LITTLE VALLEY — A 30-day enrollment period where Cattaraugus County landowners can request inclusion in the county-wide Agricultural District ends Jan 31.

Property owners may submit requests by Jan. 31 for the inclusion of predominantly viable agricultural land into the county’s agricultural district.

Cattaraugus County has over 239,500 acres in its consolidated agricultural district.

As of Jan. 1, 2019, 174 agricultural districts existed statewide, containing 25,673 farms.

Forms and information are available at: https://www.cattco.org/2020-ag-district, said Patrick McGlew of the Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development, Planning and Tourism.

To request a paper form, contact McGlew at 938-2387.

The 30-day annual period when agriculturally viable land can be requested to be included in the agriculture district is required under state Agriculture and Markets Law.

A public hearing will be scheduled at a later date to consider all inclusion requests and the related recommendations of the Cattaraugus County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board.

The Agricultural Districts Law was created in 1971 to encourage the continued use of farmland for agricultural production, McGlew said.

The Program is based on a combination of landowner incentives and protections, all of which are designed to forestall the conversion of farmland to non-agricultural uses. Benefits include protections against overly restrictive local laws, government funded acquisition or construction projects, and private nuisance suits involving agricultural practices.

 

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