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Solebury Township to host community forum on land preservation

The Solebury Township Board of Supervisors is convening a special forum on the township’s land preservation program on Tuesday, March 12, at 6 p.m., in the Township Building.

“Solebury’s all about land preservation,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Mark Baum Baicker in an announcement email. “If you want to really understand what Solebury’s about — the history of it, how we got to where we are and how we can get to where we want to go — it’s worth spending an hour and a half coming and listening to experts talk about the process and how it works.”

The forum panelists will include David Johnson, the executive director of the Land Trust of Bucks County; Kris Kern, director of resource protection for Heritage Conservancy; Bucks County Agricultural Land Preservation Program Director Rich Harvey; Terry Clemons, longtime special counsel to Solebury on open space matters; and Phil Johnson, chair of the Solebury Township Land Preservation Committee.

“We hope to encourage landowners whose property is already preserved and landowners that are thinking about preserving to come to our forum to get a better understanding of our procedure, what’s involved in preservation, and to try to further encourage them to consider the possibility of preserving,” Johnson said.

The forum will begin with an outline of the township’s history of land preservation, the process of applying, and the importance of enrolling smaller tracts of land in the program.

Land Trust and Heritage representatives will discuss the important role that conservancies play in permanent land preservation. Baum Baicker will explain how the program is funded, and Harvey will highlight the special importance of preserving our working farms. Clemons will point out the benefits of preservation to the landowner and the community at large, and the panel will close out the presentations with a discussion of how land preservation is integral to Solebury’s Comprehensive Plan.

The rest of the evening will be devoted to an open discussion, say organizers. The forum is scheduled to conclude at 7:30 p.m. Additional forums are in the planning stages, with a discussion of recycling programs tentatively set for later this spring.

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