Dauphin County Commissioners preserve almost 95-acre Washington Township farm

HARRISBURG, PA (April 11, 2018) – An almost 95-acre Washington Township farm was protected from future development by the Dauphin County Commissioners today through the county’s Farmland Preservation Program.

Under the program, farm owners Brandon and Marcia Mauser sold a conservation easement for $142,110, with state and county each covering roughly 50 percent of the cost. Since 1992, when Dauphin County began purchasing easements, the county has preserved a total of 16,832.83 acres on 173 farms.

“Farming is a vital part of our heritage and our local economy,’’ said board Chairman Jeff Haste. “It is a valuable and vanishing resource we need to protect.”

Brandon Mauser said safeguarding the 94.74-acre farm for his three children motivated he and his wife to pursue the easement.

“We feel it is important to preserve the land for future generations to farm,’’ said Mauser, who grows corn and soybeans. “We’re thankful that the county recognizes there is a need to preserve agricultural land.’’

Commissioner Mike Pries said both the county and state programs are examples of how the board works to preserve open space and help businesses.

“This program is a great tool for the county,” Pries said. “Buying conservation easements ensures farmers receive a fair value for their land and preserves these farms forever.’’

Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III said buying conservation easements is a significant way to combat urban sprawl.

“By purchasing easements, we can preserve our green space and encourage ‘smart growth’ in urbanized areas,” Hartwick said.

For more information on the conservation of farmland and natural resources, please visit the county’s Conservation District website at www.dauphincd.org or call 717-921-8100.