-marker this week – selling more than 100,000 plug-in cars since the market started in 2010, according to the Califo...

Yuba College to host food service industry open house

CLEARLAKE, Calif. – The culinary faculty and staff at Yuba College-Clear Lake Campus is hosting a food service industry open house on Tuesday, Sept. 23.

The open house wil...

Controller releases August 2014 cash update

SACRAMENTO – State Controller John Chiang on Tuesday released his monthly report covering California's cash balance, receipts and disbursements in August 2014.

Total reven...

Livestock producers urged to enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014,...

Beet Curly Top Virus Control Program Advisory Board vacancies announced

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Integrated Pest Control Branch is announcing one vacancy on the Beet Curly Top Virus Control Board.

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Six Sigma Ranch announces free Pinzgauer tours to celebrate harvest season

Six Sigma Ranch announces free Pinzgauer tours to celebrate harvest season

LOWER LAKE, Calif. – Six Sigma Ranch & Winery of Lower Lake will give free Pinzgauer tours to celebrate the 2014 harvest season in September and October. 

This op...

California State Board of Food and Agriculture to discuss climate change and CDFA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

SACRAMENTO – The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will discuss climate change and CDFA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program at its upcoming meeting on Tuesd...

Six Sigma Ranch Sauvignon Blanc selected by More Magazine with 'Women of the Vine'

 Six Sigma Ranch Sauvignon Blanc selected by More Magazine with 'Women of the Vine'

LOWER LAKE, Calif. – Six Sigma Winery’s 2013 Sauvignon Blanc was selected to be featured in More Magazine’s Wine Selection for the month of August.

This magazine features ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 August 2014 23:53 )

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