Conservation Almanac

Almanac

:

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Profile of State Programs and Policy Framework

Highlighted Local Programs

Pennsylvania

Highlighted State Programs

Pennsylvania

State Policy Framework

Pennsylvania

Disclaimer

To avoid double counting acres where multiple programs contributed to the acquisition of a single parcel, the acreage is only aggregated under the program that provided the majority of funding. For example, if the table below displays a dollar amount greater than $0 for a given year but shows 0 acres, the program was not the primary contributor for any parcels in that year. As a result, a prolific program may show very low acreage figures on this page. To see customized program information please visit the map viewer tab or contact the Conservation Almanac Team.

Highlighted Local Programs

Local Conservation Programs Include:

    Adams County, PA

    Chester County, PA

    Lehigh County, PA

    Monroe County, PA

    Montgomery County, PA

    Northampton County, PA

    Pike County, PA

    York County, PA




Visit
LandVote.org for detailed information on these programs.

YearAcresDollars
2011 8,765.1 $41,543,990
2010 12,426.1 $64,984,331
2009 13,906.5 $80,303,758
2008 13,581.0 $74,572,477
2007 9,949.4 $77,776,623
2006 16,325.8 $79,901,213
2005 23,817.5 $50,365,540
2004 8,936.9 $45,547,336
2003 9,751.4 $50,239,814
2002 18,331.3 $51,339,327
2001 9,301.0 $41,671,187
2000 5,720.8 $25,561,778
1999 3,164.7 $18,193,314
1998 3,271.3 $15,640,835
Totals 157,248.8 $717,641,532

Highlighted State Programs

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture - Farmland Preservation Program

The Farmland Preservation Program was established in 1988 to curb the loss of prime farmland to non-agricultural uses. The program allows state and local governments to purchase conservation easements (i.e. development rights) from owners of valuable farmland. Easements may be purchased on farms of at least 50 acres in size, or 35 acres if the county program elects. A parcel may be preserved if it is as small as 10 acres and adjacent to existing preserved farmland. At least half of a given tract must be harvested cropland, pasture or grazing land, and contain 50 percent land capability classes I-IV. An agricultural land preservation board must be established in counties that have chosen to have an Easement Purchase Program. There are approximately 57 counties that have established boards.
The program is funded through an annual allotment of cigarette tax revenue of $20.485 million as well as Growing Greener II bond funds. The Bureau of Farmland Preservation oversees the program. The American Farmland Trust has recognized Pennsylvania’s farmland program as the leader in protecting farmland across the country.

YearAcresDollars
2011 11,182.0 $26,398,589
2010 10,707.4 $39,436,467
2009 14,072.7 $49,568,210
2008 20,672.3 $61,466,121
2007 27,481.1 $84,454,226
2006 18,431.3 $59,552,508
2005 15,435.7 $48,419,205
2004 15,373.9 $36,098,773
2003 17,444.0 $42,215,856
2002 24,176.0 $57,036,154
2001 29,690.2 $59,287,005
2000 30,720.3 $56,240,824
1999 16,275.2 $29,607,614
1998 21,647.9 $37,918,009
Total273,310.1 $687,699,567

Pennsylvania Growing Greener 1 - Environmental Stewardship Fund

The Growing Green initiative was signed into law in 1999 and dedicated nearly $650 million in bond funds over five years to preserve farmland and conserve open space. In June 2002 the Governor reauthorized the Growing Greener program, doubling the funding and extending it through 2012. This extension was funded by a permanent dedication of a $4.25/ton municipal waste disposal fee and increased the dollar commitment from $645 million to $1.3 billion. The program’s mission is to conserve farmland and open space; maintain state parks; clean up abandoned mines and restore watersheds; provide funds for recreational trails and local parks; help communities address land use; and provide new and upgraded water and sewer systems.

Funds are split between four state agencies: the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority.*

There has not been another vote to extend appropriations from the municipal waste disposal fee beyond 2012. As of January 2013, there is remaining funding for an awards cycle scheduled for September 2013.

