A 2007 UVM study highlighted the need for farmland conservation to protect Lake Champlain water quality. The study found that the conversion of farmland to housing endangers Lake Champlain because acre for acre much more phosphorous runs off streets, parking lots, and suburban lawns than off farmland. Construction of expensive sewage treatment facilities is only part of the solution according to the researchers. The answer is to invest in farmland conservation.
Conservation is Key to Good Energy Policy
Vermont’s energy future and economic future are inextricably linked. Many Vermont farmers are at the forefront of devising new methods for creating on-farm energy through methane digesters, wind turbines, and biofuels. By protecting working farms and forests we are creating options for future energy independence and a stronger economy.
Conservation is Strongly Supported Across Vermont
Nine out of 10 Vermonters are concerned about increasing pressure to convert open land to residential, commercial or other development, according to a 2008 Council on the Future of Vermont and UVM’s Center for Rural Studies, which polled over 600 Vermonters.
The survey also showed that over 97 percent of Vermonters place the greatest overall value on the state’s working landscape and heritage.
Now More Than Ever... Conservation Can’t Wait
The conservation of more than 600 farms and thousands of acres of forestland have clearly supported our economy. Continued strategic conservation investments will produce the best economic stimulus—for today and for the long-term benefit of our state. No economic development strategy is complete without conservation and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.
When the opportunity to protect land comes along and it is not taken, the chance may never come again.
Blue Ledge Farm
Our protected working lands and our natural areas are the foundation of both Vermont’s economy and environment. Right now, more than ever, Vermont cannot afford to let up in protecting our most valuable public assets—our farms and forests.
Right now, Vermont has the opportunity to protect 40 high quality farms and thousands of acres of forestland. Protecting family farms and forests means producing local food, creating jobs, and adding cash into our economy. Protecting our farms and forests is key to our energy future, water quality, public health, food security and our quality of life. When the opportunity to protect land comes along, the chance may never come again.
For more information about whether your land will qualify for the Land Trust or Tax Benefits for placing your land in Land Trust: https://www.vlt.org/
Organizations partnering in the Conservation Can't Wait campaign:
American Farmland Trust
Preservation Trust of Vermont
The Nature Conservancy of Vermont
Vermont League of Conservation Voters
Trust for Public Land
Upper Valley Land Trust
Green Mountain Club
Vermont Natural Resources Council
VT Affordable Housing Coalition
Catamount Trail Association
Lewis Creek Association
South Hero Land Trust
Middlebury Area Land Trust
Lake Champlain Land Trust
Greensboro Land Trust
Stowe Land Trust
Smart Growth Vermont
Annette Lorraine, PLC
Northern Rivers Land Trust