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Review Appraisal Guidelines

On March 12, 2012, new guidelines were issued for the review of conservation easement appraisals in West Virginia.  These guidelines suggest the use of UASFLA or Yellow Book as the basis of the appraisal, and additionally suggest that the appraisal (combined or separately) address IRS requirements for any donation or bargain sale to the West Virginia Agricultural Land Protection Authority or the county Farmland Protection Board.  NRCS requirements for the appraisal are also included, incorporating Section 519.102 of the NRCS manual.  Finally, review appraiser qualifications independence requirements, as well as requirements for the technical review appraisal are outlined.
Download the “West Virginia Appraisal Review Guidelines” PDF to read more


Guidance on Gas Leases for Farmland Protection Entities in West Virginia

This guidance on gas leases is being outlined for the West Virginia Agricultural Land Protection Authority and the county Farmland Protection Boards. Federal policy is described below, as well as suggested policy to be adopted for use with local monies. Background information compiled by a working group of West Virginia Land Trusts is also attached, as well as excerpts from articles and on-line resources.
Download the "Gas Lease Guidance" Word Document to read more
Download the NRCS letter to Hampshire County Farmland Protection Board PDF


West Virginia Voluntary Farmland Protection : 2002-2012

Goals:

  1. Landowners in a county VOLUNTARILY participate in the program
  2. The county board or West Virginia Agricultural Land Protection Authority acquires the development rights from the landowner through a Deed of Conservation Easement
  3. Protect farmland

County Farmland Protection Boards are appointed by County Commissions to design a program that is responsive to local concerns and goals.  

To date, Farmland Protection Programs have been created in 20 West Virginia Counties. Those county Farmland Protection Boards, along with the West Virginia Agricultural Land Protection Authority, and cooperating land trusts,  have collectively protected 17,129 acres of farmland.


Year

Num of Farms

Acres

Easement Purchase Price

2012 1st Qtr

8

697

$1,980,405 

2011

23

2,271

$6,633,116

2010

16

1,393

$4,181,721

2009

25

5,224

$5,282,500

2008

11

1,337

$3,367,868

2007

15

1,894

$6,836,720

2006

13

  1,396

 $4,890,850

2005

14

   1,233

 $3,358,647

2004

11

   1,104

 $2,703,200

2003 and prior

5

581

$350,900

Total

141

17,129

$ 39,585,927

Source of Funding:
County Farmland Protection Boards:   $22,042,000
Federal Farm and Ranchland and American Battlefield Protection Programs :   $16,551,000
State: $943,000
Nonprofits:  $50,000
TOTAL: $39,586,000

Easement Statistic Averages

  1. Purchase price per acre including donations - $2,311
  2. Farm Size - 122 acres
  3. Appraisal value per acre - $4,128
  4. #acres closed per year - 1,982

Estimated Annual Dollars—  Land Protection

  • $3.0 million County transfer tax
  • $700,000 – 800,000 State recordation fees
  • $3.0 – 4.0 million Federal match - USDA-NRCS
  • Average #acres purchased per year: 1,685 acres


 
 
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