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in Preservation Network
For Immediate Release: December 15, 1999 Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic


A 237-acre farm in Allamuchy Township, Warren County, was permanently preserved today, strengthening a network of more than 2,300 acres of surrounding lands that either are protected or slated for protection in the immediate area. The farm's preservation was made possible through the state's first direct purchase of development rights, said state Agriculture Secretary Art Brown, Jr., who chairs the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC). The Garden State Preservation Trust Act, which was signed into law by Governor Whitman in June, for the first time authorized the SADC to directly purchase development rights. Prior to the Act, development rights could be purchased only by counties, with the SADC providing grants to help fund those purchases. The Act also authorizes the SADC to offer grants to nonprofit organizations to help fund the cost of acquiring development easements or properties to be preserved. "The SADC's ability to purchase development rights directly from farm owners is another way to preserve our precious farmland," said Governor Whitman. "Agriculture is an integral part of the state's character, and preserving farmland will help us make sure that New Jersey is a good place to live, work and raise a family for generations to come." The SADC purchased the development easement on the former Anisfield farm - also known locally as the Danks Farm - from Frank and Joan Gibbs of Allamuchy. The couple owns an adjacent dairy farm and has been leasing the Anisfield farm for the past 35 years. The couple wanted to purchase the farm, but that hinged on the accompanying sale of the farm's development rights to the SADC. Simultaneous closings took place today on both the Gibbses' purchase of the farm and their sale of the development easement to the SADC. The couple purchased the farm for $1.1 million. The SADC paid them $699,488 for the development easement, with Warren County sharing approximately $186,500 of that cost. The sale of the development rights means that the property can never be used for anything other than agricultural purposes. "Agriculture provides important economic and aesthetic benefits to the state," noted Secretary Brown. "Preserving these farmlands is critical to maintaining agriculture's continued economic viability." Other protected lands or preservation projects in the area include approximately 1,000 acres of additional preserved farmland; the 625-acre Tranquility Farm, which the The Nature Conservancy, Warren and Sussex counties, and the SADC are working cooperatively to protect; and 700 acres owned by the Pequest Property Co., which the Green Acres Program is working to acquire and preserve. The State Agriculture Development Committee administers New Jersey's Farmland Preservation Program. To date, 58,056 acres have been permanently protected under the program, with approximately 18,639 additional acres approved for preservation.