sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

...Food for thought:

Land for Tomorrow has a plan to save farmland in North Carolina:

"Purchase of development rights (PDR) programs keep the land in private ownership and allow continued agricultural use but restrict buildings and other development on the property with the exception of new agricultural buildings. Depending on the needs of the landowner, development rights may be purchased by a government agency or by a nonprofit land trust at fair market value, or the landowner may donate the easement and qualify for charitable tax benefits. Planning, marketing and technical assistance are crucial to helping protect North Carolina's working family farms.

"Funding needed: $110 million over five years ($22 million per year."

Another view, from a reliable source of mine:

"The idea that we're running out of farmland or that farmland needs to be protected is a myth. As it is, the government spends tens of billions each year subsidizing farmers to grow (or paying them not to grow) crops for which there would be no market without the subsidies.

"One of the reasons forest land has increased in the U.S. over the decades is that land that used to be farmed has reverted back to forest. Only a few percent of U.S. land has been developed, so the claim that suburbs are taking up all our farmland is also false."


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