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A key environmental challenge not only in the Central Valley but also in all of California is how to protect and preserve both the regions agricultural resources and its coastal boundaries California is a unique state we are basically a bunch of statesseparate regions that are all encompassed under one defined boundary We have a large coastline industry agriculture mountains forests deserts valleys large and small cities and major interstate trade and transportation systems Two things distinguish our agricultural resources from others our coastline and our states geographic diversity in regards to other states As the state grows the question of where to put things is brought up The pressures of urban sprawl in California have been evident for many yearsThe combination of Californias growing environmental awareness and its refocus on agricultural importance have prompted many policy tools to protect not only agriculture but our coastlines as well Over the years many policy tools have been proposed some have been accepted and others for various reasons political economic and other have not Two existing tools for protecting agricultural lands and our coastlines are The Williamson ActLand Conservation Act and the California Coastal Act Each are intended to protect Californias resourcesTo combat the pressures of urban sprawl on Californias agricultural lands the California Land Conservation Act was passed in 1965 It was nicknamed the Williamson Act for its writer Assemblyman John Williamson of Bakersfield Mayer Fence 2 The law was originally designed to keep agricultural lands in agriculture This was proposed by offering property tax breaks for farmers and ranchers through a ten-year contract This idea of protecting privately owned farmland from development for ten years through an agreement between the farmers the county and the state appealed to manyThe popularity of this act is evident throughout California In Kern County there is more than 16 million acres of agricultural related land valley foothills mountains currently under contract Kern county represents grow by 2020 population in
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