DOD USDA Grants Help Preserve Missions at Vandenberg AFB

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Two conservation groups last week protected a 780-acre farm in California’s Lompoc Valley surrounded on three sides by Vandenberg Air Force Base from future residential development using $1.5 million in funding from two federal agencies.The funding came from DOD’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program and the Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. The Trust for Public Land worked out the details of the agricultural conservation easement, which will be held and monitored by the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County.“Protection of the Jordan Farms property is entirely compatible with the mission of Vandenberg Air Force Base and will provide more flexibility to the base’s Western Range and Launch Operations when considering new technologies, launch vehicles and project development,” said Kenneth Domako, Vandenberg’s chief of planning and programs.“As the first easement adjacent to a military installation in part funded by California NRCS, it clearly provides a productive buffer ripe with many mutual benefits for agriculture and defense,” said State Conservationist Carlos Suarez.The farm grows a variety of flowers, fruits and vegetables including brussels sprouts, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce, and supplies restaurants, grocery stores and farmers’ markets throughout Santa Barbara County, according to a press release from the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County.last_img

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