Agricultural Conservation & Preservation

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is committed to working with local, state and federal agencies and local stakeholders to develop a high-speed rail system that preserves open spaces and environmental resources that make California golden.

Department of Conservation Agreement

On November 15, 2012, the Authority Board of Directors approved an agreement with the Department of Conservation (DOC) for implementing agricultural preservation. This agreement will identify suitable agricultural land for mitigation of project impacts and fund the purchase of agricultural conservation easements from willing participants. On November 25, 2014, the DOC and the Authority announced that they would begin soliciting farmland mitigation proposals. To learn more about this program, please visit the Department of Conservation’s Agricultural Land Mitigation Program webpage.

Authority and Madera/Merced County Agricultural Interest Settlement

In April 2013, the Authority, the Madera County Farm Bureau, Merced County Farm Bureau, Chowchilla Water District, Preserve Our Heritage and the Fagundes parties announced that they have reached a settlement agreement, ending the final California Environmental Quality Act lawsuit challenging the Merced to Fresno project section Environmental Impact Report. The settlement agreement is a mutually beneficial agreement that integrates local expertise into the agricultural mitigation for the project section and provides protections for the agricultural community in Madera and Merced County and the Central Valley. The agreement provides for the preservation of important farmland and mitigation of effects of high-speed rail construction on agricultural operations. This includes a $4 million agriculture and land management fund.

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