Adams County native Adam Boyer joined the Land Conservancy of Adams County as its Land Conservation Coordinator on August 3.
A 2012 graduate of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University, Boyer earned his law degree from Villanova University School of Law last May, with a focus on environmental and land use planning. During law school, Boyer served as a research assistant at the Lower Merion Conservancy in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, and as a legal intern at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Farmland Preservation in Harrisburg.
Boyer credits his long-held interest in land preservation and land use planning to his childhood on his parents’ 111-acre farm outside York Springs, which was preserved through the Land Conservancy in 2006. “Adams County has always defined who I am and how I live my life,” he says. “I was taught to leave the land better than I found it, and I have an incredible passion to protect the landscapes of Adams County that we all love.”
“We’re delighted that Adam has joined our staff,” said Land Conservancy president Norma Calhoun. “We were fortunate to have several highly qualified applicants for this position, but Adam stood out because of his educational achievements, his experience, and his commitment to conservation. As an Adams County native whose parents and grandparents have placed conservation easements on their properties, he is uniquely qualified for the position.”
As he steps into his new role at the Land Conservancy, Boyer is both optimistic and guarded about the future of land preservation in Adams County. “We’re fortunate to have a planning office that has targeted certain areas of the county as especially appealing for preservation. There’s a sense here that preservation is something that’s important, and that we have to do it correctly,” he says. “And there’s a lot of grassroots support for land preservation here—we especially saw that with the [Land and Water Preservation] referendum passed in 2008. People support and are willing to pay for land preservation here—that’s very exciting.
“That said, in the short term, I’d say our biggest obstacle is funding,” Boyer continues. “It’s great that there’s such a demand from people who want to preserve their land, but a lot of these people do need to be compensated. To keep preservation going, funding concerns could be the biggest issue.”
Boyer takes a pragmatic view toward working with developers and others who may be less supportive of land preservation. “We’re in a growth area—we need housing, we need stores, we need commercial opportunities—and there are areas of the county that it makes sense to develop into these enterprises,” he says. “But the best places for that activity aren’t in the middle of productive agricultural areas. Similarly, there are places that it makes sense to preserve, that contain high quality watersheds, productive soils, or great views. Land preservation and commercial development aren’t mutually exclusive.”
The Land Conservancy of Adams County is an accredited nonprofit land trust dedicated to the mission of preserving the rural lands and character of Adams County. For more information about the Land Conservancy and its new Land Conservancy Coordinator, Adam Boyer, visit www.LCACnet.org.