“Preserving the land and rural character of our area is important to the economy and quality of life here. CLC’s work keeps our local heritage of farming alive. Their work contributes to the well-being of the entire area and all who live here.” – Barbara Peduzzi, Chatham
Are you a landowner wondering how you can keep Columbia County rural? CLC works with landowners throughout Columbia County to protect farmland, forestland, and ecologically diverse wildlife habitat. If you have questions about how CLC can help you protect land, please contact our staff! We’re more than happy to talk through your options.
Protecting Your Farm Through A Donated or Purchased Easement
You can protect your privately owned land while continuing to live on, utilize, and enjoy it, by entering into a conservation easement. A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement that ensures the permanent protection of a property’s natural characteristics. Because conservation easements generally involve permanently forgoing some development rights, they have financial value, and can be donated. In the case of qualifying working farmland, CLC will sometimes purchase an easement. You may be eligible for a tax deduction as well. In May 2014, for the first time since 2008, New York State issued a Request for Proposals for a new round of farmland protection programs. CLC was awarded funds to protect farmland owned by Ronnybrook Farms, and is continually working to prepare applications on behalf of numerous farms around the county for other upcoming rounds of state funding.
Selling or Donating Your Land for Conservation
Some landowners choose to convey all or part of their property outright to CLC for conservation purposes, either by donating the land, leaving it by will, or on occasion, through a sale of the land. CLC also accepts gifts of land to be re-sold (but first protected, when appropriate) as part of our Tradelands program to support our on-going conservation work. Many of the lands owned by CLC have been established as Public Conservation Areas open for all to visit and enjoy.
More Tools Available to You
Our Conserve a Local Farm program helps sellers of working farmland identify conservation-minded farm buyers in order to help keep Columbia County rural. You can also learn more through the Farmland Information Center. A variety of other conservation tools, or a combination of such tools, may be available as well. Our staff are available to help landowners learn about and think through various conservation scenarios.
Learn more about why protecting New York’s farmland is especially important in this report by the American Farmland Trust.