On May 22, WeConservePA sent a letter to the Senators of the Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee urging support of HB 1777. The letter is included below as text and as a linked PDF.

Link to PDF of letter.

May 22, 2024

Honorable Member of the Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee

Re. HB 1777 leverages farm preservation funds No cost to state; big agricultural conservation benefit

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the 75 member organizations of WeConservePA and their more than 100,000 Pennsylvania members, I urge you to support HB 1777 and ask Chair Vogel to place it on the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee agenda for June 4.

HB 1777 will increase the volume of farm preservation at no additional cost to the Commonwealth. It will accomplish this by directing a tiny fraction of the existing Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Fund to support the purchase of agricultural conservation easements by private, charitable land trusts. The increased quantity of farm preservation will result from the bill’s requirement that land trusts match state funding at least dollar for dollar.

HB 1777 will also incentivize agricultural preservation by farmers belonging to plain sect communities, who are often reluctant to work with government.

Land trust involvement in farm preservation delivers further public benefit by placing the responsibility and costs of managing the purchased agricultural conservation easements on the land trust rather than county and state government. Land trusts are experienced in raising private dollars for this management.

Thank you for your consideration.


Andrew M. Loza
Executive Director