Clarke County Conservation Easement Authority

Clarke County Conservation Easement Authority Protecting family farms and their unique natural and cultural resources in Clarke County. www.clarkelandconservation.org

The Conservation Easement Program is designed to provide an option for landowners to protect family farms in Clarke County and their unique natural and cultural resources. It represents an opportunity for landowners to voluntarily donate or sell a conservation easement to a public authority to be held in trust for perpetuity. In turn, the landowner will receive monetary compensation either though direct payment from the Authority or by selling the tax credits generated by the easement donation. The amount of compensation is based on the difference between the value of the property prior to the easement and the value of the property after the easement. The difference in value reflects the land’s value as protected open space (such as farmland, forest land or rural use) versus the "highest and best" use (often residential development).

Come out and support Matthew Mackay-Smith and travel back in time over our colonial roads.
10/15/2014
Long Branch Plantation – Exhibit Opening and Art Exhibition Preview Night

Come out and support Matthew Mackay-Smith and travel back in time over our colonial roads.

Visit Long Branch to view the newly installed exhibit, “Riding through History: Exploring Clarke’s Colonial Roads,” co-curated by local historian Matthew Mackay-Smith, the Clarke County Historical Association, and Long Branch Plantation. The exhibition preview night will honor Clarke County resident…

Internship Opportunity - Clarke Land Conservation - Clarke Land Conservation
03/25/2014
Internship Opportunity - Clarke Land Conservation - Clarke Land Conservation

Internship Opportunity - Clarke Land Conservation - Clarke Land Conservation

The Clarke County Conservation Easement Authority is offering an internship to persons interested in conducting easement inspections. The Authority currently holds easements on over 80 properties and are required to inspect each one annually to insure compliance with the terms of the easement. The p...

Good story by Merris Badcock, WHAG-TV on Farmland Preservation Grant and the Clarke County Conservation Easement Authori...
03/07/2014
New State Grant Will Help Preserve Local Farmland

Good story by Merris Badcock, WHAG-TV on Farmland Preservation Grant and the Clarke County Conservation Easement Authority

New State Grant Will Help Preserve Local FarmlandMerris Badcock 03/06/2014 06:13 PM03/06/2014 06:28 PM "There are quite a few farmers who want to put their farms into conservation easements, and having this grant is like a gift from heaven, because our tiny county can now turn around and say, ‘Yeah,...

Can you dig it?
03/05/2014
Got good dirt? Grant funds available

Can you dig it?

I’m writing today to alert you to a potentially important opportunity for yourself, your family and your land. A Federal agency has grant money available to compensate property owners for putting conservation easements on land with good agricultural soils. In addition to a cash compensation from…

Lets keep the state funding going!
03/05/2014
Governor McAuliffe Announces More Than $1 Million in Farmland Preservation Grants

Lets keep the state funding going!

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced the recipients of fiscal year 2014 farmland preservation grants. Eight localities have been awarded just over $1,058,000 from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). Localities must use the grant monies to preserve far...

New easement purchase takes Authority to a high of 5,333 acres under protection...check out the Fall newsletter and sign...
10/07/2013
Fall 2013 Newsletter Available

New easement purchase takes Authority to a high of 5,333 acres under protection...check out the Fall newsletter and sign up for direct mailing on our website....

Drum roll please. The recent purchase of an easement on 148+acres of farmland at the northern end of the county [see story below] helped the Authority move the needle on its holdings to a new high of 5,333 acres. Impressive on its own merits, this achievement gains added luster when noting:

Good news and a good summary of the proposed easement legislation.
07/26/2013
Congress to Introduce Conservation Easements Bill

Good news and a good summary of the proposed easement legislation.

A pair of lawmakers plan to introduce bipartisan legislation in the House that would provide permanent tax incentives to family farmers, ranchers and other land owners who choose not to develop their land and instead preserve their property for conservation.

06/24/2013

Donors celebrated the Authority's 10th anniversary Saturday, June 22nd at one of Clarke County's most beautiful farms (in permanent conservation easement, of course!)

Authority Vice Chair, Wingate "Winkie" Maykay-Smith had much good news to share with donors including 4941 acres now permanently protected -- representing 23% of ALL open space in Clarke County! Also 179 DURs extinguished.

Perhaps most gratifying to the donors was hearing they had made 1291 donations totaling over $150,000 since the fund-raising program launched in 2006!

Board Supevisor, Michael Hobert stepped forward to express the County's thanks for the amazing work of the Authority, singling out Winkie for her able leadership, which played a huge role in the organization's success.

The Committee presented Winkie with a framed tribute featuring a photo of an eased property taken by Committee Chair, George Ohrstrom II and a quote from Wendell Berry, "The care of the Earth is our most ancient …worthy …and pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal … our only hope.”

Thanks to Michael Hobert and donor, Murray Schmechel for taking photos of the reception which follow.

06/28/2012

The Easement Authority hosted its 7th Annual "Thank You" Reception for contributors Saturday evening, June 23rd at a Clarke County farm that has been in permanent conservation easement for thirty+ years.

The event, which is held annually around the summer solstice, attracted over 60 donors who came to enjoy the beautiful evening, each others’ company, as well as celebrate the Authority’s latest accomplishments, made possible, in part, through their support.

Committee Chair, Winkie Mackay-Smith, who hosted the Reception along with her husband Matthew Mackay-Smith, reported that in the coming weeks the Authority hopes to add another 600 acres of open space to the 4,180 it has already protected as well as extinguish an additional 21 DURs for a total of 142.

Donors had an instant opportunity to support these initiatives by bidding on a bottle of vodka, donated by former Easement committee member, Pat McKelvy, who was the winning bidder last year. Authority Vice-Chair, George Ohrstrom, took time off from shooting photos at the Reception to join in – and win – the bid. THANK YOU, George, for your generous bid AND the great photos posted here on Facebook.

05/14/2012

The Easement Authority page is recalled to life!

Welcome back to all those who already "Like" us as well as those new to this page.

The photo -- just added above -- called "Morning Commute" was taken by photographer, Richard Campbell, who received a Special Mention for it in the Authority's 2010 Photo Contest.

This stunning photo captures better than a thousand words EVER could the importance of protecting open space in Clarke County.

"...at a time when investors are still looking for safety, farmland is becoming the "it" investment."
06/06/2011
America's Hottest Investment: Farmland - The Curious Capitalist

"...at a time when investors are still looking for safety, farmland is becoming the "it" investment."

This is usually a slow time of the year for farm sales. It's past prime planting season. Yet, Sam Kain, Des Moines area manager for land sales at Farmers National, is busy. He has 3 auctions this week. Most of the 30 or so bidders who show up will be farmers.

05/27/2011

RT @potomacriver: Our May Enews is out. Read about Alan's 1,000 farms, Jeff's fishing report, our May challenge, and more. http://tinyurl.com/3h4d5jp

In case you missed it: "Protecting the environment has never been a popular cause for philanthropists, but that is chang...
05/23/2011
The Planet Savers

In case you missed it: "Protecting the environment has never been a popular cause for philanthropists, but that is changing"

The world's billionaire philanthropists once viewed tackling climate change as a questionable cause with intangible returns. But more and more of the world's elite are putting their hearts, and bank balances, into helping the environment.

Come visit the Easement Authority/Piedmont Environmental Council booth #57
05/04/2011
Untitled Document

Come visit the Easement Authority/Piedmont Environmental Council booth #57

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101 Chalmers Ct
Berryville, VA
22611

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