Baltimore County is now accepting applications for both the FY21 Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) and the Baltimore County Land Preservation Programs.
MALPF is the State funded easement program which protects 24,719 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. The County program which operates similarly, was created in 1994 to preserve working family farms in the county.
MALPF has permanently preserved 318,215 acres of agricultural land across Maryland, representing a public investment of more than $752 million. With county and other state preservation programs, more than 963,700 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 67,000 acres protected through various public and private programs, Baltimore County is over 80 percent of way to the goal of 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 to be considered for either 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, development potential, discounted asking price, and other factors.
Baltimore County staff is ready to assist landowners with their applications and encourages landowners considering applying to contact them early to begin the process as the application is quite extensive.
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 17, 2020 Information and application forms can be found at www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/planning/landpreservation.
Interested landowners are encouraged to contact Joe Wiley or Megan Benjamin at (410) 887-3480 before completing the application.