The Lebanon Valley Conservancy (TLVC) is preserving 172 acres of agricultural land along the Kittatinny Ridge Corridor in the Lebanon Valley.
71.75 acres of the Nye farm and just over 100 acres of the Shuey farm, both in the Army Compatible Use Buffer Area around Fort Indiantown Gap, are being preserved through a grant for conservation easement in partnership with Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation.
Forge Creek, an adjacent Susquehanna River watershed, will also be protected by this decision.
“The conservation easement will preserve 172 acres of agricultural land, protect the local watershed and wildlife habitat, and safeguard scenic open spaces from future urban development,” said executive director of TLVC Laurie Crawford.
One reason the TLVC is preserving this land is the recent loss of farmland – its press release cites an American Farmland Trust report that 31 million acres of farmland were lost from 1992 to 2012.
A conservation easement does not take away ownership of land – instead, it limits land use by current and future owners. While the owners of the Nye and Shuey farms are free to sell their property, its future use must remain agricultural.
“Preserving local farmland is important for our economy, food production and the environment,” said TLVC board member Chuck Wertz. “A conservation easement allows farmers to retain the property title of their land for sale or inheritance… but ensures the land’s future use as agricultural.”
The Lebanon Valley Conservancy represents conservation organizations and protects local naturally, historically, and culturally significant locations.
Its ongoing projects include its Middle Creek Initiative, Heritage Trail project, Quittie Creek watershed water quality improvement and community awareness project, and Kittatinny Ridge conservation project. Learn about these projects and more on its website here.
It is also involved in the community through its annual Richard H. and Karen R. Light Memorial Scholarship, winners of which were announced earlier this year.