Climate, geography, soils, and water, together with knowledgeable people, create an extremely productive agricultural environment in the Tulare Basin. From row crops to orchards to specialty crops and livestock grazing, agriculture provides an economic base for those who live and work here, as well as nutritious food and other commodities for local and global markets. Farm and ranch lands offer open space, flood control, ground water recharge, and habitat, including important nesting or foraging areas, for wildlife.
Beginning in the mid-1800s, settlers in the Tulare Basin converted natural land to agriculture such that by today, over 50% of the land is farmed. The Tulare Basin features 320 different crops, which grow in a range of soil conditions. In some places, fertile ground enables crops to grow year-round. In others, productive soils present new opportunities for permanent orchard plantings. Some places in the Tulare Basin are marginal to unproductive for agriculture and may have saline groundwater or locally high selenium levels.
The Tulare Basin, encompassing portions of Fresno, Tulare, Kern, and Kings counties, hosts four of the top 10 agricultural producing counties nationwide. In fact, this region produces more than $10 billion annually in food and other agricultural commodities for domestic consumption and export to more than 80 countries. In addition, agriculture is the largest employer in the region, providing jobs on the farm or ranch and in the processing, packing, manufacturing, and service industries related to agriculture. Tulare Basin Wildlife Partners (TBWP) recognizes the important role agriculture plays in maintaining an economic base and way of life for Tulare Basin residents.
TBWP understands the environmental challenges that farmers and ranchers face in the Tulare Basin. By working together to integrate conservation and agriculture, we can create win-win solutions that address water supply, storage, delivery, and management; energy costs and air pollution; and endangered species and other wildlife concerns. TBWP respects private property rights and serves as a resource for landowners and others who want to learn more about conserving their farm or ranch; wildlife-friendly agriculture; restoration and other funding opportunities; and incentives programs. For additional information please contact the Tulare Basin Wildlife Partners.
Wildlife-friendly agriculture integrates conservation and production, allowing for ecological interactions between wildlife, farms, ranches, and natural areas. This includes practices such as:
Creating links between wildlife-friendly farms and ranches and other public and private conservation lands provides critical travel corridors for the Tulare Basin's unique plants and animals.