When David and Amy Cook signed the conservation easement to protect their farmland in Bradford last week, they joined over a hundred farm families who have worked with UVLT to conserve agricultural land. Here in the Upper Valley, UVLT has conserved more than 10,000 acres of working farmland. Our local accomplishments are notable nationwide.
Across the United States, land trusts have permanently protected 3 million acres of farm and ranch land. A recent study by the American Farmland Trust (AFT) found that a small number of land trusts did most of the work: 52 land trusts protected 95 percent of the land, and 55 land trusts hold 87 percent of the easements. UVLT ranked 29th and 13th respectively.
The Upper Valley’s farmland is some of the most fertile in the world. It’s a critical and irreplaceable resource that produces healthy, local food, provides livelihood and supports our region’s economy in many ways. We are glad for the many farmers, UVLT members and funders who help us do this important conservation work.
AFT’s report: A Nationwide Survey of Land Trusts that Protect Farm and Ranch Land and a summary of these and other key findings is available at www.farmlandinfo.org