Property must meet the following minimum criteria in order to be considered for either a purchased or donated conservation easement:
- The property shall be located in Preston County.
- The property shall be land, which meets one or more of the following criteria (WV Code §8A-12-11, 2005)
- used or usable for agriculture, horticulture or grazing (qualifying property)
- wetlands that are part of the qualifying property
- woodlands that are
- part of or appurtenant to a qualifying property tract; or
- held by common ownership of a person or entity owning qualifying property
- No commercial or industrial structure shall be located on the parcel. (WV Code §8A-12-16, 2005)
- Clear title of the easement must be established and the application must be signed by the property owner(s).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.