Cecil County Accepting Applications For Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2020
ELKTON, MD. – Cecil County Government is excited to announce that applications to sell an agricultural easement to the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) are now being accepted by the Department of Land Use & Development Services.
MALPF is the State funded easement program in which over 15,150 acres of farmland have been preserved in Cecil 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 program 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.
Agriculture remains the largest industry in Cecil County, with a value of over $137 million in products sold in 2017, an increase of over 100% since 1974. Landowners are encouraged to consider selling an agricultural easement in order to maintain a viable local base of food and fiber production for the present and future citizens of Cecil County.
In order to qualify for a MALPF easement a property must have 50 contiguous acres, a majority of productive quality soils, be located outside of the boundaries of the 10-year master water & sewer plan, and have a valid Soil Conservation and Water Quality Plan filed with the Soil Conservation District.
The application is quite extensive, and staff from the Department of Land Use & Development Services can provide assistance to landowners. Please contact Devyn King, Planner I and Cecil County MALPF Program Administrator, no later than May 1, 2020 with your intentions to apply, so that there is adequate time to prepare the application. Completed and signed applications are due to the Department of Land Use and Development Services by close of business on May 22, 2020. 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 Cecil County Department of Land Use & Development Services continues to work toward the goal of 55,000 acres of agricultural land permanently preserved by 2025, which was set in 2000. Approximately 29,050 acres have been placed into protective agricultural easement, and 22,735 acres of protected Cecil County land is owned by the federal, state, county, or town government. With 51,000+ acres of Cecil County land permanently protected from development, the County is just under 4,000 acres away from the goal, with only four years left to achieve it.
To learn more about the MALPF program, please visit mda.maryland.gov/malpf. For more information regarding land preservation in Cecil County, please contact Devyn King in the Department of Land Use & Development Services at 410-996-5220 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Information Officer
Cecil County Government