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Economy Drives Interest In Land Preservation

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FREDERICK, Md. (AP) A Frederick County planning official says the weak economy is prompting more farmers to join Maryland's Agricultural Land Preservation program. The program pays landowners who agree to forever restrict development on prime farmland and woodland.

Tim Blaser, the local administrator, said Tuesday that when Frederick County joined the program in 2002, about half of the landowners who applied for preservation easements followed through on the deal.

Blaser says about nine out of 10 applicants now sell their development rights, a change that he attributes to a slowdown in real-estate development.

Frederick County has about 14,800 acres under preservation easements.

The Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation says more than 250,000 acres have been protected statewide.

Information from: The Frederick (Md.) News-Post, http://www.fredericknewspost.com
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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