Agricultural/Forestal Districts

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Agricultural/Forestal Districts are rural conservation zones reserved for the production of agricultural products, timber, and the maintenance of open space land as an important economic and environmental resource. Districts are voluntary. By establishing districts, a landowner or group of landowners agree not to convert their farm, forestland, and other open space lands to more intense commercial, industrial, or residential land uses for a term of 4 to 10 years. In return, the County and the Commonwealth agree not to take actions or make infrastructure investments that will place increased pressure on landowners to convert land in the district to more intense land uses during the term of the district.

The Agricultural and Forestal District Program was formed in 1977 when the Virginia General Assembly passed the Agricultural and Forestal District Act. This act grants localities the authority to form Ag/Forestal Districts. Virginia characterizes the purpose of an Agricultural District Program as a means to “conserve, protect, and encourage the development and improvement of agricultural and forestal products, and conserve and protect agricultural and forestal lands as valued natural and ecological resources which provide essential open spaces for clean air sheds, as well as for aesthetic purposes”.

There are currently four Agricultural and Forestal Districts in Augusta County. They are the Middle River, Crimora-Madrid, Middlebrook, and North River Ag/Forestal Districts.