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Funding

The FMMP is funded through the state's Soil Conservation Fund. This fund receives revenues from Land Conservation Act (Williamson Act) contract cancellation fees. Statutes specify partial use of these cancellation fees to fund the FMMP. 

As a result of the 2007 recession, cancellation fees dipped precipitously.  Unfortunately this led to the redirection of the majority of FMMP's staff to other programs in the Department as of March 2012.  Subsequent efforts to obtain alternate and more diverse sources of funds have led to the return of a portion of the staff in 2013, although it is unlikely that a complete set of 2012 Important Farmland Maps will be available.  The San Joaquin Valley and other high value, high land use conversion locations will be updated.  Continuing efforts are underway to reinvigorate the program to the consistency it has maintained for more than two decades.   

Pertinent Legislation and Statutory Authority

Government Code Section 51283(d) Provides for deposition of moneys into the Soil Conservation Fund, and when appropriated, for "total cost of the farmland mapping and monitoring program of the Department of Conservation..." and for other specified purposes.
Government Code Section 65570(b) Requires the Department of Conservation to collect or acquire information on the amount of land converted to or from agricultural use for every mapped county and to report this information to the Legislature. This report is due biennially (every two years) on or before June 30 of every even-numbered year.

Requires the Department of Conservation to update and send counties copies of current farmland maps by August 1 of each even-numbered year. Counties have the option to review the maps and notify the Department of any changes in agricultural land and request correction of any discrepancies or errors in the classification of agricultural lands on the maps.

Provides that the Department of Conservation may acquire supplemental information from new soil surveys and establish comparable baseline data for counties not included in the original 1984 mapping. The Department is required to report on this data.

Provides that the Department of Conservation may prepare Interim Farmland maps for areas of the state without modern soil surveys. These maps will be used to supplement the Important Farmland Series maps which are based on soil quality information derived from modern soil surveys.

Public Resources Code Section 612 Requires the Department to prepare, update, and maintain Important Farmland Series Maps and other soils and land capability information.

Requires the Department to prepare and maintain an automated map and data base system (GIS) to record and report changes in the use of agricultural lands.

Public Resources Code Section 21060.1
(California Environmental Quality Act; CEQA)
Defines agricultural land for the purposes of assessing CEQA environmental impacts using the FMMP Important Farmland Map categories.
Business and Professions Code Section 11010 Requires Right to Farm disclosure on property within one mile of agricultural land as mapped by FMMP.
Civil Code Section 1103.4 Expert responsibility in determining Right to Farm disclosure status.