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California's Williamson Act, cattle ranch economics, and biological conservation

Potential sales of rangeland by household income category

Potential sales of rangeland by household income category

Percentage of owned ranchland that respondents in different household income categories reported they would attempt to sell given elimination of the Williamson Act (n = 134). Green diamonds are the average percentage of ranchland to be sold; green lines show one standard error above and below the mean; orange points show actual data points spread out horizontally within each household income category. According to study author Dale Manning, "California ranching is a vulnerable, low-profit industry. Of those surveyed, 38 percent lost money, 19 percent roughly broke even, and 42 percent made a profit. Of the ranches that made a profit in 2009, 70 percent made less than $10,000. Thus, Williamson Act savings may make the difference between profit and loss for the majority of California ranchers.

Credits: Wetzel et al. 2012