The Madera County GSA program builds on a Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program planning grant that was used to prioritize land to remain in agricultural use, and land for fallowing, based on recharge potential, soil quality and water supply. Funding will expand the plan regionally and explore the viability of additional land repurposing, such as habitat restoration, while using the majority of funding to provide incentive payments to landowners to repurpose marginal agricultural lands for multiple benefits and water savings. Projects will be focused on land around disadvantaged communities and include repurposing to dryland farming, rangeland, buffer zones, pollinators and hedgerows.

– Jesse Roseman, regulatory and environmental affairs principal analyst, Almond Board of California