NC Ag Department To Ask Legislature For $13M For Military Buffers
The state Agriculture Department plans to ask the legislature for $13 million to help buffer military bases from encroaching development.
The new money would help build a fund of $56 million to pay farmers and other rural landowners not to develop their property in ways that could harm bases or training.
Robert Hosford, the department’s military liaison, said the military benefits from this because it gives them open space to do their training and readiness.
Amd “the landowner benefits from this that they now have a way to put a conservation easement on their property to pass their lands down to the following through generations,” Hosford said.
Hosford said his department has worked for two years to identify suitable and willing landowners and has a plan ready for where to spend the money.
The money would win matching funds from a federal program to pay farmers and others to preserve land where development could hurt military readiness.
The partnership includes the Pentagon and the departments of agriculture and interior, and it was expanded in 2016 to allow such deals in a third of North Carolina’s counties.
Photo courtesy of Sanjay Parekh.