Farmland Preservation Tool: Williamson Act

The Williamson Act is a critical farmland preservation tool in California. Loss of funding for the Williamson Act will negatively impact everyone in the state in some way. A recent study of cattle ranchers from UC Davis illustrates how critical wildlife habitat would be negatively impacted.

It appears counties like Marin and Sonoma with diverse tax bases and relatively few acres in the program will not make significant changes to their contracts. The impact on a county like Kern County will be significant because it relies heavily on agriculture production for its tax base and has over 50% of the county enrolled in the Williamson Act.

The rubber hits the road when farmers and ranchers have to sell their marginally productive land which will likely be developed for non agricultural uses.

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