The Lebanon Valley Conservancy (TLVC) has announced the preservation of 172 acres of land in the Lebanon Valley, located along the Kittatinny Ridge. This valuable agricultural land has been preserved through a grant of conservation easement, in partnership with the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation.

The preserved land includes 71.75 acres of the Nye farm and just over 100 acres of the Shuey farm, both located in the Army Compatible Use Buffer Area around Fort Indiantown Gap, Union Township. The properties also border Forge Creek, a watershed to the Susquehanna River. “The conservation easement will preserve 172 acres of agricultural land, protect the local watershed and wildlife habitat, and safeguard scenic open spaces from future urban development,” stated Laurie Crawford, executive director of TLVC.

The loss of farmland to development has spiked in recent years, with the American Farmland Trust reporting 31 million acres of farmland lost between 1992 and 2012. “Preserving local farmland is important for our economy, food production, and the environment,” shared Chuck Wertz, TLVC board member. “A conservation easement allows farmers to retain the property title of their land for sale or inheritance… but ensures the land’s future use as agricultural.”

To date, The Lebanon Valley Conservancy has preserved almost 1,000 acres of land in the Lebanon Valley, utilizing conservation easements to protect the historical, cultural, and environmental values of the land.