Dane County Executive Falk Announces First “Conservation” Preservation Purchase Along Highway 12 Corridor
November 02, 2005
Lesley Sillaman, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823
Madison – Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today announced a proposal to purchase a conservation easement for a 55- acre wooded section of land for approximately $165,000. This is the first land purchase to protect special natural resources along Highway 12, which is set to officially open Thursday. The land is located in the Town of Roxbury and is being purchased from Ted Thousand and Darcy Love.
“This land defines the western horizon from the highway and has beautiful rugged, steep wooded slopes,” said Falk. “Maintaining these scenic natural areas and agricultural landscapes is critical to preserving the rural character of the corridor.”
“This land has been in our family since 1976 and this project provides us with a way to preserve it, something we had wanted to do,” said Ted Thousand.
This purchase follows three agreements previously to protect farmland around the route, including two announced in June, totaling approximately $1,100,000 for 248 acres of farmland, and an 80 acre purchase in April, for approximately $225,000 to create a contiguous block of farmland that will permanently be preserved for agricultural use. In 2002, $459,875 was also used to buy a 121-acre farm for farming.
The program is voluntary and fully funded by the $5 million that Falk negotiated with Governor Tommy Thompson, representatives from the National Park Service, DOT and others. This $5 million is to preserve farmland and special natural resources threatened by the widening of Highway 12. The county works in partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which provides financial and technical assistance to help keep farms in private agricultural use. Through the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program, NRCS has provided $1.98 million in financial assistance to the Dane Co Ag Easement program since 2004.
In addition to the $5 million, the agreement also included $250,000 in Local Planning Assistance money for the five towns and the City of Middleton to work on their comprehensive plans, something they have all completed.
A resolution authorizing the purchase will be introduced to the County Board Thursday, November 3 for action and signature by the County Executive.