The Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC) has announced, through continued funding from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP), that it has expanded its community partnership program to include 30,000+ acres of working farm and forest conservation easements.

David Haight, New York State Director for American Farmland Trust says, "This is an important milestone for the millions of New Yorkers that have clean water and the communities where these farms have been protected. This nationally significant model has proven that well-managed landscapes can act as a natural water filter while sustaining rural communities. And, there is growing evidence that these working lands are critical assets in our society's fight against climate change."

Conservation Easements with WAC are unique as the landowner retains ownership of their property; committing their lands to continued commercial agriculture and forestry practices and selling the majority of alternative development rights to be able to reinvest those monies in their business. WAC's program is meant protect the water quality of the New York City Watersheds, and to protect agricultural and forestry lands by limiting the form, location, and density of development and promoting good stewardship by the implementation of Whole Farm Plans.