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The joint farmland protection plan for Brant, Evans and North Collins is nearly done, and the public will get a chance to see it tonight.

The "draft final plan," which will be presented at 7:30 p.m. in the Brant Community Center, will include prioritized lists of land recommended for protection and Geographic Information System maps illustrating them.

The three towns have the option of picking which parts of the plan they plan to implement.

There are 30 main recommendations, ranging from educating the public about agriculture and building agri-tourism to using zoning and master plan strategies to protect farmland.

"It's a single plan that has regional goals and objectives, but also a subset of goals and objectives for each town, specifically as they relate to agriculture," said Darlene Vogel, who has worked on the plan for the American Farmland Trust.

The group received $50,000 to help create the plan, and $9,500 was budgeted for a computer equipped with Geographic Information System software for the town's use. The project is being paid for with Erie County planning grants.

When the plan is finalized, it will be turned over to the towns.

Some proposals, such as adding local right-to-farm laws when there are already New York State and Erie County laws, have already stirred up some opposition. Supporters say local laws work in concert with the other laws, while opponents say they're duplicative.

But Vogel said the plan should work on several scales.

"Farmland protection is generally supported among all three towns, but there are individuals, farmers, who it may not fit or who may not support it," she said. "But it does include what people can do on an individual basis or as well as what towns can do."


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