Friday, January 29, 2010

Agricultural Land Preservation

The Frederick Board of County Commissioners announced today that 3,051 acres on 18 farms were placed under protective agricultural land preservation easements during 2009. The easements bring the total land preserved in Frederick County to 45,738 acres.

Board President Jan Gardner commented, “We are pleased to report on our achievements in agricultural preservation as we continue to press forward to reach our goal of preserving 100,000 acres by 2020 and ensuring an agricultural legacy for the future of Frederick County.” Easement purchase programs administered by Planning Division staff include the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation Program, the Frederick County Installment Purchase Program, the Critical Farms Program, the Federal Farm and Ranch Protection Program and the Maryland Rural Legacy Program.

Preserved acreage in the county for 2009 also includes easements to the Maryland Environmental Trust, which are administered separately by staff who work for the trust. Of the total preserved, the county’s Installment Purchase Program has protected 14,649 acres of prime farmland on 94 farms in Frederick County since the establishment of the program in 2002. Frederick County strives to preserve farmland and other important property in order to protect local food and fiber, the resource base necessary for the county’s leading industry, agriculture. Land preservation also helps to maintain farming as a way of life for many residents and assists in the continuance of the county’s longstanding rural character.

Frederick County residents are invited to visit or contact the Agricultural Land Preservation office with questions about programs that allow landowners to be paid for development rights while maintaining ownership of their farms. For more information, contact Program Administrator Tim Blaser at 301-600-2513 or via e-mail at or Anne Bradley at 301-600-1474 or via e-mail at