Date of Award

1998

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Community Planning

First Advisor

Farhad Atash

Abstract

This study researched and analyzed the various techniques that are being utilized across the United States to protect and preserve agricultural lands. These preservation strategies were applied to the rural town of North Stonington, Connecticut. North Stonington has been experiencing extensive growth and development pressures over the last eight to ten years. These growth pressures have threatened and will continue to threaten the town unless an effective farmland preservation plan is adopted and effectively implemented.

This study describes in detail each of the primary preservation techniques that have had the most success in protecting farmlands. Some of the techniques originate at the state or county level, while others can be formulated at the local level. The package of tools that this study has recommended combines several of these preservation strategies, taking into consideration both the strengths and weaknesses of each. The combination of tools allows for a variety of techniques to be utilized at varying costs and degrees of complexity.

The Town of North Stonington can use this study as a starting point for creating its own farmland preservation program. The most important thing for the town to do is to act early before more significant losses ensue. The town should actively integrate the farming community in formulating this strategy and keep the rest of the town residents well-informed and motivated through educational programs about these strategies. The implementation of such a program requires dedication and enthusiasm on the part of both the residents and public officials. The residents and town officials of North Stonington have both of these qualities.

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