ELCR Library of Resources:
Farm & Ranch Land Protection
Topic Area: Conservation Easements &
Preserving Callithea Farm
Callithea Farm has been successfully, if temporarily, conserved as a ‘Special Park’ within Maryland’s Montgomery County Department of Parks group of facilities, and is one of several equestrian parks in the system. In this update of our 2006 article ‘Preserving Callithea Farm’, see how Callithea is faring as a ‘member’ of the Parks community, and where it stands in the face of future development.
Video: Why Conservation Easements Work [runtime 1:50]
Horse land owners make a big commitment when placing conservation easements on their property. What makes easements so attractive for the protection of equine land?
Video: The Public Value of Private Land Conservation Easements [runtime 3:10]
Horse land owners can gain tax and other benefits from placing conservation easements on their property. The public also gains from easements on your private horse land, and that gives equine land even more value to the community.
This Land is Home to Us
Why one family placed a conservation easement on their land.
Caledonia Conservancy has made outstanding progress in preserving open land for equine purposes, protecting habitat and educating the community on the value of the land. ELCR celebrates their efforts by bestowing the Anson W. Taylor Award for 2012 upon the Conservancy.
Video: What is a Conservation Easement and How Can It Help Land Owners (excerpt) [runtime 4:13]
At the 2012 ELCR One-Day Regional Forum in Atlanta, Georgia, Laurel Florio, J.D. presented a "Conservation Easement Workshop." This presentation provides a brief introduction of protecting farm and ranchlands with conservation easements.
Conservation Easements as Farm and Ranchland Protection for Equine Enthusiasts [runtime 29:15]
At the 2012 ELCR One-Day Regional Forum in Atlanta, Georgia, Laurel Florio, J.D. presented a "Conservation Easement Workshop." This presentation provides vital information for protecting farm and ranchlands with conservation easements.
Horse farm owners can yield significant benefits from placing conservation easements on all or a portion of their farm. Learn more about easements and the benefits to the land owner here.
"Easing In" - by Milton C. Toby
Donating conservation easements is a very effective way to protect your horse land from future development. This article by attorney Milton C. Toby, from the November 11, 2011 issue of Paint Horse Journal (www.painthorsejournal.com
) is a great primer to help you understand the basics of this conservation tool.
A story of successful networking between a land trust and a steeplechase course development.
No Hay For the Horses?
Horse owners savor the sweet smell of freshly-baled alfalfa stacked neatly in barn lofts, and take great comfort that their charges will be well-fed throughout cold winters or dry seasons...
Conserving Land in Horse-friendly Aiken, SC
Read about how the equine-friendly Aiken Land Conservancy is doing its part to save horse land in Aiken County, South Carolina.
The Trust For Public Land -- An Introduction for Horsemen -- an ELCR Webinar
In this first ELCR Webinar, Kelley Hart and Ernest Cook of the Trust for Public Land present an overview of the Trust’s land protection and conservation projects and work throughout the US, focusing on their equine-based work. The webinar, geared toward horsemen and women, describes the processes and procedures that the Trust utilizes to protect significant equine lands. The presenters take us on a tour of several projects, from historic farms and facilities to vast open areas.
Working Lands and/or Equine Friendly Land Conservancies in the U.S.
A working list of land trusts that deal with working lands and/or are equine friendly.
Consolidation of Federal Conservation Easement Programs:
Pros and Cons
Background information on the five federal conservation easement programs administered through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Sample Conservation Easement with Equestrian Language
This document provides sample language from an actual conservation easement recorded in the state of Illinois on an equestrian property.
Topic Area: Purchase of Developments Rights Program
Video: Chattahoochee Hills Transfer of Development Rights Program
Transfer of Development Rights programs can be an effective tool in protecting equine lands by serving to increase residential density where it works best – in existing urban and suburban areas, and not in equine and agricultural areas.
FYI About PDR
Purchase of Development Rights programs (also known as PDR or (Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements) PACE programs can help land owners keep farm land and hay fields in production and out of development in exchange for a financial return. Learn more about these helpful tools in this article.
Scott County KY PDR Program Easement Document
Topic Area: Other Farm & Ranch Land Protection Tools
"Farm Land Protection Toolbox"
The American Farm Land Trust has prepared a Fact Sheet entitled "Farm Land Protection Toolbox" that addresses a number of planning and zoning tools to protect farmland.
Agriculture Districts: Potential benefits for horse farm owners and our hay producers
Agricultural districts are another tool that can be used to great effect in planning for the conservation and protection of working farm lands. Do your state or municipality's agricultural district laws define horse lands and activities as agriculture? Find out more about this important voluntary program.
State Right-to-Farm Laws
When new residential neighbors with no previous exposure to agricultural activities move to rural areas, misunderstandings and annoyances can become nuisance suits that can be aimed at horse farms and ranches as well as crop and livestock operations. But States’ Right-to Farm laws function to limit the circumstances under which agricultural operations can be considered a nuisance, add strength to nuisance litigation defense, and provide protection from local anti-nuisance ordinances. See how several states have instituted and utilized these laws to protect productive land.
Establishment of USDA Office of Ecosystem Services and Markets
Farms, ranches and forests provide food, fiber and fuel as well as
important ecosystem services to the American people. But all too
Washington County MN Acquisition of Development Rights Program – The Ordinance and Supporting Documents
This Washington County, Minnesota ordinance is a revision from the previously established Purchase of Development Rights Program, now named the Acquisition of Development Rights Program. The Program was originally instituted to create a “green” corridor throughout the county through their Land and Water Legacy Program. The program reflects the intent of the 2030 Comprehensive Plan Update, which supports the preservation of contiguous public and private open spaces that surround and connect the county park system, equestrian land uses and trails.
Here is the link to the current Washington County MN Acquisition of Development Rights Program ordinance: Click Here
Here is the link to the Washington County MN Land and Water Legacy Program:
Here is the link to the Washington County MN 2030 Comprehensive Plan Update. See Chapter 5, Parks and Open Space.Click Here
Creating a Purchase of Development Rights Program – Woodford County, KY
Purchase of development rights (PDR) programs are a highly valuable tool in the effort to protect and conserve farm and ranch land. But what is the process for establishing one? Woodford County, Kentucky, which borders Lexington, is home to a large number of horse breeding farms. The County recently went through the process of establishing a Rural Land Board, which undertook the task of creating a PDR ordinance and getting it adopted. But does the County have funding to purchase development rights?
Topic Area: Helpful Links
Advocacy, Legislation & Elected Officials
Land Conservation Organizations