Farmland Preservation Program
Technical Assistance from American Farmland Trust
Farmland Preservation in Clinton County
Since 1996, the
County Ag Preservation Board, in cooperation with the Clinton County
Commissioners and the PA Bureau of Farmland Protection, Bureau of Farmland
Preservation, has purchased conservation easements on farms in Logan, Lamar,
Greene, Porter, Beech Creek Townships and the borough of Loganton. Nearly 1,900
acres on 18 high quality farms have been preserved for agriculture forever. The
Conservation Easements are perpetual.
Farms preserved are:
Logan Township, 79 acres
Steve Shipman, Lamar Township, 78 acres
Ralph Cerrato, now Levi Fisher, Greene Township, 132 acres
James Watson, Porter Township, 132 acres
Ralph Brungart, now Levi Fisher, Greene Township, 132 acres
Craig Cella, Green Township, 106 acres
Greg Nedurian, Lamar Township, 90 acres
Frederick Chappell, Lamar Township, 146 acres
Kenneth Yearick, Porter Township, 144 acres
Lucian Snook, Green Township, 58 acres
Rod Andrews, Loganton Borough, 138 acres
Roland Irvin, Beech Creek Township, 137 acres
Issac Tyson, Porter Township, 43 acres
Albert Robinson, Porter Township, 50 acres
Charles Bechdel, Sr., Beech Creek Township, 129 acres
Fred Yearick, Porter Township, 78 acres
Sam Zook, Lamar Township, 99 acres
James Breon, Logan Township, 81 acres
Preservation in Clinton County
The purpose of the
program is to protect viable agricultural lands by acquiring agricultural
conservation easements which prevent the development or improvement of the land
for any purpose other than agricultural production. The program encourages
landowners to make a long-term commitment to agriculture by offering them
financial incentives and security of land use. It protects normal farming
operations from incompatible
non-farming uses and
from complaints of public nuisance against normal farming operations.
Conservation Easements in Clinton County protect the agricultural economy and
provide compensation to landowners in exchange for their relinquishment of the
right to develop their private property.
Funds for easements are provided by appropriations from County Commissioners and
from a cigarette tax, provided by the state. Clinton County's contribution to
easements has been over $410,000 over a period of 13 years; state funding for
Clinton County easements has been $1,530,000.
Pennsylvania leads the nation in Farmland Preservation. The maximum price paid
by the state per acre is $10,000 plus administrative costs. In Clinton County,
the average price per acre paid for easements is $1,100 plus administrative
costs. This is comparable to the cost in Lycoming and Blair Counties; it is
generally higher than Mifflin County and considerably lower than Centre.
Clinton County's Farmland Preservation Board of Directors are: Chairman Kenneth
Yearick, Vice-Chairman Tim Owens, John Lucas, James Harback, Charles Bechdel
Jr., and Frederick (Dan) Chappell). Secretary/ County Program Administrator is
In 1996, Clinton County spent more than $265,000 for the purchase of
Agricultural Conservation Easements for the Farmland Preservation Program.
Easements on 3 farms were purchased - the William L. Miller farm, The Steven
Shipman farm, and the Ralph Cerrato Farm. In all, over 285 acres of farmland and
woodlots were preserved, never to be developed. This was the biggest year in
the programís history.
Through the voluntary selling of conservation easements, farmers are paid the
difference between the agricultural value and the nonagricultural value of their
land. This technique helps farmers who are feeling the pressures of development
to sell what can be called, "development rights" and still continue to farm. If
that is done, then the owner of the easement, the county and/or state, has the
right to say no to development.
A public informational meeting was held in early 1995, others in spring of 1996,
1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. Board meetings are open to the public. They are
held when there is business to conduct, usually the 4th Tuesday of the month.
However, in some years, only two or three total meetings are held.
Anyone interested in the Agricultural Land Preservation Program should call the
program administrator Suzanne Foust at (570) 893-1223, County Planning at (570)
893-4080, or Penn State Cooperative Extension at (570) 726-0022.
AGRICULTURE PRESERVATION BOARD
Kenneth Yearick, Chair
367 Fox Hollow Road
Mill Hall, PA 17751
27 Aikey Lane
Mill Hall, PA 17745
407 Cider Press Road
Lock Haven, PA 17745
860 West Valley Road
Loganton, PA 17747
Charles L. Bechdel, Jr.
1549 Eagle Valley Road
Beech Creek, PA 16822
677 End Mt. Road
Mill Hall, PA 17751
AGRICULTURE PRESERVATION BOARD ADVISORS
Clinton County Board of Commissioners: County Commissioner Adam Coleman, County
Commissioner Joel Long, County Commissioner Thomas Bossert.
Suzanne Foust, Administrator/Secretary of Agriculture Preservation Board, (570)
James Ladlee, Executive Director, Penn State Cooperative Extension, (570)
Timothy Holladay, Planner, Clinton County Planning Commission, (570) 893-4080
Visitors since June 2003