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Alarming Farm And Ranch Losses In State Push Conservation Efforts

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Wallace, CA – Noting that California is losing farms and ranches at an alarming rate, the California Rangeland Trust is celebrating the conservation of the 500-acre Yates Ranch in Calaveras County.

According to trust officials, in 2022, the Yates family partnered with the trust to place a conservation easement on the property, safeguarding its integrity against future development. The ranch on Highway 12 in Wallace is the hub for the Yates family’s cattle enterprise and supports a thriving habitat for diverse wildlife species.

“The partnership between the Rangeland Trust and the Yates family exemplifies the linkage between conservation and stewardship of private working lands, maintaining biodiversity, and fostering healthy ecosystems, trust officials said.

California is losing farms and ranches at an alarming rate, with 465,900 acres of farmland and ranchland being developed or converted to other uses between 2001 and 2016. The Rangeland Trust has been at the forefront of conservation efforts, protecting 394,000 acres of rangeland throughout the Golden State. Over the past two years, the Trust has partnered with three additional Calaveras County ranching families to conserve over 900 acres, adding to the over 8,000 acres already conserved. We reported here last year of another ranch in Valley Springs that had collaborated with the trust to preserve an American Wagyu cattle ranch.

“Thanks to the partnership between the Yates family, the Rangeland Trust, and the various funding entities, the land and its productivity will remain forever intact to benefit future generations of people, livestock, and wildlife, stated trust officials.

The Trust collaborated with key groups to fund the conservation of Yates Ranch, using the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) and the California Strategic Growth Council’s Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALC) funds from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. SALC, using cap-and-trade dollars, is a key component of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment.

This Friday, April 19, the Yates family is holding a celebration at the ranch along Highway 12.