Land Preservation in Wayne County, PA
In 1989, the Wayne County Commissioners created the Wayne County Agricultural Land Preservation Program to help preserve vanishing farmland in Wayne County, Pennsylvania.
Agriculture and its related industries have always been important to the economy of Wayne County. However, the number of farms and the number of acres devoted to farming have been steadily decreasing. Meanwhile, the population has been increasing rapidly, making Wayne County one of the fastest growing counties in Pennsylvania.
Preserving Wayne County's remaining farmland requires great effort. Growth and development pressures will continue to threaten farmland. Conserving the County's agricultural resource base is of utmost importance to all present and future residents of Wayne County.
The objective of the nine member Agricultural Land Preservation Board is to protect the viable agricultural land by purchasing conservation easements which prevent the development or improvement of the land for purposes other than agricultural production and related activities.
Since 1989, Wayne County as acquired 53 easements, permanently preserving just over 6,000 acres of farmland.
County Administrator PO Box 134 Prompton, PA 18456 570.253.8904
March 31, 2019
To qualify for the 2019 ranking period, all applications must be postmarked on or before March 31, 2019
What is an Agricultural Conservation Easement
An agricultural conservation easement is a legally recorded, voluntary agreement which restricts the development or improvement of the land for purposes other than agriculture. Easements are purchased in perpetuity only and all easement restricts are binding upon the current owners and future owners.
Benefits of an Agricultural Conservation Easement
Farms require fertile soil to grow crops and the amount of arable soil in the United States is rapidly shrinking. An agricultural conservation easement permanently protects viable, prime farmland from the conversion to non-agricultural uses.
Keeping local farmland viable and productive helps farm families stay in business and allows them to sell directly to the consumer. Buying local gives consumers access to fresher fruits and vegetables, organic products and helps support the local economy.
The agricultural land preservation program only purchases conservation easements (or development rights) from owners of quality farmland. The landowner still maintains ownership of the land and may sell or lease the property at any time.
Only seventeen percent of the land in the United States is ideal for farming. Farmland permanently preserved under an agricultural conservation easement helps preserve rural communities and limits the loss of farmland to urban sprawl.
Agricultural land preservation funds provide additional capital to help minimize debt load and expand farming operations. Landowners may use easement proceeds to pay a mortgage, purchase new equipment or construct new farm buildings.
Agricultural conservation easements help maintain wildlife corridors, by allowing the safe movement of animals, birds and plants, through similar pieces of land, that are not separated by human activities, roads or structures.
Use the form below to contact us regarding any questions you have regarding the Wayne County Agricultural Land Preservation Program. Please be as detailed as possible. For an application, please click here.