Sarpy Farmers Who Appreciate Conservation Easements Disappointed With Ricketts Criticism | Regional government
When the trees in the cedar shelterbelt they planted in the mid-1990s weren’t that tall, the Fedde brothers could look northeast from one of their fields and see the main motivation for accepting. the offer of the Land Trust. Their grandparents’ farm, once located diagonally across the land the brothers farm today, was sold and divided into plots that now house five houses.
The Feddes easement sets limits on what can happen to much of their property. They can mine it and do other things like hunt and put up fences. But the land cannot be developed, and only a pocket of it can be built.
Dave Sands, executive director of the Land Trust, said making the decision was a big deal.
“Conservation easements are an important decision for a landowner because you determine the future of your land,” he said. “So we encourage landowners not to take the decision lightly. “
But Dean Fedde said it was an easy choice for them. They saw the future of their land as a road with two permanent forks: it develops and the rest, or they act and keep it in agriculture forever.
“We can protect it forever, or it will be gone forever,” said Dean Fedde. “Those are the two choices I see right now – because it happens.”
Agriculture is declining in Sarpy County, Nebraska’s fastest growing county. In 2010, there were approximately 89,572 acres of farmland in Sarpy County, according to data provided by assessor Dan Pittman. This year, there are 78,722 acres, down 12% over 11 years.