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Brochure: A Land Use Option
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Welcome to the Berkeley County Farmland Protection Program

You see it all around you. The Eastern Panhandle is losing its farmland, open space and scenic beauty. From 1982 to 1997, West Virginia lost over 100,000 acres of farmland, and 40 percent of the state's loss is in the Eastern Panhandle. Since 2000, almost 1,000 acres of land a year has been developed into subdivisions in Berkeley County .

The Berkeley County Commission recognized this need, and in 2000 was the first county in West Virginia to create a farmland protection board as authorized by the West Virginia Voluntary Farmland Protection Act. The Berkeley County Farmland Protection Board consists of a delegation of local farmers, open space advocates and economic development interests. All board members must be county residents.

The Berkeley County Farmland Protection Program, described more fully on this website, was approved by the Berkeley County Commission on January 16, 2003 . Under the program, landowners can voluntarily donate or be compensated for the placement of a conservation easement to best ensure that the land stays available for agriculture use. This program establishes uniform standards and guidelines for the eligibility of properties and the ranking criteria utilized to prioritize funds allocation to purchase conservation easements, or to pay associated costs for the purchased or donated easements. The guidelines established by this program outline the various methods of farmland protection available to prospective participating property owners, and the procedures to be followed in applying for program consideration.

 

 
 
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