Local group works to preserve farmland in Greenbrier Co. - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Local group works to preserve farmland in Greenbrier Co.

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RENICK, W. Va (WVVA)-- Several farms are working with the Greenbrier County Farmland Protection Board to help protect land in Greenbrier County.

They donate the development rights to some of their land to the organization, which puts it in easement.

That way, the only way it can be paved or developed is with their permission.

Board President Diane Browning stressed it was a voluntary process. 

"They decide to do this on their own," she said. "They still own their land, they can sell their land or pass it on, but what they have done [through this] is protect their land.:

Greenbrier County farmer John Walkup III allowed the organization to protect some of his land this way.

"I can't imagine it covered with houses and to me, that would be a loss," he said.

Browning emphasized the importance of preserving the views in Greenbrier County. "This not only preserves the beautiful landscapes that are the hallmark of Greenbrier County," she said, "but also keeps an important economic sector vital."

She added that having farmland nearby streams and other water sources, instead of developed property like parking lots and stores, will also maintain a healthy environment and watershed.

The board has received more than $138,000 in grant money from the West Virginia Outdoor Heritage Conservation Fund, the first time they have issued grants like this, said Browning.

They will use that money to protect another 100 acres located in Northern Greenbrier County.

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