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Vermont Senate Bill 179 (2012)

This bill proposes to amend the conservation easement statutes to permit modification of perpetual conservation easements. The bill
establishes the criteria to be used to determine when an easement amendment would be allowed, creates a process for making that determination, and vests the holders of the easement with initial authority to make the determination.

Planning for Food and Agriculture: Taking a Systems Approach - State and Regional Planning

This is one of two webinars as part of a series hosted by American Farmland Trust -- Planning for Agriculture and Food:Taking a Systems Approach.

State and Regional Planning, November 15
Presenters include Alison Hastings, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC); Brian Williams, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC); and Erica Campbell, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VJSF).

Farmland Tenure and Leasing, an excerpt from Holding Ground: A Guide to Northeast Farmland Tenure and Stewardship

This publication addresses farmland access, transfer, affordability and stewardship. It focuses on "non-ownership" tenure options and contains sample lease provisions with explanations, sample stewardship standards, worksheets, and case studies. Chapter 3, excerpted here, covers farmland tenure and leasing.

Burlington, Vermont: Comprehensive Development Ordinance (Article 1)

It is the intent and purpose of this Burlington, Vermont ordinance:
(a) To encourage the use and development of lands in Burlington in a manner which will promote the public health, safety and welfare;
(b) To implement the goals of the Burlington Municipal Development Plan;
(c) To protect agricultural, forest and other environmentally significant lands;
(d) To facilitate the growth of Burlington and its neighborhoods so as to create an optimum environment, with good urban and civic design;

Land Conservation and Property Taxes in Vermont

What is the impact on local property taxes when someone permanently conserves their land? Do taxes increase, decrease, or stay the same? Does it matter if the land is conserved by a conservation easement or if it is purchased by a government entity? In response to these and other questions from landowners, members, town officials, and assessors, the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) asked Deb Brighton, VLT Board of Trustees member and legislative tax policy consultant, to analyze the short- and long-term impacts of land conservation on Vermont property taxes.

Local Foods: Estimating Capacity

While local food is enjoying new interest in much of the country, data revealing the extent of local food production and consumption are typically lacking. This lack of data has made it difficult to set local food goals and assess progress toward such goals. This paper describes two methods for quantifying local food consumption and presents estimation results using national and state data. The local food indicators presented in this article can be easily estimated with publicly available data, and represent low cost
indicators of local food use.

Regionalist Approaches to Farm and Food Systems Policy: A Focus on the Northeast

This paper explores why agriculture and food system policy needs to pay more attention to regions. Regionalism, which urges a move from sector-based to place-based policymaking, has emerged as a powerful principle in public policy. Applied to agriculture and food policy, it acknowledges the regional diversity of the U.S. farm and food system and enables important differences between regions to be articulated and addressed more explicitly in the policy making

The Economic Importance of Agriculture: A Profile of Addison and Franklin Counties, Vermont

As farmers across the nation struggle against unfavorable economic conditions and increased pressure from sprawling development, communities must decide whether to enact measures that protect farmland and help keep farmers in business. In making such decisions, community leaders often weigh the scenic and environmental benefits of farms against the perceived economic benefits of further residential and commercial development. Often lost in the debate, however, is a discussion of the economic impact that farms have on their surrounding communities.

Mitigation of Farmland Loss

American Farmland Trust (AFT) conducted research to provide the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) with information about programs that practice mitigation of farmland loss across the country. This report contains a brief summary and evaluation of the Farmland Protection Policy Act (FPPA) and case studies that describe the approaches and results
of mitigation efforts in some state and local programs.


Farmland Transfer and Protection in New England

The purpose of this guide is to assist New England farmers with “the complex interpersonal, legal and financial considerations that can constrain or derail a farm transfer and jeopardize a farm’s future viability. The guide offers a variety of perspectives and strategies, includes worksheets to help users think through critical issues, and identifies sources of more technical information.”

How Strong Are Our Defenses: The Results of the Land Trust Alliance's Northern New England Conservation Easement Quality Research Project

The report assesses the easement stewardship practices of large, staffed land trusts in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont as well as the practices of all-volunteer land trusts and public agencies. In total, 15 land trusts were surveyed as well as the public easement-holding agency in each state. The 15 land trusts represent just 8 percent of the 119 land trusts that operate in the three states.

Public and Farmer Support for Purchase of Development Rights in the Metropolitan Northeast

Purchase of development rights (PDR) programs enjoy public as well as farmer support. PDR refers to a land use control initiative that intends to limit the use of agricultural land to farm production by making it unavailable for development. Public support for PDR is explained by the efforts of non-farm residents to preserve the rural atmosphere of the area. Farmer support, on the other hand, is dictated by market forces, such that growth in the number of farms increases farmer support of PDR.

From the Field: What Farmers Have to Say About Vermont's Farmland Conservation Program

Vermont realizes that agriculture is a huge part of its economy, and it works very hard to help it and make it grow. The farmland conservation program is part of the commitment that Vermont has made to its farmers, said Westfield dairy farmer Patrick O'Donnell, in an interview conducted for this publication.

Farmland Protection: The Role of Public Preferences for Rural Amenities

Public amenities provided by a rural agricultural landscape, arising from open space and farm activity, are important to many citizens and policymakers. Widespread development of farmland in some parts of the country has spawned an expanding array of farmland protection programs by county, State and Federal governments, as well as by nonprofit organizations.


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