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States ranked by enviromental group

November 18, 2000

States ranked by enviromental group



The Sierra Club, a national environmental organization, last year named Maryland the best state in the country at protecting its agricultural land.

In the same rankings, Pennsylvania was ninth and West Virginia was last.

The 1999 Sierra Club Sprawl Report considered, among other things, how well states are "keeping their farm lands in farmers' hands."

Scores of "very effective," "moderately effective" or "not effective" were given in eight categories.

The results:

Maryland


Very effective: State open space protection, agricultural protection districts, purchase of agricultural conservation easements, flood plain sprawl.

Moderately effective: Agricultural protection zoning, transfer of development rights.

Not effective: Percent of prime farmland destroyed 1982-1992, field expert input.

Pennsylvania


Very effective: Agricultural protection districts, purchase of agricultural conservation easements.

Moderately effective: State open space protection, agricultural protection zoning, transfer of development rights, flood plain sprawl.

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Not effective: Percent of prime farmland destroyed 1982-1992, field expert input.

West Virginia


Not effective: All eight categories.

- Andrew Schotz

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