Planting strong boundaries: Urban growth, farmland preservation, and British Columbia's Agricultural Land Reserve

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(Project) M.P.P.
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In this study, I investigate methods of strengthening British Columbia’s Agricultural Land Reserve, which protects farmland by restricting non-farm uses within its boundaries. Surveys of BC residents have consistently shown support for the Reserve, yet the quality of its land and the strength of the legislation protecting it have decreased over time. The Agricultural Land Commission, the body that manages the Reserve, continually approves applications to exclude prime farmland from the Reserve while including land into it that may never be suitable for agriculture. I examine the management policies of four successful North American reserves and discover that they have several main characteristics in common. Drawing on these findings, I propose four policy alternatives. After evaluating these alternatives based on a set of criteria, I recommend that the Agricultural Land Commission place a moratorium on applications to exclude land from the Reserve after completing a planning process with municipal governments.
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