Collections > Carolina Planning Journal > Carolina Planning Vol. 6.1: Neighborhood Planning > "If We Are Really Serious About Protecting Agricultural Land In North Carolina..."

The need to protect agricultural land is one of the most common themes in contemporary land use planning. Throughout the 1970s, planners, agriculturalists, and environmentalists joined together in a chorus warning of an enormous shift of farmland in the United States. The alarming estimates of farmland losses, and their consequences has prompted widespread public concern. In response, government action toward a goal of protecting prime agricultural land has been extensive. By 1978 forty-seven states and numerous local governments had adopted some type of policy aimed at protecting agricultural operations which have been under pressure for development (Conroy, 1978: 10). At the federal level, specific legislation to preserve farmland has not been passed; however, a number of agencies have adopted administrative procedures with language requiring the preservation of valuable agricultural acreage (Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, 1975; Council on Environmental Quality, 1976; U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1978; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1978)