Cover photo for California Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program

California Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (CA-SALC)

California Department of Conservation

Closed July 21, 2023

The SALC Program supports agricultural land conservation, economic growth, and sustainable development by providing grants for three types of projects:

  • Land Use Planning grants that support the development of local and regional land use policies and economic development strategies to protect critical agricultural land

  • Agricultural Conservation Acquisition grants to permanently protect croplands, rangelands, and lands utilized for the cultivation of traditional resources from conversion to non-agricultural uses.​

  • Capacity and Project Development grants to expand organizational capacity to develop agricultural conservation acquisition projects.

The program invests in agricultural land conservation with revenue from the California Climat​e ​Inv​estments (CCI) Fund​, made available for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing additional benefits to California communities. CCI is derived from quarterly cap-and-trade auction proceeds, which are administered by the California Air Resources Board. 

Three types of grants are offered as a part of this program:

  • Agricultural Conservation Acquisition Capacity Funding – Grants to develop agricultural conservation easement and fee acquisition projects and/or cover associated costs to help close acquisition projects where the cost of the acquisition is covered by an alternate source of funding.

  • Agricultural Conservation Acquisitions – Grants to protect important agricultural lands under threat of conversion to nonagricultural uses through the acquisition of voluntary, permanent agricultural conservation easements (easements) or fee title purchases. Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program Final Program Guidelines - April 2023 2

  • Agricultural Conservation Planning – Grants to develop and implement plans for the protection of agricultural lands under pressure of being converted to non-agricultural uses.

The Department of Conservation works in cooperation with the Natural Resources Agency and the SGC to implement the program. ​


Cities, counties, non-profit organizations, resource conservation districts, regional park or open-space districts, regional park or open-space authorities, and federally recognized California Native American tribe or a nonfederally recognized California Native American tribe that is on the contact list maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission, are eligible to apply.

Application Instructions

Read the SALC Guidelines to determine what kind of project you wish to apply for, then submit the required materials by email to


Release Date

April 26, 2023


July 21, 2023

Financial Instrument


Minimum Award Amount


Maximum Award Amount


Updated April 5, 2024

Image Credit: Hannah Coleman

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