The Department of Conservation (DOC) wants to hear from people about how to set up the $50 million Multibenefit Land Repurposing Program established by the legislature this year. The goal is to hear from stakeholders in the Central Valley about what uses they would like to see for acres removed from irrigated agricultural use. As the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is implemented, legislators estimate hundreds of thousands of acres will be fallowed. “That’s unavoidable at this point -- but the consequences don’t have to be,” said Asm. Robert Rivas (D-Salinas) in September. “I’m thrilled that the Legislature has established and funded this innovative new program via SB 170.  Proactively repurposing land will help protect our water, our environment, and our communities all at once.” Fallowed land could be used for recreation, ecological restoration or even cattle grazing, according to a white paper from the Environmental Defense Fund. DOC is holding virtual workshops, open to the public, on Nov. 30 from 10 am – noon and Dec. 2 from 2-5 pm.

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