Butte County Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Strategy Wins APA California Planning Award
What is the SALC Strategy?
The SALC Strategy is a set of living tools and information intended to assist farmers, ranchers, and other members of the public in voluntarily conserving agricultural lands, and in implementing farming and ranching practices that will help achieve the key sustainability goals of carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, water conservation, and groundwater recharge. Sustainable farming and ranching practices not only benefit the environment but can benefit agricultural producers as well. There are financial incentives available to farmers who switch to sustainable practices. Butte County has identified these incentives and produced a library of information to connect producers to these incentive programs. On October 24, 2017, the Board of Supervisors approved the SALC Strategy for Butte County Resolution 17-182 (PDF). Click on any of the links on this page to learn more about Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation in Butte County.
Introduction to the Butte County Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Strategy
Agricultural Lands Conservation
Key Goals of the SALC Strategy
The Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Strategy was created to conserve agricultural lands in Butte County while achieving four key goals:
Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs) Reductions
View the information below to find out more about achieving these sustainability goals; including financial incentives available to farmers, ranchers, and property owners for implementing key sustainable agricultural practices.
Carbon sequestration is the process by which carbon is stored in the soil through plant intake, lifecycle, and decomposition. Farming and ranching practices that sequester carbon lock it in the vegetation and soil, offsetting GHG emissions. Rangelands are prime candidates for carbon sequestration. Butte County has large areas of rangelands. Ranching practices that sequester carbon, such as compost applications or rotational grazing, provide both agricultural and environmental benefits. Rangelands can sequester nearly twice as much carbon as forest lands (NRCS).
Carbon Sequestration: SALC Strategy Goals
Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. The most common GHGs are carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. These three gases are natural byproducts of agricultural production. Butte County has a large agricultural land base. While these lands produce a higher amount of GHG emissions overall, on a per-acre basis Butte County's agricultural lands are one of the lower producers of GHG emissions. Per acre, Butte County's agricultural lands produce less than one-sixth of the GHG emissions of urban land uses.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions: SALC Strategy Goals
Water conservation can reduce water usage for irrigation. Butte County is susceptible to drought during dry periods. Water conservation helps prepare for these drought periods by pumping less water from aquifers beforehand and helping producers to implement practices that are especially beneficial during drought. Water conservation practices can reduce water usage while maintaining crop quality.
Water Conservation: SALC Strategy Goals
Groundwater recharge is the process of surface water infiltrating into the soil to replenish underground aquifers. These underground aquifers rely on a give-and-take system: as water is pumped from the aquifers it must also be replaced by the environment. Protecting recharge areas will ensure a healthy future for our agricultural lands.
Groundwater Recharge: SALC Strategy Goals
Financial Incentives for Farmers & Ranchers
Sustainable farming and ranching practices not only benefit the environment but can benefit agricultural producers as well. There are financial incentives available to farmers who switch to sustainable practices. Butte County has identified these incentives and produced a library of information to connect producers to these incentive programs. Visit the links below for more information on these financial incentive programs or to see if your property may qualify.
Financial Incentives for Ranching: Compost Applications
Financial Incentives for Ranching: Grassland Conservation
Financial Incentives for Rice Cultivation: Dry Seeding and Straw Baling
Financial Incentives for Rice Cultivation: Dry Seeding and Early Drainage
Additional Information On Composting
Follow these links for information on the benefits of adding compost to grasslands, as well as programs that help farmers and ranchers achieve these benefits.
Healthy Soils Program
Other Incentive Programs
Other programs exist that offer financial incentives to farmers and landowners for practices that work towards the sustainability goals of the SALC Strategy. The Natural Resources Conservation Service connects farmers and landowners to a variety of programs with incentives for various land management practices. Learn more about some of these programs through the links below:
The statements and conclusions of this report are those of the Grantee, Collaborating Partner, and/or Subcontractor and not necessarily those of the California Strategic Growth Council or of the California Department of Conservation or its employees. The California Strategic Growth Council and the California Department of Conservation make no warranties, express or implied, and assume no liability for the information contained in the succeeding text.