|Title||Analysis reveals potential rangeland impacts if Williamson Act eliminated|
|File Options||PDF | Additional Information|
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|Abstract||California budget cuts have resulted in dramatic reductions in state funding for the Williamson Act, a land protection program that reduces property taxes for the owners of 15 million acres of California farms and rangeland. With state reimbursements to counties eliminated, the decision to continue Williamson Act contracts lies with individual counties. We investigated the consequences of eliminating the Williamson Act, using a geospatial analysis and a mail questionnaire asking ranchers for plans under a hypothetical elimination scenario. The geospatial analysis revealed that 72% of rangeland parcels enrolled in Williamson Act contracts contained habitat important for statewide conservation goals. Presented with the elimination scenario, survey respondents reported an intention to sell 20% of their total 496,889 acres. The tendency of survey participants to respond that they would sell land was highest among full-time ranchers with low household incomes and without off-ranch employment. A majority (76%) of the ranchers who reported that they would sell land predicted that the buyers would develop it for nonagricultural uses, suggesting substantial changes to California's landscape in a future without the Williamson Act.|
Wetzel, William C. : W.C. Wetzel is Doctoral Candidate, Department of Evolution and Ecology, UC Davis
Lacher, Iara L. : I.L. Lacher is Doctoral Candidate, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, UC Davis
Swezey, Daniel S. : D.S. Swezey is Doctoral Candidate, Department of Evolution and Ecology, UC Davis
Moffitt, Sarah E. : S.E. Moffitt is Doctoral Candidate, UC Bodega Marine Laboratory, Bodega Bay
Manning, Dale T. : D.T. Manning is Doctoral Candidate, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Davis.
|Publication Date||Oct 1, 2012|
|Date Added||Oct 30, 2012|
|Copyright||© The Regents of the University of California|
Three-quarters of surveyed ranchers who would sell land if they lost Williamson Act tax benefits predicted that it would be developed for nonagricultural uses.
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