Marin Agricultural Land Trust Announces Push to Protect 100,000 Acres of Farmland by 2040
Pt. Reyes Station, Calif. – On Saturday, May 19, 2018, Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) launched a campaign—Farmland Forever—to protect 100,000 acres of Marin’s farmland by 2040. With farmland disappearing at an astonishing rate across the United States—175 acres an hour between 1992 and 2012 according to a recent report by the American Farmland Trust— MALT’s campaign will combat that reality in Marin County. To accomplish what they propose, MALT plans to double their current pace of acquiring conservation easements on the county’s farms and ranches.
The Farmland Forever campaign aims to protect nearly all of Marin’s remaining private farmland from non-agricultural development with conservation easements. The resources and protections that MALT easements provide enable landowners to reinvest in their businesses and implement sustainable agricultural practices. Additionally, with land values on the rise in Marin as they are Bay Area-wide, MALT easements often make it possible for ranchers to keep their farms in the family as they hand them down from one generation to the next and navigate the financial challenges that can entail.
The Farmland Forever campaign will strengthen MALT’s commitment sustainable agricultural practices and innovative carbon farming techniques; through its Stewardship Assistance Program, MALT will provide technical and financial support to landowners as they tackle complex projects—including carbon farming to fight climate change, protecting native wildlife, and preserving watersheds for salmon habitat.
This past January, MALT passed the halfway point toward its goal of protecting 100,000 acres with the protection of 609-acre Furlong Ranch in Marshall, CA. Now they have set their sights on protecting the 50,000 acres of Marin farmland that are still at risk of non-agricultural development. Private funds raised by MALT for this campaign will be matched by public funding from such sources as Marin County’s Farmland Preservation Program and others.
“With land values continuing to escalate beyond what farmers can afford and generational transfer on the rise, this next phase of our work will be critical,” says MALT Executive Director Jamison Watts. “By digging deep and picking up the pace, we will continue to build and protect a lasting legacy of healthy farms and ranches, healthy watersheds and wildlife and the economies and communities they sustain.”
About MALT: Marin Agricultural Land Trust is a member-supported nonprofit organization created in 1980 to permanently preserve Marin County farmland. Some of the Bay Area’s most highly acclaimed dairy and meat products and organic crops are produced on farmland protected by MALT, which totals 52,589 acres on 85 family farms and ranches. To learn more about MALT, visit www.malt.org.
Connect with MALT on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube.
Media Contact: Haven Bourque, Haven@HavenBMedia.com c: 415-505-3473.
High-resolution photos available upon request.