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Preservation projects approved

The Dakota County Board of Commissioners has approved 16 proposed Farmland and Natural Areas Program projects, and a funding application was submitted to the United States Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The property owners include five property owners in Hampton, Marshan and Douglas townships. A total of 422 acres is involved with these five properties.

Other properties are located in Waterford, Eureka, Greenvale and Sciota townships.

Dakota County has submitted and received more than $8.3 million of Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program matching funds through the Natural Resources Conservation Service from 2003 to 2009.

During the 2009 application process, the commissioners authorized staff to initiate appraisals and landowner negotiations for the 10 highest ranked farmland projects submitted during the application round.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service has issued a 2010 request for proposals to provide matching funds to eligible states for protecting farmlands by acquiring permanent agricultural conservation easements.

The remaining 16 2009 project landowners were contacted by county staff and indicated they are still interested in participating in the FNAP.