$1 million available for farmland preservation in St. Lawrence County, rest of NY
The state Department of Agriculture and Markets recently announced $1 million is available through the Farmland Protection Implementation Program to support the preservation of farmland across the state.
For the first time in the program’s history, grants are being offered to exclusively help cover transaction costs associated with donating an agricultural conservation easement, which permanently protects the land from being developed.This is one of several new funding opportunities this year to “enhance farmland conservation efforts statewide,” the ag department said.
“Preserving valuable farmland through donated agricultural conservation easements is a far less expensive process than alternative methods. The purpose of this grant opportunity is to encourage more landowners to donate conservation easements—the full value of development rights on their properties—by providing financial assistance to cover transaction costs associated with this process,” according to a news release announcing the funding. “Typically, when a conservation easement is donated, the local government or conservation organization that accepts it charges a fee for taking on the permanent obligation of monitoring the use of the protected property. Often, donors are reluctant to cover that fee because they receive no financial compensation for the development rights of their property.”
Eligible applicants can apply for grants of up to $50,000 to help cover that essential fee and other transaction costs, providing incentive for more land owners to donate conservation easements.
Eligible applicants include counties, municipalities, soil and water conservation districts, land trusts or other not-for-profit conservation organizations. All applicants must submit their proposals through Grants Gateway here.
Applications can be submitted and will be accepted until the available funding is fully committed.
More information about the application process is available on the Department of Agriculture and Markets website: www.agriculture.ny.gov/RFPS.html. For questions, contact David Behm at [email protected].