Business, Politics

Baltimore County accepting applications for agricultural preservation

BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD—Baltimore County is now accepting applications for the FY 22 Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) Program.

MALPF is a State funded easement program which protects over 25,100 acres of farmland in Baltimore County alone. Created by the General Assembly in 1977, MALPF purchases agricultural preservation easements that restrict development on prime farmland and woodland in perpetuity.

MALPF has permanently preserved 326,650 acres of agricultural land across Maryland, representing a public investment of more than $784 million. With county and other state preservation programs, more than 982,100 acres of farmland and resource land are protected by easements in Maryland. This is the greatest ratio of farmland preserved to total landmass of any state.

Baltimore County is also a national leader in land preservation and has consistently ranked in the top 10 counties for land preservation.

With 67,744 acres protected through various public and private programs, Baltimore County is nearly 85 percent towards permanently protecting 80,000 acre of land in the County’s rural area. The purpose of the goal is to provide permanent protection of enough land to be able to maintain a viable local base of food and fiber production for the current and future citizens of Baltimore County.

To be eligible for the program, the land must be rural, meet minimum soil criteria, and be at least 50 acres in size or adjacent to an already preserved land. Funding is limited so selection will be based upon the quality of the farm land and other factors.

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Baltimore County officials say their staff is ready to assist landowners with their applications. For landowners who have applied in prior years, a new application must be submitted each application cycle to be considered for the sale of an agricultural easement.

The application period is now open and the deadline is April 30, 2021.

Information and application forms can be found at https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/planning/landpreservation.

Interested landowners are encouraged to contact Megan Benjamin or Joe Wiley at 410-887-3480 before completing the application.

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