Agriculture & Habitat -
Working Landscapes Pilot Study


In a growing body of work, researchers and trade organizations have studied the relationship between wildlife habitat and a range of land cover types, including the potential for various types of agricultural lands to double as habitat for different wildlife species. However, there is little understanding of the economic impact of these potential land use changes on a system-wide scale.

SACOG conducted this pilot working landscapes analysis to explore these linkages between cultivated cropland that can double as wildlife habitat in the Delta, and the economic and environmental trade-offs associated with these potential land-use changes. This report highlights a new application of the RUCS toolkit and a new lens to evaluate the spectrum of interconnected outcomes associated with this sort of multipurpose working landscape.

This analysis is a companion study to the Local Food Systems Assessment for Yolo and Sacramento Delta Communities, also referred to as the “Delta Case Study,” which SACOG prepared for the Delta Protection Commission in 2016 as part of the Rural-Urban Connections Strategy program. This analysis applies RUCS analytical toolkit in the same study area as the Delta case study- the portions of Sacramento and Yolo Counties that fall within the legally defined Delta-  to better understand trade-offs associated with habitat-oriented cropping patterns.

Working Landscape Pilot Study

The full Delta Case Study provides an assessment of the agricultural systems in Delta communities of Yolo and Sacramento Counties, evaluating how the current agricultural system is affected by internal and external changes, and envisioning strategies to preserve and enhance the long-term viability of agriculture in the Delta. To learn more, visit: