A new research paper outlines potential plans for the farmland to be fallowed in the San Joaquin Valley as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is implemented over the next 20 years.
The researchers, led by The Nature Conservancy and Stanford University, consider the best strategies for restoring habitat for endangered species. This would mean consolidating retired parcels into about 24,000 acres of “high-quality habitat.”
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The authors note that The Nature Conservancy and Audubon California are already working with a local agency in the valley to apply the study’s results. They plan to restore land for upland habitat or for recharge basins that would increase water supply and provide wetland habitat.
The researchers hope to apply these lessons to boosting biodiversity in other water-stressed agricultural regions of the world.