As released by Dauphin County:
Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III today preserved 167 acres of farmland, owned by Melinda Warfel and Jeremy Dobbin, in Halifax Township through the county’s Farmland Preservation Program. This is the second farm in Halifax Township preserved through the program.
The cost of the easement purchase is $250,560, with the state and county each covering 50 percent of the cost.
Since 1992, when Dauphin County began purchasing easements, the county has preserved a total of 14,679 acres on 150 farms in 12 municipalities.
“As we look to the future, we must not lose sight of the past,” said Haste. “Farmland has always been such a vital part of this nation and our economy. It is a valuable and vanishing resource that we must protect.”
“This program is a great tool for the county,” said Pries. “We use state and local money to pay farmers for easements on their land, to preserve it as a farm forever.”
“We have taken steps not only to protect our green fields, but also to ensure agriculture continues to lead in the way in our economy,” said Hartwick. “By purchasing easements, we can preserve our green space and encourage redevelopment and ‘smart growth’ in urbanized areas.”
The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program enables state and county governments to purchase conservation easements from owners of quality farmland. The program was authorized by a county resolution in 1989, and the first purchase was consummated in November 1992.
For more information on the conservation of farmland and natural resources, please visit the county’s Conservation District website at www.dauphincd.org or call 717-921-8100.