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MDARD - Department of Agriculture & Rural Development | MDARD Department of Agriculture & Rural Development | MDARD
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The Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program

Description of the Program

The Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program consists of 5 methods for preserving farmland and open space:

  • Farmland Development Rights Agreements  A temporary restriction on the land between the State and a landowner, voluntarily entered into by a landowner, preserving their land for agriculture in exchange for certain tax benefits and exemptions for various special assessments.  (commonly known as  PA 116).
  • Conservation Easement Donations A permanent restriction on the land between the State and a landowner, voluntarily entered into by a landowner, perserving their land for either open space or agriculture.
  • Agricultural Preservation Fund  A fund established to assist local units of government in implementing a local purchase of development rights program.

  • Local Open Space Easement  A temporary restriction on the land between the local government and a landowner, voluntarily entered into by a landowner, preserving their land as open space in exchange for certain tax benefits and exemptions for various special assessments.  Click herefor a copy of the registration form.

  • Designated Open Space Easement  A temporary restriction on specially designated lands between the State and a landowner, voluntarily entered into by a landowner, preserving their land as open space in exchange for certain tax benefits and exemptions for various special assessments.  If you are interested in requesting land be conserved in by applying for a Designated Open Space Easement, click here.
  • Purchase of Development Rights  A permanent restriction on the land between the State and a landowner, voluntarily entered into by a landowner, preserving their land for agriculture in exchange for a cash payment for those rights.  Currently funding is not available for this program.  Contact your township or county to see if there is a local PDR program established.