Protect and Preserve County Lands
Protect, restore, and preserve working agricultural lands for current and future generations.
Measure A: Farmland Preservation Grants
In 2012, Marin voters passed Measure A, and in 2022 renewed it for an additional 9 years. Measure A funds Farmland Preservation Grants, which help protect working farms and ranches in Marin. The chart below shows that since 2014, 6,693 acres of Marin farmland have been preserved. Farmland Preservation Grants, with matching funds from non-profit partners, are used to purchase permanent conservation easements of properties in productive agriculture use, through voluntary transactions with landowners. Some of these properties have been working ranches for several generations. In addition to protecting Marin's agricultural industry, these ranch lands provide important open space habitat and land corridors to help wildlife thrive. An estimated 70% of California’s most rare, threatened, and endangered plants and animals live on private land. Learn more about Parks Measure A.
Case Study: Ielmorini Ranch
In 2018, Marin County Parks worked with Marin Agricultural Land Trust to protect 758-acre Ielmorini Back Ranch. This connected two separate areas of protected farmland, forming a new, contiguous 14,383-acre block of protected private land. These 14,383 acres provide vital habitat for native plants and animals. They’re also part of an important wildlife corridor spanning from the hills above the San Geronimo Valley to inland Sonoma County and Mount Saint Helena, providing an essential thoroughfare for migration. And it is home to the headwaters of Arroyo Sausal, which nourishes pristine redwood groves.
Working in Collaboration
As of 2022, the Farmland Preservation program was instrumental in preserving twelve working agricultural properties in Marin, totaling 7416.4 acres. Property values in the Bay Area continue to rise, making this preservation program increasingly important.
Farmland preservation takes place in collaboration with local non-profit organizations. Matching funds and administrative partnerships amplify the impact of Measure A funds. Also, the management of these lands remains with the working ranch families. After an agricultural easement is in place, no ongoing management costs are incurred by the County.
The chart below shows each of the thirteen conservation easements purchased, and the amount of funding from Parks Measure A and non-profit partners.