Pennsylvania currently leads the nation in the amount of preserved farmland, and Wyoming County has been participating in the state's Farmland Preservation Program since 1998. To date, development rights have been purchased for seven Wyoming County farms, bringing the total number of preserved acres in the county to 1,036.
The goals of the Wyoming County Farmland Preservation Program include the following: - To protect viable agricultural lands by acquiring agricultural conservation easements which prevent the development or improvement of the land for any purpose other than agricultural production
- To encourage landowners to make a long-term commitment to agriculture by offering them financial incentives and security of land use
- To provide compensation to landowners in exchange for their relinquishment of the right to develop their private property
-To protect normal farming operations in agricultural security areas from incompatible non-farmland uses that may render farming impracticable
-To protect farming operations from complaints of public nuisance against normal farming operations
-To assure conservation of viable agricultural lands in order to protect the agricultural economy of this Commonwealth
-To maximize agricultural easement purchase funds that protect the investment of taxpayers in agricultural conservation easements
- To concentrate resources in a manner that will ensure the purchase of easements for the protection of the largest amount of farmland possible
- To execute all agreements or other documents necessary to effect the purchase of such agricultural conservation easements in the name of Wyoming County and/or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- To maximize agricultural lands’ contribution to county tourism
- To do all other lawful acts permitted by these bylaws as they may be amended from time to time Farmland Preservation Requirements The State Agricultural Land Preservation Board has established minimum requirements which farms must meet to be eligible for the easement purchase program.
The farmland tract must: - be located in an Agricultural Security Area - be contiguous acreage of at least 50 acres - contain at least 50% soils of a capability class I-IV as defined by USDA-NRCS - have at least 50% of the property’s total acreage in current use as harvested cropland, pasture, or grazing land