Protecting Open Lands in Farms and Ranches from Development Through Conservation Easements | Id: NERM-2889
Across the nation, farms and ranches are rapidly disappearing by land-use conversion to commercial and residential development. In Oklahoma, roughly 30,000 acres of open lands are converted annually, and the rate is increasing. Often, the most productive lands nearest our communities and the lands most valued for conservation and wildlife are under the most intense threat of development.
The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) was designed to place qualified cropland into cover to minimize runoff and erosion for 10 or 15 year contract periods. This Farm Service Agency (FSA) program also provides habitat for many wildlife species. Further, this popular program provides landowners with a steady income flow on marginal cropland. At some point, every landowner with expiring CRP acreage faces a decision about what to do with their land. This Fact Sheet is intended to describe some options to consider. It is important to carefully evaluate each of the proposed options and consider long-term impacts of each.