Farm preservation concerns are heard in Loyalsock Township

A Loyalsock Township farmer brought her request to participate in state agricultural preservation programs to supervisors’ attention at the board’s meeting Tuesday evening.

The farm owner, who asked not to be identified, has a farm off Bloomingrove Road that has been in her family more than 100 years. She wants to designate the property as an agriculture security area.

“This means we’d have to keep (the farm) for seven years as agriculture or using farming practices there,” she said. “If we want to turn it into subdivisions we can’t.”

“Where you’re seeing a lot of farms getting developed is where there’s water and sewer already,” township Manager Bill Burdett said. “I don’t see us putting in the lines up to where you are.”

Designating a farm an agriculture security area is a prerequisite to enrolling it in a county farmland preservation program, which puts a perpetual restriction on selling the land for development, according to the state Department of Agriculture.

When the board reviewed the bills, Supervisor Virginia Eaton asked about the high amount spent on tree-trimming.

“For 10 years we’ve been playing catch-up on cleaning up the trees,” Burdett said. “There’s a lot of work getting the low branches on these pin oaks … we have our guys do some of it, but there was stuff out of our league. It’s all part of managing the urban forest.”

The board was informed that through March the township has had 142 fire calls and 931 for emergency medical services.

Township supervisors next meet 7:30 p.m. April 23 at 2501 E. Third St.