*http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/growing_greener/13958/what_is_growing_greener_/588899

YearAcresDollars
2011 75.4 $1,593,800
2010 122.2 $151,600
2009 88.6 $1,471,200
2008 0.0 $1,500,000
2007 4.7 $637,500
2005 0.0 $2,131,100
2004 94.7 $3,392,000
2003 143.6 $2,622,000
2002 239.0 $1,079,000
2001 129.5 $2,737,792
2000 0.0 $1,652,150
Total897.7 $18,968,142

Pennsylvania Growing Greener 2

In May 2005 voters approved the Growing Greener II statewide bond of $625 million, nearly half of which is dedicated to farmland and open space conservation. The bond funds were spread out over six years to support projects within the Department of Environmental Protection ($230 million), Department of Conservation and Natural Resources ($217.5 million), the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture ($80 million), the Department of Community and Economic Development ($50 million), the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission ($27.5 million) and the Pennsylvania Game Commission ($20 million). Growing Greener II bond funds expired in 2012.

IMPORTANT - Farmland preservation projects funded through Growing Greener II are not included in the dollar and acreage amounts to the right. These projects are included in the farmland chart above.

YearAcresDollars
2009 1,309.0 $5,579,870
2008 2,493.0 $10,425,700
2007 159.0 $5,884,900
2006 311.7 $15,228,957
Total4,272.8 $37,119,427

Pennsylvania Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund

In 1993 voters passed the Key 93 initiative, which was originally funded by a 5-year, $50 million bond in addition to 15 percent of the state’s share of the realty transfer tax. The program now relies solely on the realty transfer tax revenue.
The program focuses on land acquisition and preservation of nature preserves, habitats and parks. Grants are made through the Keystone, Recreation, Parks and Conservation Fund. Funds are allocated to The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (65%), Pennsylvania Historic & Museum Commission (13%), Pennsylvania Department of Education (4%), and the State System of Higher Education (18%). Revenue allocated to DCNR is used for rehabilitation and upgrades to state park and forestry infrastructure, rails to trails projects, river protection and conservation projects, grants for local recreation projects and to Land Trusts for natural areas and open space planning and acquisition. Spending figures published here are solely for land acquisition projects through DCNR.

YearAcresDollars
2011 203.0 $10,724,600
2010 462.1 $7,219,000
2009 1,013.0 $5,225,885
2008 727.1 $15,176,600
2007 606.7 $19,117,900
2006 5,586.6 $13,267,208
2005 1,551.1 $9,730,900
2004 620.5 $7,609,000
2003 315.3 $7,957,900
2002 284.1 $8,114,500
2001 1,796.6 $10,505,500
2000 2,872.5 $5,710,200
1999 133.1 $5,987,700
1998 867.3 $4,153,500
Total17,038.9 $130,500,393

Pennsylvania Forestry and Parks

Funding for land acquisition for Pennsylvania’s forests and parks occurs in a variety of ways, including Growing Greener funds (see above), oil and gas lease funds, Key ’93 funds, as well as through the state Heritage Areas Program*. In 1955 the General Assembly created the Oil and Gas Lease Fund that took money from the sale of nonrenewable oil and gas resources owned by the state. These funds were set aside to reinvest into public land conservation and recreation projects on state park and forest lands.**

*http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/gasleasing/
**http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/brc/heritageareas/index.htm

YearAcresDollars
2009 4,634.0 $8,094,597
2008 9,197.0 $10,032,304
2007 6,981.0 $9,690,442
2006 6,947.0 $14,927,746
Total27,759.0 $42,745,089

State Policy Framework

Substantial State Investment

Enable Local Financing

State Incentive for Local Land Conservation

Public-Private Partnerships

Conservation Tax Credits

Federal Partnerships

Some data was not provided on a yearly basis, but rather as an aggregate figure. In this case we have distributed total acres acquired and/or dollars spent evenly by year.