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Clarke County Celebrates Record Easement

6 September 2019 Clarke County News

September 6, 2019

BERRYVILLE – Clarke County recently recorded the 100th conservation easement for the Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund. Clarke County has recorded more easements using the funds from the VFPF (37) than any other locality.

Governor Ralph Northam and Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry were on hand to celebrate the milestone at Messick’s Farm Market in Bealeton. The Aug. 29 event commended the work of the VFPF, Clarke County and Fauquier County to preserve farmland throughout Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services administers the Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund through its Office of Farmland Preservation.

“It was wonderful for Clarke County to be recognized for its 100th easement funded by VDACS,” Clarke County Conservation Easement Vice Chair George Ohrstrom said. “Our county — the eighth smallest in Virginia — is one of the most successful at leveraging funding in order to protect farmland. All credit goes to our longtime natural resource planner, Alison Teetor. She has built relationships at the state and federal levels that enable Clarke County to maximize available funding opportunities.”

Conservation easements supported by the Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund ensure these protected lands stay intact as working farms and forests in perpetuity.

The Clarke County Conservation Easement Authority was created in 2002 in order to help landowners place the land into easements, preserving it for future generations.

A conservation easement is a voluntary agreement between a landowner and Clarke County in which the landowner places specific restrictions on the use and development of their property. In return, property owners are financially compensated and receive estate tax benefits. Property owners may continue to use their agricultural or forestal land as sources of income.


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