On Tuesday, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to strengthen the protection and viability of agriculture in the County, including allocating up to $20 million annually (if available) from the year-end General Fund balance to acquire agricultural conservation easements. Please email the Supervisors to thank them for acting to preserve farmland in Santa Clara County!
Over the past three decades, Santa Clara County has lost over 21,000 acres of farmland and rangeland to development, and over 28,000 more acres could be lost in the future if we don’t take action. Local farmland not only provides us with local food, it is a key factor in reducing greenhouse gases. If we lose our open space and farmland, we will negate our other efforts at fighting climate change.
While the potential to allocate monies from the year-end General Fund balance is an important first step, the Board will need to identify a more reliable funding stream to preserve the approximately 12,000 acres of agricultural land most vulnerable to development. The Board is expected to discuss the issue in more depth during their budget sessions in May. We will let you know of any opportunity to weigh in on that discussion.
Committee for Green Foothills served on the Agricultural Preservation Task Force that provided the recommendations to the Board of Supervisors. The Task Force was formed to help guide the implementation of the Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan, a strategic plan adopted by the County in January 2018 for agricultural preservation and growth of the local farming economy to provide regional climate resilience.
Please join us in thanking the Supervisors for their vote to further the protection and viability of local agriculture using the form below.