Who We Are
|Agricultural Suitability Map
||HIGHER AGRICULTURAL SUITABILITY: Areas have favorable slope, drainage,
water and climate with no constraints
||MODERATE AGRICULTURAL SUITABILITY: Areas are constrained by either
slope, soils, drainage, water, or climate limitations.
||LOWER AGRICULTURAL SUITABILITY: Areas are constrained by combination of
slope, soils, drainage, water and climate limitations.
||UNSUITABLE FOR AGRICULTURE: Areas are severely constrained by a
combination of slope, soils, drainage, water, and climate limitations; or are developed.
Sage Agricultural Services offers professional agricultural consulting to numerous
public agencies, private landowners, corporations, conservation organizations, schools,
appraisers, attorneys and special interest groups. The year 2000 marks a special milestone
where we have provided agricultural services on over 1.5 million acres of land in
California since 1973.
Our work products are unique since they take into account knowledge of
agricultural, recreational, and resource management protection and enhancement measures
that have been formulated from over 25 years of extensive landuse policy and impact
assessment experience and from our "hands on" ranch operations management. Based
on our multi-disciplinary knowledge of these factors, we are pleased to provide the
following agricultural services:
Agricultural Suitability and Viability
These studies are typically prepared for determining the agricultural suitability of a
site. Agricultural suitability factors include items such as climate, soils, topography,
water, sensitive resources, environmental constraints, access, facilities, land uses, etc.
These factors are evaluated and an agricultural suitability map is prepared as shown
below. Economic or operational viability can then be determined based on the University of
California Cooperative Extension cost sheets or agency operational thresholds. These
studies are typically prepared for private landowners and public agencies and are
especially important if a portion of a land holding is proposed for non-agricultural
development or recreational uses.
Watershed Management and
Watershed Management and Grazing Plans have typically been prepared for landowners and
public agencies to evaluate their existing grazing operations, to rotate cattle to enhance
sensitive resources such as native bunchgrasses, to reduce erosion / sedimentation, to
improve water quality, to increase rainfall infiltration, to obtain federal cost share
funding for improvements, and to improve weight gains. Grazing Plans are especially
appropriate for absentee landowners that are interested in operational planning but are
not on the ranch on a routine basis. Horsekeeping and horse grazing evaluations are often
included as a part of the grazing plans that we prepare.
We provide technical preparation of agricultural management plans,
rangeland assessments, and present conditions reports to the California Rangeland Trust,
The Nature Conservancy, The California Department of Conservation, The Trust for Public
Land, The Santa Lucia Preserve, The Packard Foundation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, as part of the requirements for establishing agricultural conservation easements.
These plans are oftentimes included as part of a grazing plan and will
include delineation of sensitive habitat exclusionary areas, seasonal rotational grazing
schedules, erosion control, and monitoring of key grazing species and sensitive, rare
and/or endangered species. Our philosophy is to use cattle as a management tool to help
achieve restoration goals.
These services are provided to new owners, absentee owners, government agencies, schools
and conservation organizations where interim management is essential in implementing
management plans. Long-term management services can also be provided upon request.
Services are custom tailored for the client and typically include formulation of leases,
implementation of grazing management programs, evaluating potential lessees, and
Our environmental review capabilities include preparation of technical agricultural
resources sections of environmental impact reports and environmental impact statements
including subsections on soils, water availability and land use. We have prepared EIRs on
specific focused agricultural issues, on large scale agricultural rezones (up to 470,000
acres), and on proposed development projects. These environmental documents have been
prepared for the National Park Service, the California Department of Food and Agriculture,
and numerous counties and cities within California.
Land Use Planning
We have participated in the preparation of agricultural elements to general plans and in
agency-initiated agricultural rezone studies. We have also reviewed agricultural elements
for county planning agencies, and for the Cattlemen's Association and the Farm Bureau. We
work closely with landowners and conservation organizations in determining agricultural
preservation policies through specific project implementations such as clustering, land
trusts, transfer of development credits, mitigation funding, land purchases, formulation
of project CC&Rs, and in the project planning of agricultural- compatible recreational
developments such as golf courses.
Public Agency Interface
Sage Agricultural Services can provide interface with public agencies regarding
agricultural land use issues. We frequently coordinate permitting with county agencies,
the California Department of Fish and Game, the California Regional Water Quality Control
Board, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Natural Resource Conservation
Litigation Support Services
We provide litigation support services, mediation, and expert witness testimony for
eminent domain "takings" of agricultural land; access and trespass issues; land
use compatibility issues; estate settlement; and grazing rights. We can work effectively
with appraisers in establishing agricultural land values based on agricultural
suitability. Sage Agricultural Services specializes in the preparation and presentation of
innovative courtroom graphics and maps.
Sage Agricultural Services
1396 Danielson Road
Santa Barbara CA 93108
Phone: (805) 969-0557
FAX (805) 969-5003