“We have so little working farmland preserved in Nevada County…
If there is no preservation, how soon is it going to be before there is no Ag land to farm?”
– Cindy Fake, Horticulture Small Farms Advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension
Land for Farms – Preserving Local Agriculture
Since its earliest days, Bear Yuba Land Trust has worked to protect local farm and ranch land. BYLT remains dedicated to keeping this important legacy intact in a number of ways:
Protect the Land. Eliminate forever the development potential on a farm through the acquisition of an agricultural conservation easement in voluntary transactions with landowners
Provide Revenue to Farmers. The purchase of a conservation easement that may provide the financial support for farmers to retire their mortgage or invest in land improvements
Defense. Ensure conserved land will remain in agriculture forever by defending the easement in court if needed
Estate Tax Reduction. Provide for a reduction in estate tax burden for the next generation
Property Tax Reduction. Provide for a potential reduction in real estate taxes due to the decrease in development potential
Restoration Funding. Leverage private stewardship funding or raise public funding to help farmers implement costly conservation projects such as fencing sensitive habitat areas or upgrading infrastructure to improve water quality
Promote Local Farms. Promote public awareness and encourage policies which support and enhance agriculture such as the Williamson Act and the Farm Bill
Connect Journeyman Farmers to Landowners. Match ranchers with willing farm owners who have protected their land
3 Ways YOU CAN HELP Land for Farms
Land for Farms: Agricultural Easement on Your Land
If you have ranch or farm land, talk to BYLT about an agricultural conservation easement to permanently protect your land.
Land for Farms: Donor-Dedicated Fund Financial Support
If you care about our community’s heritage of farming, a secure local food source and the habitat protection that farms provide, you can help with financial support. Currently we have letters of intent from five farming families representing 1500 acres, and a lot more watching the progress of this program.
Your donation will:
- Help with matching funds for grant programs such as the new Farm Bill, which provides funds to purchase conservation easements. But it requires a 50/50 match from non-Federal sources.
- The average per acre cost of purchasing a conservation easement in Nevada and Yuba Counties is $3,500. Your tax-deductible contributions of $1,750 will provide a 50/50 match for the protection of an acre of farm land.
- All contributions are restricted for the use of purchasing conservation easements or building the Stewardship and Defense Endowment for farms.
Land for Farms: BYLT can link serious ranchers to the land
Some farmers with historic and sometimes significant land holdings desire to keep their land in agriculture but do not have heirs interested in farming. With the average age of a farmer at 58, time is working against them. There is increasing interest by a new generation of farmers. But often, viable business models meet insurmountable challenges by the lack of long-term access to land at affordable cost.
If you are a landowner consider helping build a Land Bank for young farmers with BYLT. If you are an experienced rancher and need grazing land, contact BYLT to see if land opportunities exist.
BYLT’s Proof of Commitment to Local Agriculture
- Garden Bar Preserve – 652-acre working cattle ranch on the Bear River
- Quail Ranch – 1060-acre working cattle ranch located west of Highway 49 and south of McCourtney Road
- Linden Lea/ Trabucco Ranch – 764-acre agricultural easement used as rangeland for Rancher Jim Gates and his sustainable food business, Nevada County Free Range Beef
- Pioneer Dawson Nichols Ranch – 553-acre historic ranch dating back to the 1850s located on the southern edge of the Spenceville Wildlife Area
- Wild Rock Ranch – 495-acre “working landscape” – a cattle ranch that provides scenic vistas, jobs and local food