New York’s $138 billion budget for fiscal year 2014-2015, passed March 31, includes $14 million for the Farmland Protection Program, a $1 million increase. The $1 million increase will enable the state to leverage funds from the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program to purchase conservation easements on farms in the Greater Watertown-Tug Hill Region, enhancing the buffer around Fort Drum. “The land around Fort Drum is vital to the training of our nation’s military as well as the economy of the North Country which is why we are dedicated to protecting the base,” said Governor Cuomo. This new funding positions the state to jump start the Farmland Protection Program, which has not accepted new projects since 2008. Conservation of farmland buffering Fort Drum demonstrates one of many ways farmland conservation contributes to economic development across New York State.