Agricultural Conservation Easements have done a lot for preserving farmland across the country. The legally-binding agreements restrict the way the land is used, keeping it “forever farmland.”
With unpredictable weather, markets and other conditions, sometimes the farm doesn’t pay for itself. Some farmers have used development to save their farms. They sell off the development rights to a small portion of their land to pay off the mortgage on the rest. Farmers on conserved land can’t do that.
A bill approved by Maryland State Senate would offer a solution by allowing farmers to contract with clean energy companies on conserved land.
Is this a way to help farmers stay on the land, or a reversal of conservation efforts?