Farmer/Rancher and Rural Landowner Programs
Based on the Conservation Partnership’s long standing commitment to the agriculture community and its heritage in Alameda County, the Partnership develops and participates in many diverse agricultural programs and services that help to address the needs and aspirations of the agriculture industry, its resources and its families. The Partnership’s agriculture programs use the complementary capacities of the District and the NRCS and their numerous partners who are also committed to the working landscape - agriculture and natural resources.
The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Farm Bill) is legislation that includes funding for conservation and for focusing on environmental issues. It represents the single most significant commitment of resources toward conservation on private lands in the Nation’s history. Responding to a broad range of emerging natural resource challenges, including soil erosion, wetlands, wildlife habitat, farmland protection, and more, the Farm Bill provides assistance to farmers, ranchers and landowners through cost-share, land rental, incentive payments, and technical assistance to protect and restore natural resources on their lands. The Farm Bill places a strong emphasis on the conservation of working lands, to ensure that land remain both healthy and productive and to conserve the long-term quality of our environment and natural resources. Conservation programs under the Farm Bill are administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
- EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program)
- WHIP (Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program)
- GRP (Grassland Reserve Program)
The Alameda County Conservation Partnership has developed a planning program to help landowners identify the conservation values of their property and connect these landowners with mitigating entities that require these conservation values for mitigation. Working in the middle and connecting these two entities while facilitating discussions with the regulatory agencies helps speed the mitigation process.
Livestock ponds have become important aquatic habitat for local wildlife, especially the federally threatened California Red-legged Frog and California Tiger Salamander. Many of these ponds were created decades ago and now require repair. We have partnered with the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the Environmental Defense Fund to create the Wildlife-friendly Pond Program to help ranchers repair the ponds while enhancing habitat.
In order to accelerate and accomplish conservation projects and to use available NRCS cost share funds, the Conservation Partnership and multiple partners established this important program, streamlining and reducing the costs for the permitting process.
The Conservation Partnership recognizes the need to improve the regulatory environment that impacts the decisions and economics on every farm and ranch. The District contributes as a participant and liaison to the public process as well as a leader for change in the permitting process.
The RCD has been assisting equine facility owners and managers, equestrians, and agency staff involved in equestrian issues in Alameda County, with natural resources management for over 10 years.
The EACCS is a collaborative effort to preserve endangered species by developing a shared vision for long-term habitat protection.