Welcome to the Preston County Farmland Protection Program
Preston County Commission Resolution
On June 22, 2004 the Preston County Commission authorized a resolution creating the Preston County Farmland Protection Board (PCFPB), becoming one of the few counties in West Virginia to utilize the Voluntary Farmland Protection Act. The Commission affirmed that the agriculture community of Preston County provides sources of agriculture products for the citizens of the state; enhances tourism, protects worthwhile community values, institutions and landscapes which are inseparably associated with traditional farming; and controls the urban expansion which is consuming land, topsoil and woodland of the county. The Board as appointed by the Commission, was authorized to create and administer the Preston County Farmland Protection Program in consultation with the Monongahela Conservation District, and as approved by the Commission. The copy of resolution itself is included in Appendix.
From 1982 through 1997, West Virginia lost at least 100,000 acres of productive farmland, with Preston County losing 28,000 acres of cropland. With the loss of farmland there is a loss of the agriculture industry, which has been the heartbeat of Preston County’s economy for over 100 years. Agriculture is a unique life support industry providing sources of agricultural products for the citizens of the state.
To address the loss of agricultural land and woodland as open-space land the West Virginia legislature passed into law on March 10, 2000 the Voluntary Farmland Protection Act. To implement the program on a local level, the Preston County Commission created the Preston County Farmland Protection Board on June 22, 2004. The farmland protection board is charged under the Act with creating a document proposing a farmland protection program consistent with the Legislature’s intent.
This program establishes uniform standards and guidelines for the eligibility of properties and the ranking criteria utilized to prioritize fund allocation to purchase conservation easements or to pay associated costs for purchased or donated easements. The guidelines established by this program outline the various methods of farmland protection available to prospective participating property owners, and the procedures to be followed in applying for program consideration.
Further, it is the purpose of this program to:
- Encourage landowners to make a long-term commitment to agriculture by offering them financial incentives and security of land use
- Protect normal farming operations in agricultural areas from incompatible non-farming uses that may render farming impracticable
- Assure conservation of viable agricultural lands in order to protect the agricultural economy of this County