Agriculture Weights and Measures Banner

New Fence Construction Best Management Practices

Agricultural fencing is fencing used to protect cultivated agricultural crops from herbivorous wildlife. Fencing to contain livestock, and fencing for other purposes (boundary demarcation, human exclusion, etc.) are not addressed by these BMPs.

In planning your fence project, it is important to determine exactly what needs to be protected. Allow the largest possible natural habitat to remain accessible to wildlife. Most landowners’ needs can be met with minimal impacts to wildlife and habitat connectivity.

In no cases shall fence installation involve the removal of contiguous riparian vegetation within 200 feet of the top of bank.

Agricultural fencing in the Streamside Conservation Area shall:

  •  Not involve the removal of contiguous riparian vegetation within 200 feet of the top of bank.
  • Enclose the smallest possible area required to protect the cultivated area.
  • Involve the least amount of ground disturbance possible. Any disturbed soils shall be re-vegetated with a thick cover crop (established by October 15).
  • Fences must be maintained, or they can become a danger to wildlife. Maintenance of fences in the Streamside Conservation Area shall be accomplished with the minimal amount of vegetation removal.

Agricultural fencing in the Agricultural Setback shall:

  • Not exceed eight feet in height.
  • Be designed with the largest openings possible, so that small animals are not excluded by the fence.
  • Be constructed using smooth (not barbed) wire; or at a minimum the bottom and top wires should be smooth.

Within the Agricultural Setback the following vegetation shall not be removed to install fencing:

  • Contiguous riparian vegetation within 200 feet of the top of bank
  • Perennial or woody vegetation with a single trunk greater than 2-inches in diameter (or multi-trunk trees cumulatively greater than 5 inches in diameter) measured at a height of 4.5 feet.
  • Vegetation providing direct shade to any portion of the water course. 

Contact Information

Department of Agriculture / Weights & Measures
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Closed from noon to 1:00 PM for lunch.

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Main Office
133 Aviation Boulevard
Suite 110
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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