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Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Program - Acquisition Grant

Grants to California Agencies, Nonprofits,
and Tribes for Land Preservation Efforts

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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California Department of Conservation (DOC) - Division of Land Resource Protection

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

09/10/21 11:59 PM


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Grants to California government agencies, nonprofit organizations, conservation districts, and tribes for preservation initiatives. Applicants are required to submit a preliminary application prior to submitting a full proposal. Funding is intended to support land acquisition in order to protect important agricultural lands under threat of conversion to non-agricultural uses.

Agricultural Conservation Acquisitions Grants are 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.

Under the Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds Third Investment Plan Executive and Executive Order N-82-20, California aims to invest California Climate Investment dollars in the conservation of working lands in order to facilitate net climate benefits and long term carbon sequestration in the land base. Preventing the conversion of agricultural land to residential or rural residential development avoids vehicle miles traveled and related greenhouse gas emissions.

Eligible Projects:

Agricultural conservation acquisition grants will be provided to fund the purchase of conservation easements or fee title to agricultural land. Agricultural intensification restrictions on non-cultivated land are permitted if each of the following conditions is met:

  • The restriction is consistent with the property’s continuing agricultural use, and
  • Agricultural use of the property is not substantially impaired.

For examples of eligible projects and a list of eligible costs, see

SALC Goals and Objectives are available at

These Guidelines prioritize projects that:

  • Demonstrate the greatest potential to protect lands most at risk of conversion to residential or urban development,
  • Avoid GHG emissions,
  • Contribute to carbon neutrality and build climate resilience,
  • Promote equity (for more information about equity and priority populations, see,
  • Promote nature-based solutions and agricultural sustainability,
  • Protect biodiversity,
  • Support land use planning processes consistent with the goals of AHSC,
  • Support or improve public health, and
  • Provide multiple co-benefits. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 152896

Estimated Size of Grant:

There is no maximum award for Acquisition grants.

All projects awarded funding are eligible to receive up to $10,000, in addition to the funding toward the acquisition and associated costs, to develop a management plan for the property, or up to $20,000 to develop a carbon farm plan for the property.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Cities, counties, nonprofit organizations, resource conservation districts, regional park or open-space districts, regional park or open-space authorities, and California Native American tribes, as identified in Civil Code Section 815.3, are eligible to apply for funding.

An application can be submitted by either (1) a single applicant where the applicant is the intended easement holder or intended conservation buyer or (2) multiple entities that are collaborating on the acquisition, one of which must be identified as the intended easement holder or intended conservation buyer. The easement holder/conservation buyer must have the conservation of agriculture, rangeland, or farmland among their stated purposes, as is prescribed by statute, or as expressed in the entity's adopted policies. The applicant and co-applicant cannot already have an interest in the property.

Nonprofit applicants that intend to be the easement or fee title holder of the acquired property must be accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission or have adopted equivalent or greater policies regarding conflict of interest, amendments, monitoring, stewardship endowments, and enforcement, as relevant, prior to submission of an application. Those that haven’t must apply with either a co-applicant that has such policies in place or a government entity.

Nonprofit organizations must hold a tax exemption as defined under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code and further qualify under Internal Revenue Code Sections 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) or 170(h)(3).

Ineligible Associated Costs:
- Costs incurred outside the grant term
- Indirect or overhead costs
- Travel
- Ceremonial expenses
- Expenses for publicity
- Bonus payments of any kind
- Interest expenses
- Damage judgments arising from the acquisition, construction, or equipping of a facility, whether determined by judicial process, arbitration, negotiation, or otherwise
- Services, materials, or equipment obtained under any other State program
- Real estate brokerage fees and/or expenses
- Stewardship or legal defense funds
- CEQA documentation
- Food or beverages (whether or not incurred as part of meetings, workshops, training, ceremonies, or other events)

Pre-proposal Conference:

Pre-proposal Workshop (Round 7 Acquisition Grants)
Online workshop - May 4, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Interested in submitting a pre-proposal to the program? Join this online workshop to learn more about the pre-proposal and application process. Please familiarize yourself with the guidelines and the pre-proposal & application requirements in advance of the meeting. Register here:

Listening Session #1: Tuesday, April 20, 2021
10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
Register here:

Listening Session #2: Wednesday, April 28, 2021
5:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.
Register here:

Listening Session #3: Wednesday, May 26, 2021
10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Register here:

SALC Listening Sessions: Advancing Racial Equity:
The workshops are conversational by design and will focus on gathering input for meaningful opportunities to address racial inequities regarding access to, tenure on, and ownership of agricultural land.

Pre-Application Information:

Submittal of a pre-proposal worksheet for prospective grant applications is mandatory to be eligible for SALC acquisition funding. Grant applications are due September 10, 2021 and will not be accepted unless a pre-proposal worksheet was received for the project by the June 1, 2021 deadline. Pre-proposals and applications must be received electronically by 11:59 p.m. on the deadlines.

Key Dates
- ​​​​​Draft Guidelines released for comment - February 19​, 2021
- Public comment closed – March 23​, 2021, 12 PM
- Guidelines adopted – April 29, 2021

Round 7 Acquisition Grants (proposed dates, subject to change)
- Pre-Proposal Workshop – Spring 2021
- Pre-Proposals due – June 1, 2021
- Applications due – September 10, 2021
- Awards announced – December 2021

Round 7 Draft Grant Agreement (Acquisition grants):
Round 7 Guidelines (Edits Tracked)​​​:

Workshop PowerPoint presentation:

Click here to view the video of the Pre-proposal Workshop (Round 7 Acquisition Grants):

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Applicants must submit the entire application to the Department via email at

Department of Conservation
Division of Land Resource Protection
Virginia Jameson, Program Manager

Grant Coverage Areas:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California

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