Towards the end of July, the Land Conservancy of Adams County finalized a conservation easement on Jeff and Deborah Seibert’s 144-acre farm in Hamilton Township. The farm was preserved through a partnership with NRCS and the Adams County Green Space Grant Program, and brings the Conservancy’s total preserved acreage to 11,299.
For Jeff and Deborah Seibert, the decision to preserve their land was “common sense.” The Seiberts live in a historic stone farmhouse in Hamilton Township. Their land includes cropland, pasture, and a historic barn as well as a pond, forest, and grasslands. Jeff and Deborah didn’t want their land to be developed and realized a conservation easement would maintain the beauty and wildness of their property for themselves and future generations.
The Seiberts’ land is adjacent to two other preserved properties. The contiguous undeveloped property is a place of pastoral beauty that has allowed wildlife to thrive. Jeff, an avid archery hunter and wildlife conservationist, appreciates the healthy whitetail deer population, as well as the ducks, geese, rabbits, raccoons, foxes, and even coyote that pass through their land.
Wildlife thrives on the Seiberts’ property by design. The Seiberts and their next-door neighbor, a farmer, work closely together to protect wildlife while minimizing damage to crops. Though deer hunters and farmers can sometimes be at odds, Jeff explained that he and his neighbor make it work. Land preservation was a logical next step in the Sieberts’ efforts to promote a healthy ecosystem on their land and nearby.
“Preserving our land is consistent with the work we’ve been doing to enhance wildlife,” said Jeff.
“Protecting the Seiberts’ farm was a great opportunity for us to preserve a lot of open farmland that also includes wildlife habitat found in a number of vegetated fencerows and a patch of woodland,” said Sarah Kipp, the Land Conservancy of Adams County’s land conservation coordinator. “In addition, the property’s substantial road frontage provides a way for county residents to appreciate the scenic beauty of the farm’s rolling pastures and historic farmstead.”
The Seiberts describe the process of preserving their land as smooth, long, and definitely worthwhile. First, they applied to the Adams County Agricultural Land Preservation Program. The county was not able to preserve their land because of their soil type, but folks at the county program directed them to the Land Conservancy of Adams County.
Jeff urges other landowners who don’t rank high enough on the county’s farmland preservation list to consider the Land Conservancy as an option.
“Working with the Land Conservancy staff was a pleasure,” he said. Though the whole process took some time, the Seiberts are thrilled with the result, a permanently preserved corridor of farmland and wildlife habitat. The Seiberts are now considering preservation of an additional property to continue protecting the landscape and wild creatures of Adams County.