workshops help landowners unravel the mysteries of farmland conservation

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Saratoga County, NY – Farmland owners that are interested in learning more about conserving their land are invited to attend one of four informational workshops offered in March at various locations in Saratoga County. Maria Trabka from Saratoga PLAN and Jaime O’Neill from the Saratoga County Planning Department will explain how farmland conservation works as well as the mechanics of funding programs which cover some of the transactional costs and through which owners of farmland can receive partial compensation for protecting their land from future development.

The workshops are scheduled for:

 

Monday, March 21, 6:30 p.m.
Northumberland Town Hall
17 Catherine Street, Gansevoort

Thursday, March 24, 6:30 p.m.
Stillwater Town Hall
881 Hudson Ave., Stillwater

Monday, March 28, 6:30 p.m.
Milton Town Hall
503 Geyser Road, Ballston Spa

Thursday, March 31, 6:30 p.m.
Charlton Town Hall
758 Charlton Road, Ballston Lake

Each workshop will cover:

  • how conservation easements that are used to “extinguish” development rights when they are donated or sold
  • how the land conservation process works and how to receive individualized, confidential consultations when considering whether you want to donate or apply to sell your development rights
  • tax benefits and liabilities for the sale, donation, or “bargain sale” of  development rights
  • the criteria that funding programs use when evaluating applications
  • the mechanics of the funding programs and how they can be matched together

For more information or to register, contact Saratoga PLAN at 587-5554.

 PDR funding programs are competitive and are best suited to viable, commercial agricultural operations producing crops on high quality soils which are likely to remain in agricultural production in the future. They are also applicable to owners of rental lands when a leaseholder is a profitable farm operation and/or is applying to conserve the “home farm.”

Maria Trabka is the Executive Director of Saratoga PLAN, a not-for-profit conservation organization working throughout Saratoga County to conserve land and to help communities with open space planning. Jaime L. O’Neill, is a planner with Saratoga County who has vast experience working on farmland protection as well as Agricultural Districts program and open space planning across Saratoga County.  The Saratoga County Planning Department and Saratoga PLAN work as a team to assist farmland owners and communities with accomplishing their land conservation goals.

Not able to attend a workshop in March, but would like to learn more about land conservation?  Saratoga PLAN’s website (saratogaplan.org) lists a wealth of resources to help landowners get started. The “CONSERVE” section of the website contains sources of reference information on land conservation.

Saratoga PLAN is a nonprofit land trust that works to preserve the rural character, natural habitats and scenic beauty of Saratoga County so that these irreplaceable assets are accessible to all and survive for future generations. PLAN helps landowners conserve their farmland, woodlands and natural habitats. PLAN connects people to nature through an extensive trail network and 10 public nature preserves – for hiking, biking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and kayaking. Saratoga PLAN helps communities create plans that balance growth with conservation to sustain the Saratoga Region as a great place to live, work, visit and farm. PLAN facilitates community-based conservation by serving on committees, applying for funding and grants, managing land conservation projects, holding and/or monitoring conservation easements, or administering municipal transfer of development rights programs for towns.

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