In December 2006 a Tioga County resident donated a conservation easement on her 97 acre farm in Charleston Township to the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy. The Nicholas farm has been in the family for over 50 years, initially as a dairy farm; today, hay is the primary crop.
The property has 63 acres of farmland, 34 acres of woodland, and 3,600 feet of tributaries to the Tioga River, as well as almost 1,400 feet of frontage on a public road, contributing to the scenic beauty of Tioga County. So, that 97 acres of land that will help recharge ground water supplies supporting local families residential wells. That’s also 3,600 feet of streams that will have riparian buffers holding the stream bank in place, reducing erosion, and increasing the likelihood of aquatic life (insects and fish and crayfish) being able to survive in the stream. Silt can clog the gills of small aquatic creatures, suffocating them.
By conserving her land, Mrs. Nicholas has greatly increased the likelihood that her farm will remain in agricultural production for years to come. The impact of her decision extends beyond her property line. This farm is important to the vitality of Tioga County and its agricultural landscape. It’s good to know that productive farmland is not going to be growing houses.
Like other properties protected by a conservation easement, the Nicholas property remains in private ownership and can be purchased and sold just like other lands. However, the conservation easement will permanently remain on the property, binding all future owners, and ensuring the property will remain undeveloped.