Kuhlman Farm Preserved (OK)

Norman, OK, 8/21/02 – Today, a 100-acre farm in Norman, Oklahoma will be permanently preserved as open space. The farm will be preserved through a conservation easement, a voluntary but legally-binding document that will allow continued farming but prohibit commercial or residential development.

The easement is being purchased by the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a nonprofit conservation organization, using funds from the first federal Farmland Protection Program grant ever awarded in Oklahoma. The City of Norman is providing matching funds for the purchase of the easement.

On Monday, the Trust for Public Land will officially acquire the easement for conveyance to the Norman Area Land Conservancy (NALC), a Norman-based nonprofit organization. The closing is scheduled for 1 pm at the offices of American First Abstract Company located at 111 East Comanche in Norman. The closing ceremony will be open to the press and invited guests.

During the closing ceremony, comments will be made by the Kuhlman family, who own the farm, as well as Norman Mayor Ron Henderson, State Conservationist Darrel Dominick of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (which administers the Farmland Protection Program), NALC Chair Lyntha Wesner, and TPL Oklahoma State Director Robert Gregory. At 3 pm, the press and invited guests are invited to the farm for photographs.

The Kuhlman Farm is the home of one of Cleveland County’s best-known pioneer families. The farm lies on the northern edge of Norman (home to the University of Oklahoma), directly in the path of sprawling development moving south from Oklahoma City. This is a cornerstone property for the Trust for Public Land’s Farm and Ranch Preservation Initiative and the Norman Area Land Conservancy’s efforts to protect prime agricultural land in the Little River Valley.

In many respects, the Kuhlman Farm is a landmark project for agricultural and open space protection in Oklahoma:

  • This is TPL’s second working landscape project in Oklahoma, and, subsequently, only the second conservation easement acquisition ever in the state since the 1999 adoption of the ABA Model Conservation Easement Act.
  • This project was partially funded with the first federal Farmland Protection Program grant ever awarded in Oklahoma, and one of only two grants ever awarded to TPL since the program was opened to non-profit organizations.
  • This is the first easement acquisition project for the Norman Area Land Conservancy, Oklahoma’s first and only local land trust.
  • This project represents the first acquisition in the City of Norman’s green-belt acquisition program, and the first municipal investment in an agricultural conservation easement anywhere in the state.

For more information on the project or Monday’s activities, please contact Robert Gregory at (918) 645-0393.