July 23, 2014

Conservation group announces protection of nearly 800-acre property

The conservation group Upstate Forever says it has partnered with a landowner to protect Allen Farm– a nearly 800-acre parcel of land in Walhalla. The cattle farm is located adjacent to Buzzard Roost Heritage Preserve in Oconee County.

A barn on the Allen Farm tract (Courtesy: Upstate Forever)

“Development can be a good thing, but there are places where development should never happen,” said Erin Knight, who is in charge of Upstate Forever’s land trust program, “There are places that are too special to be compromised and lost to thoughtless development.” 

Knight said the landowner, John Allen, approached the group to see how he could get a conservation easement on 798 acres he owned. Easements are agreements between the property owner and either a governmental agency or (in this case) a land protection group. The owner agrees to restrict development on his property in exchange for tax incentives.

Upstate Forever says most of the Allen Farm land is forested, while the rest is a cattle farm. Conecross Creek, the water source for nearby Walhalla, also flows through the property.

Knight said Allen Farm is especially important because of its size. “It’s getting harder and harder to find tracts of land that haven’t been broken up… over time,” she said.

Upstate Forever says it has secured conservation agreements on 84 properties, protecting more than 16,000 acres in the Upstate.