Land Trust conserving working ranches in Sierra Valley

Feather River Land Trust is currently accepting applications from landowners in Sierra Valley interested in conserving their working ranches. The program is designed to conserve agricultural lands and protect the unique natural heritage of Sierra Valley.

Since 1999, landowners have worked with nonprofit land trusts and public agencies to conserve over 40,000 acres of ranch land in and adjacent to Sierra Valley for the benefit of current and future generations. By 2014, Feather River Land Trust had a waiting list of landowners interested in conserving their properties, but the amount of public funding for conservation easements had not kept pace.

In 2015 the Feather River Land Trust, the Northern Sierra Partnership and The Nature Conservancy teamed up to secure additional funding to conserve working ranches in Sierra Valley. The partners applied for funding through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Regional Conservation Partnership Project.

In 2016, the partners learned that their request for $9 million in funding for Agricultural Land Easements in Sierra Valley had been approved. These federal dollars will fund up to 50 percent of the appraised value of eligible easements, with the other 50 percent to be raised by the nonprofit partners from other state and local sources.

An Agricultural Land Easement is a permanent conservation easement held by an eligible entity, such as a local land trust, that is funded in part by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The land trust is responsible for administering the conservation easement. The purpose of ALE is to protect the agricultural viability and related conservation values of eligible land by limiting future uses.

The deadline to submit a Statement of Interest form is Friday, Nov. 17.

For further information about the Sierra Valley Conservation Partnership Project or to request a project brochure, contact Shelton Douthit at the Feather River Land Trust, 283-5758.