By Trevor Taylor
July 9, 2019
I am always amazed of the beauty of Adams County with its beautiful lands. Aside from tourism, agriculture is Adams County’s number one industry. We are sixth in the state for agriculture and fourth in the entire nation in production of apples and peaches. With all the beauty around us, we are lucky a program exists to conserve this land for future generations to enjoy.
To that end, Adams County enjoys over ten thousand acres of permanently preserved open spaces including farmland. Much of this land is preserved through conservation easements which are voluntary, legally binding agreements which limits the future use of the land but allows activities such as farming, ranching and hunting. Individuals enter a conservation easement for a variety of reasons such as wanting to preserve their land for future enjoyment and largely to ease current tax burdens.
Unfortunately, due to a few instances of abuses in the system of individuals obtaining overinflated land valuations, some in Congress want to restrict the process of landowners entering into easements. Senate Bill 170 would add more red tape in Washington at a time when we have lawmakers working hard to streamline tax processes. More importantly, it would disincentivize landowners from engaging in conservation efforts by donating land and push them to sell beautiful agricultural land for development. We cannot afford to lose the beautiful land of Adams County to S170.
Trevor Taylor, Gettysburg