2018 is a good time for landowners with forest and farm land who are interested in considering a permanent conservation easement for the property. The Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) has significant funding available for FY19 to buy easements and is now accepting applications. Applications must be submitted by May 1, 2018. Wally Lippincott, Northern Sector Planner with Baltimore County Planning, is available to answer questions for anyone wishing to explore this opportunity and has provided a flyer with basic information.
MALPF easement purchases are made through a competitive application process. MALPF and local governments rank properties relative to other properties applying to the program and then make offers based on how much funding is available. After selling an easement to MALPF, the property owner continues to own and operate the farm and may sell or transfer the property, but the land will be permanently preserved for agricultural use. The original seller of the easement may retain limited development rights, and there is no public access requirement. Forest harvesting and timbering are allowed on forest lands under MALPF easement.
To view a number of fact sheets MALPF has available online click here. MALPF can be a great opportunity for rural landowners who need cash for various needs but also want to see their land preserved in perpetuity. Local land trusts are planning a short session on easement programs for Baltimore County residents for sometime in February. That will be a good opportunity for anyone curious about the benefits of preserving land under MALPF and other easement programs. VPC will announce the session when plans are finalized.