Benton Valley Agriculture Threatened

Read the March California Farmer on protecting 818-acre in Benton Valley. Compiled by staff 

Published on: Feb 15, 2006

The Tri Valley Area between Benton, Hammil and Chalfant Valleys is threatened prime ag land. It lies between the White Mountains to the east and the Fish Slough Area of Critical Environmental Concern and the Benton Range to the west. Area covers approximately 14,000 acres of private land, population: 708

Development pressures

The entire Tri-Valley/Highway 6 corridor is experiencing increasing pressure from Bishop and Mammoth Lakes for residential development. (For example, 80 acres in Benton Valley and 76 acres in Hammil Valley are in the process of being subdivided.)  

Typical price per acre is in excess of 4,000 per acre, and land prices have increased greatly this past year. For example, the nearby White Mountain Ranch sold in July of 2004 for $1,215,000 at $3,197 per acre and resold July 2005 for $2,750,000 or $7,236 per acre. Between 1992 and 2002 Mono County lost 47% of its agricultural lands, and Inyo County lost 8% of its agricultural lands. 

 --USDA Agricultural Census figures from 1992 and 2002. 

Find out more in the March California Farmer.