Shenandoah County Land Conservation
We consistently support funding for public and private land protection programs in Shenandoah County. A successful conservation program is key to retaining prime farm land and strengthening the county’s agricultural economy and an important step to implementing the rural areas plan adopted in 2010 that supports the farm sector, provides flexibility for rural landowners, secures long-term savings for tax-payers and enhances the quality of life for all residents — all goals of the Shenandoah County Comprehensive Plan.
The Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors established the Conservation Easement Authority in 2007. The Authority consists of seven members appointed by the Board of Supervisors and will administers the County’s Conservation Easement Program providing Shenandoah County landowners the opportunity to permanently protect their family farms from development through the donation of a conservation easement. An easement program helps county landowners protect and preserve farms, forest land, open space, and natural resources. It also helps the county preserve its unique rural character and furthers the goals set out in the comprehensive plan.
Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors voted on September 13, 2011 to commit $100,000 to a local Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program making Shenandoah one of the first counties in the Valley to fund a conservation program, an important first step to implement the County’s rural areas plan passed in December 2010.
Then, as one of only thirteen localities in Virginia, Shenandoah County was awarded $105,000 from the Virginia Office of Farmland Preservation. The board’s approval to fund the local Purchase of Development Rights program made it possible for the county to receive this state match.
Alliance legacy organization Shenandoah Forum felt so strongly about creating a successful and effective conservation easement program for Shenandoah County that the Shenandoah Forum Board of Directors agreed to contribute $2,500 of our own funds to this program.
In April of 2013, Shenandoah Forum sponsored a Farm-to-Table Dinner to explore the benefits of land conservation. Read more.
Support conservation for water quality and rural economies
A committee of state legislators is meeting right now to finalize the budget. Please ask the members of this committee to support sufficient funding for land conservation and agricultural best management practices, like stream livestock exclusion and native tree planting. In order to meet the state’s 2025 water quality goals, there must be funding in place to get this work done.
Northbrook Farm and a mother’s wish
The last week of December 2018 is a date third generation farmer, Dee Hockman, is not likely to forget anytime soon.