Preserving Large Farming Landscapes: The Case of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 7(3): 67–81, 2017
By: Lauren Payne-Riley, Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems, Thomas Daniels
This article from the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development stresses the importance of preserving large farming landscapes, highlighting three measures that best reflect the spatial effectiveness of farmland preservation efforts: the acreage and percentage of preserved farm parcels located in agricultural zones, the number and acreage of preserved farm parcels in large contiguous blocks, and the number and acreage of preserved farm parcels along growth boundaries. The article uses GIS analysis to examine farmland protection efforts in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, one of the nation’s leading farmland preservation programs. The results demonstrate that three techniques—effective agricultural zoning, growth boundaries, and the acquisition of conservation easements—can work together in a farmland preservation package of approaches.