Eligibility Requirements

Property must meet the following minimum criteria in order to be considered for either a purchased or donated conservation easement:

  1. The property shall be located in Preston County.
  2. The property shall be land, which meets one or more of the following criteria (WV Code §8A-12-11, 2005)
    1. used or usable for agriculture, horticulture or grazing (qualifying property)
    2. wetlands that are part of the qualifying property
    3. woodlands that are
      1. part of or appurtenant to a qualifying property tract; or
      2. held by common ownership of a person or entity owning qualifying property
  3. No commercial or industrial structure shall be located on the parcel. (WV Code §8A-12-16, 2005)
  4. Clear title of the easement must be established and the application must be signed by the property owner(s).
  5. The property shall not have any current or past uses that would render the establishment of a conservation easement inconsistent with the intent of the Act or this Program. The Preston County Farmland Protection Board shall make such determination after consideration of all facts and circumstances.
  6. Land owner must own mineral, oil, gas, coal rights to the property or have a written agreement signed by owner of mineral, oil, gas, coal rights stating that once an offer from the PCFPB to purchase a conservation easement has been made on the property, the landowner will be able to obtain these rights within 60 days.
  7. Any gas lease signed after December 31, 1970 must be a non-developmental gas lease. It is the responsibility of the landowner to have any leases converted to non-developmental, prior to applying for an easement.

Additional program criteria must be met for acceptance of a donated easement. Purchased easements or expenses on donated easements shall be ranked in accordance with the program criteria.