A New Method is Used to Evaluate the Strategic Value of Fresno County Farmland

TitleA New Method is Used to Evaluate the Strategic Value of Fresno County Farmland
Publication TypeJournal Article
Schmidt EE
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Secondary AuthorsThorne JH, Huber PR, Roth NE, Thompson E, McCoy MC
Year of Publication2010

Fresno County is a rich agricultural area that faces rapid urbanization and farmland conversion. The county is participating in a strategic, multi-county planning initiative aimed at making sustainable and regionally cohesive land-use decisions. To inform this effort, we conducted a farmland conservation assessment and identified strategic farmlands for prioritization in future conservation efforts. We identified environmental and human predictor variables that affect the viability of existing farmland, used a geographic information system (GIS) to integrate them, and created a countywide strategic farmland conservation map. We compared our analysis to status quo methods of prioritization and found that with our model the spatial output of highly valued farmland was shifted, narrowed and located adjacent to some of the county's most urbanized areas. These findings are influencing growth policies and farmland conservation planning in Fresno County.

Start Page129
JournalCalifornia Agriculture
Journal Date07/2010
Citation Key926