Suffolk County’s visionary farmland preservation program has just achieved a triumph. The state’s Appellate Division last month rejected a ruling by a state Supreme Court justice in 2016 that hamstrung the program. Conceived by County Executive John Klein, the program, begun in 1974, is based on the brilliant and then novel idea of purchasing development rights. Farmers are paid the difference between the value of their land in agriculture and what they could get for it if they sold it to a developer. In return, the land is kept in agriculture in perpetuity. READ
The Town of Southold successfully obtained a temporary restraining order against the camping/musical festival in Orient known as Burning Kouch, according to Supervisor Scott Russell. READ
Christmas came early for Suffolk County voters in the form of a New York State Supreme Court decision on preserving farmland. READ
Special permits and so-called hardship exceptions, which allowed farmers to develop preserved farmland, have been deemed illegal, according to a New York State Supreme Court ruling. READ
While much of Suffolk County abandoned its agricultural heritage in the 20th century, portions of the North Fork’s two towns still serve as reminders of that way of life. READ
Dr. Ralph Caselnova admits he was looking for “open space” when he and his wife, Catherine, bought 16 acres north of Main Road in Orient in 1998. READ
Is there a North Fork homeowner who doesn’t despair about the destruction of their plants, shrubs or trees caused by deer, which are now eating what they once rejected?
For us farmers, deer damage isn’t just a nuisance; it is having a serious impact on our livelihoods.
Deer cause considerable crop damage to our farms by: 1). browsing, 2). destroying plants, and 3). contamination. (more…)
Farmland on the North Fork hasn’t seen an increase an value like the South Fork. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file).
The increase in the value of North Fork farmland pales in comparison to the rise in value of South Fork farmland over the past decade, according to a market study released by Farm Credit East, a local agricultural lender. (more…)
Cutchogue farmer Tom Wickham points to preserved land near his farm at a press conference Monday afternoon. Mr. Wickham said federal funds would allow farmers to cheaply upgrade to the industry’s best practices. (Credit: Paul Squire)
Turn the Peconic Estuary and Long Island Sound into a “critical conservation” area and free up federal funds for local farmers to protect water quality?
It’s a “no-brainer,” North Fork politicians say. (more…)
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Phillip Schmitt and Sons Farm’s corn field in Riverhead.
It’s good to see county government update its 1996 Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan with a more recent and comprehensive study. It’s often said that having only two representatives in an 18-member legislative body puts the five East End towns at a political disadvantage. And while there’s plenty of truth to that, an in-depth update to hone in on concerns and legislative priorities in the area’s most vital industry should not go overlooked. (more…)