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Preserving rich & scenic farmland

Marc Lefkowitz  |  11/14/07 @ 4:32pm

"Northeast Ohio has lost more than 700,000 acres of farmland since 1950. It has been the sort of gradual change that doesn't make headline news."

This and more compelling facts on what is being done to slow the paving over of farmland at Northeast Ohio's metropolitan fringe can be found at The Farmland Center. Going on eight years of working to preserve the "rich & scenic farmland of the Western Reserve," the center, in its current e-news, shares that Ohio's Agricultural Easements Program is again seeking applications, that the legislature is working on a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) bill, and the governor has introduced funding to support new energy/fuel initiatives related to agriculture.

"Currently, funding for purchase of development rights programs is able to meet just 5% of demand," the center's executive director, Amalie Lipstreu, writes. "Ohio is second in the nation in the loss of prime farmland and more farmland is being lost every day.

"Transfer of development rights has been used sucessfully in several other states and has the potential to fund more farmland protection on the private market. We will have an on-the-ground test case for TDR as Hiram Village, Hiram Township and Hiram College field test the land-use tool over the next two years."

National TDR expert Rick Preutz will present a case study evaluating TDR feasibility for Northeast Ohio, and local experts will discuss Ohio's pending TDR legislation at CSU on April 13. For information, go here.

To learn more about the Farmland Center and the state's farmland protection programs, go here.

To read more about Transfer of Development Rights, go here.

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