THE IMPACT OF THE MICHIGAN FARMLAND AND OPEN SPACE PRESERVATION ACT OF LANDOWNER BEHAVIOR IN THE GREATER LANSING AREA

It is generally recognized that Michigan's agricultural base is among the most diversified in the nation. Producing more than fifty varieties of commodities, the industry as a whole contributes more than $15 billion in value added to the state's economy. And in terms of employment, it is estimated that one out of every eight of the state's workers are engaged in agriculturally related activities. In recent years, however, the viability of farming as a contributor to the state's economy has been threatened by a variety of sources. The use of lands for non-farm developments such as shopping centers and condominiums led to a yearly loss of an estimated 20,000 acres of prime farmland between the years 1977 and 1982. While such a conversion can be considered a natural consequence of an expanding economy, the most productive and ecologically fragile lands are often turned over first. Since the supply of these lands is finite and irreplaceable, their transformation can lead to increasing pressure on lands which remain in farming. And beyond the obvious loss of food production caused by non-farm development of USDA classified prime and unique lands, there has also been concern over the loss of scenic open space and the deterioration of wooded areas and wildlife, as well as a potential increase in surface water runoff in the areas affected. Poorly planned development affects both the general landscape as well as the viability of farming. The land buffer which is added by development to allow the continuation of farming can further accentuate this loss of farmland. Haphazard development often transforms the landscape from open space to urban sprawl. As the area become more intensively settled, property taxes typically rise as greater revenues are required for the provision of services such as sewers and water, schools, and police and fire protection. In response to farmer and public concern over the related problems of farmland loss and high property taxes, the State of Michigan in 1974 enacted Public Act 116, the Farmland and Open Space Preservation Act, which was primarily designed to diminish the loss of prime farmland that occurs in conjunction with the growth of urban sprawl. The purpose of this study is to determine the impact which the program has had on individual land use decision making in a growing metropolitan area-greater Lansing. Toward this end, it documents the response of these landowners, enrollees and non-enrollees, to the objectives of the program. Behavior based on factors not related to program incentives such as the age of the landowner, location, and development expectations is also considered. Also the effectiveness of the program in encouraging delays in non-farm development among individual landowners is closely examined.


Issue Date:
1987
Publication Type:
Thesis/ Dissertation
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/11032
Total Pages:
124
Series Statement:
Graduate Research Master's Degree Plan B Papers




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-21

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