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LESA in Yolo County, California. Land Evaluation and Site Assessment (LESA) in Yolo County Phil Hogan, District Conservationist USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service 221 W. Court, Suite 1 Woodland, CA 95695 phil.hogan@ca.usda.gov. LESA in Yolo County, California.

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lesa in yolo county california

LESA in Yolo County, California

Land Evaluation and Site Assessment

(LESA) in Yolo County

Phil Hogan, District Conservationist

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

221 W. Court, Suite 1

Woodland, CA 95695

phil.hogan@ca.usda.gov

lesa in yolo county california2
LESA in Yolo County, California
  • YOLO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA LOCATION
    • Lower part of Sacramento Valley
    • Land Area: 661,760 acres, or 1,034 square miles
    • Just northwest of Sacramento from I-5 or I-80

Yolo County

lesa in yolo county california3
LESA in Yolo County, California
  • YOLO COUNTY AGRICULTURE
    • 1,060 Farms
    • Average Size: 519 Acres
    • $333 million market value
    • Processing tomatoes biggest cash crop, then wine grapes
    • Ranks ~20th in California
    • 6% total county employment
    • Prime Farmland = 48% of the County ag land
    • Leader in direct marketing
    • Organic sector growing
lesa in yolo county california4
LESA in Yolo County, California
  • YOLO COUNTY MAJOR LAND USES
lesa in yolo county california5
LESA in Yolo County, California
  • REGIONAL GROWTH TRENDS
    • Yolo County is between rapidly growing Sacramento and Bay Areas
    • Until recently, major growth has bypassed Yolo County
    • Growth is rapidly increasing now:
      • ample supply of relatively inexpensive developable land
      • relatively inexpensive housing
      • good supply of water for industrial use
      • relatively low utility rates
      • perceived high quality of life
      • I-80, I-5, I-505 and SP Railroad all induce growth
lesa in yolo county california6
LESA in Yolo County, California
  • YOLO COUNTY POPULATION TREND
    • 2002 Population: 172,500
    • 2020 Projected Population: 262,400
    • This represents a 52% increase
lesa in yolo county california7
LESA in Yolo County, California
  • FARMLAND PROTECTION MEASURES IN YOLO COUNTY
    • Williamson Act and Farmland Security Zones: YES
    • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA): YES
    • General Plan Amendments: YES
    • Habitat Conservation Plan: YES
    • Right-to-Farm Ordinances: YES
    • Sphere of Influence: YES
    • Yolo Land Trust (Easements): YES
    • Local Land Evaluation and Site Assessment System (LESA): YES

Farmland

Protection

Measures

lesa in yolo county california8
LESA in Yolo County, California
  • BACKGROUND ON YOLO COUNTY LESA
    • LESA not widely used in California
    • Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) policies
    • NRCS approached LAFCO to show how LESA can help
    • LAFCO directed that LESA subcommittee be formed
    • Several meetings and field tested
    • Finalized by LAFCO board in 2000
    • State LESA model developed by Department of Conservation
    • Contact Dr. Charles Tyson (916) 324-0862
lesa in yolo county california9
LESA in Yolo County, California
  • YOLO COUNTY LESA SUBCOMMITTEE
    • Yolo County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO)
    • Yolo County Resource Conservation District
    • Yolo County Community Development Agency
    • SWCS University of California, Davis Student Club
    • California Department of Conservation (Chuck Tyson)
    • City of Davis
    • Yolo County Board of Supervisors
    • Cooperative Extension Service
    • Yolo Land Trust
    • Planning Consultants
    • Realtors, Farmers, Yolo County Farm Bureau, USDA NRCS

LESA

FACTORING

lesa in yolo county california10
LESA in Yolo County, California
  • INTRODUCTION TO YOLO COUNTY LESA
    • Lesa is a tool to identify the most important agricultural lands
    • Maximum score is 100
    • Land Evaluation Factors: 50 points
    • Site Assessment Factors: 50 points
    • Land Evaluation uses USDA LCC, UC Storie Index, and an irrigation component
    • Site Assessment is based on parcel size, urban conflict, zoning

+

LE Factors

50 pts.

SA

Factors

50 pts.

+

= 100 pts total LESA score

lesa in yolo county california11
LESA in Yolo County, California
  • FACTOR WEIGHTING
    • Land Evaluation and Site Assessment Weight
      • LE and SA are weighted 50% each off the total LESA score
      • Maximum LE score is 50
      • Maximum SA score is 50
      • Maximum LESA score is 100
    • Individual Factor Weight
      • LE Land Capability Class (LCC): 20%
      • LE Storie Index Rating (SIR): 20%
      • LE Water: 10%
      • SA Size: 20%
      • SA Urban Separation: 15%
      • SA Zoning: 15%
storie index
Storie Index
  • University of California, Davis
  • Relative Degree suitability of a soil for intensive agriculture
  • Soil characteristics only
  • In itself, cannot be considered an index for land valuation
storie index14
Storie Index
  • Four factors considered:
    • Profile Characteristics
      • Suitability of a soil profile for plant root growth
    • Surface Layer Texture
      • Affects ease of tillage and water holding capacity
    • Slope
      • Affects water runoff
    • Other Conditions: high water table, salts, etc.
storie index15
Storie Index
  • Each factor is rated separately in terms of percentage of the ideal, or 100%
  • Storie Index of a soil is obtained by multiplying the four factors
    • Profile rating 100% X Texture rating 100% X Slope rating 100% X Other condition (saline-alkali soil) 20% = Storie Index = 20
storie index16
Storie Index
  • Soils placed in grades according to agricultural suitability:
    • Grade 1: 80 to 100 Index Rating
    • Grade 2: 60 to 80 Index Rating
    • Grade 3: 40 to 60 Index Rating
    • Grade 4: 20 to 40 Index Rating
    • Grade 5: 10 to 20 Index Rating
    • Grade 6: Less than 10 Index Rating
storie index17
Storie Index
  • Grade 1: few or no limitations for use for crops
  • Grade 2: Suitable for most crops, minor limitations
  • Grade 3: Suitable for few crops or special crops that require special management
  • Grade 4: Severely limited for crops; careful management
  • Grade 5: Not suitable for cultivated crops, used for pasture and range
  • Grade 6: Not suited to farming.
lesa in yolo county california20
LESA in Yolo County, California
  • PROBLEMS, PERCEPTIONS, LIMITATIONS OF LESA
    • Various levels of political will to protect farmland
    • Lack of consensus on prime farmland criteria
    • Range and forest land uses
    • NRCS Field Offices lack training
lesa in yolo county california21
LESA in Yolo County, California
  • PROBLEMS, PERCEPTIONS, LIMITATIONS OF LESA
    • Irrigated lands
    • LESA will not protect farmland by itself
    • Consistency of results
    • LESA is not LISA
    • Manipulation of LESA to meet political needs
    • Landowner fears of numbers attached to t heir land
    • First thing: agree on the objective of local LESA system!
lesa in yolo county california23
LESA in Yolo County, California
  • LESSONS AND ADVICE
    • Local initiative
    • Receptive local government
    • LESA Committee Diversity
    • Patience!
    • Quality
    • Set deadlines
    • Technical credibility
    • Supervisor’s support