What We’re Doing
Protecting important wildlife habitat and farmland that’s vital to retaining county jobs and revenue
Safeguard the county’s agricultural history and identity for future generations
Imperial County in California has a long-standing and rich agricultural history. The county was the last to be established in California in 1907, but it’s the ninth largest county in the state. Farming is vital to this community, which alone produces over half of the country’s winter vegetables like crisphead lettuce, leaf lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage. Bordering Mexico, the population is a diverse mix of Hispanic and Latino culture with the majority of residents identifying as non-white. The county has nearly 180,000 residents and continues to see fast-paced growth with increasing job opportunities in agriculture and renewable energy.
But with this population growth comes the need to preserve their farmlands for future generations, while safeguarding important wildlife habitat. That’s why Trust for Public Land is working with partners like the Oswit Land Trust, Department of Defense, and Untied States Navy to create and protect the farmland and wildlife habitat that are needed most.
TPL is working to place agricultural conservation easements on five Alphabet Farm ranches (Ranches A, D, C, F and I-2) in the Imperial Valley with 1,888 acres conserved at Ranch A in 2023. Protecting this large, productive ranch will help retain the revenue and jobs that keep agriculture viable in a county where one out of six jobs is supported by agriculture.
The ranch also lies within an Important Bird Area (IBA), the largest IBA in California. The nearby Salton Sea is one of the most important nesting sites and stopovers along the Pacific Flyway, and the riverine wetlands provide important habitat to Burrowing owls, Yuma clapper rails (federally endangered), and California black rails (threatened).
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