new study commissioned by the California Rangeland Trust finds that more than 300,000 acres of rangeland under conservation easements in the state provide up to $1.4 billion in ecosystem benefits.

They support wildlife habitat, climate benefits, food and water supplies. The easements return $3.47 for every dollar invested.

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“When rangelands are sold for development, land uses and ownerships are fragmented, putting ecosystems at risk and preventing responsible ranching practices,” writes CDFA Secretary Karen Ross in an accompanying op-ed she co-authored in CalMatters Thursday.