Purchased Farmland Conservation Easements

Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) programs financially compensate landowners who are willing to limit future development on their land. In this scenario, CLC works with the landowner to establish a conservation easement that will permanently protect the agricultural and natural resources of the land. As with donated conservation easements, the landowner still owns the property and can use it for farming and other purposes specified in the easement.  Learn more about how CLC has used this tool by reading about Delapenta Farms.

To learn more about the purchase of development rights, you can click here and download this PDF.  The basic steps for a purchased easement are outlined here.

Federal Funding

One of the ways in which a PDR can be funded is through the Agricultural Land Easement Program (ALE). The ALE is a voluntary program that helps farmers keep their land in agriculture. Administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the program provides 50% matching funds to organizations with existing farmland protection programs (like CLC), which enables them to purchase conservation easements.

For the past several years, funding from the federal Farm Bill has enabled CLC in partnership with Scenic Hudson to complete the purchase of conservation easements on farms throughout Columbia County. The ALE Program, which was formerly known as the Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program and merged with the Grasslands Reserve Program in 2014 to become the ALE Program, has to date enabled us to protect eleven Columbia County farms totaling more than 1,500 acres

State Funding

New York State purchase of development rights (PDR) is also a powerful way to preserve farmland. 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.

Other Funding

Besides relying on state or federal funding to purchase conservation easements on valuable farmland, private organizations and landowners have the potential to form long-lasting partnerships to permanently protect farmland and natural resources for future generations. If you are interested in learning more about protecting your farm with a conservation easement, contact Marissa Codey at 518.392.5252, ext. 211 or at marissa.codey@clctrust.org. She is happy to discuss your short-term and long-term goals for your property, and to brainstorm about the various ways in which CLC might be able to help you achieve them.

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