Financial Tools

Conservation Stewardship Program changes are proposed 

November 15, 2014

As the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill continues, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced proposed changes to the Conservation Stewardship Program, one of USDA’s largest conservation programs for working agricultural lands. “Farmers, ranchers, and non-industrial forestland owners enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program are our nation’s conservation leaders as they […]

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SRA Fees Update: the lawsuit continues while the money funds a grant program 

November 3, 2014

The legislative session is over for 2014, but litigation continues on the validity of the State Responsibility Area “fire prevention fees”.  The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) reports that their suit to overturn the fee is being stalled by the state, which is filing “demurrers”, which are requests to dismiss the suit based on legal or […]

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Succession Planning Part 4: Succession, California Style, or How Prop 13 Affects Everything

October 23, 2014

When people work on their succession planning, estate taxes loom large in their minds.  We all worry that paying the estate tax will break the business and try to plan accordingly.  This may be the least of our problems, at least in California.  An estate tax is a one-time deal; but a change in property […]

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Succession Part 3: Assembling a Rough Inventory of Your Possessions

August 12, 2014

We’re finally getting into the nuts and bolts of succession planning.  One of the first concrete steps you need to take is to get a handle on what you own and what it’s worth.  This inventory includes all of your possessions, not just your land.  Successful strategies depend on knowing what your assets are and […]

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Santa Cruz County Resource Conservation District offers grants for erosion control

August 12, 2014

$175,000 in grant funding is available for road and land conservation projects in the San Lorenzo Valley, Scotts Valley and Branciforte areas. There are two programs for these projects: private road improvements, including culvert replacement and sloping stormwater management, including rainwater catchment systems. The goal of these projects is to improve fish habitat, especially steelhead […]

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Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP)

March 23, 2014

The Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) is a voluntary cost-share program for landowners who want to develop and improve wildlife habitat on agricultural land, nonindustrial private forestland and Indian land. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers WHIP to provide technical assistance and up to 75% cost-share assistance to establish and improve fish and wildlife […]

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