To preserve Chester County’s agricultural industry, the County purchases easements from landowners, which legally restrict the use of a property to agricultural purposes. The landowner is financially compensated for the sale of an easement based on the land’s appraised value. By selling development rights, the landowner is compensated and the land is preserved, even if the property is sold. The program is continuously growing. As of the summer of 2009, 281 farms totaling 25,556 acres have been preserved through these 2 programs.
Before selling development rights, a farmer is required to have a completed Resource Management System (RMS) level conservation plan. An RMS level plan fully addresses all resource concerns (soil, air, water, plants, and animals). The conservation plan will also identify conservation practices and site specific best management practices (BMPs) that will minimize sediment erosion and pollution that result from agricultural activities. The Conservation District writes and reviews RMS level plans and also provides technical assistance in the design, implementation, and inspection of the BMPs established in the conservation plan.
Dan Miloser, Agricultural Team Leader
610-925-4920 ext. 115