Agriculture & Markets - Farmland Viability Program - Legislative intent

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§ 327. Legislative intent. The legislature hereby finds, determines
and declares that the New York agriculture industry has a substantial
impact on the overall economic health and well-being of the state.
Furthermore, state farms preserve approximately 7.7 million acres of
open space as working landscapes, thus contributing to the overall
quality of the state's environment. Preserving farmland as a working
agricultural landscape provides open space benefits for all residents of
the state, and maintains the land as a natural habitat for animals.
Properly managed farmland has been demonstrated to be the best
environmental usage of land for watershed protection, so it is in the
best interest of the state to maintain agricultural land. The
legislature hereby declares that in order to ensure the continued
economic viability of the agricultural industry, and to preserve the
environmental benefits of agricultural land use, the department shall
create a farmland viability program.