ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Albemarle is now the second county in Virginia to reach a major conservation milestone.

Albemarle County currently has over 100,000 acres of land under easement.

Farmers and landowners in the area have said they will continue to push for more people to prevent more land from being developed.

While keeping land protected does result in tax credits, some farmers said they are in it, just to keep more open spaces in the county.

Rex Linville, with Piedmont Environmental Council, said, “We hit a really important milestone. We now have, at the end of 2018, over 100 thousand acres of private land that’s been permanently protected with conservation easements.”

A conservation easement is a legal agreement a landowner can make to permanently protect their property from being subdivided and developed.

Reynolds Cowles and his wife, Evelyn, have more than 600 acres of property under easement in Albemarle County.

“We both have a strong conservation-minded ethic to preserve land because they're not making it anymore and we really wanted that piece of property to be maintained,” said Reynolds Cowles.

While the Cowles' protected their property because of their conservation ethics, others decide to put their property under easement for the tax benefits.

Linville stated, "The commonwealth of Virginia has state income tax credits, at the federal level there are federal income tax deductions available to the landowner."

In addition to a federal income tax deduction, landowners who put their property under easement could also qualify for Virginia income tax credit and estate tax benefits

“Well, it definitely makes it an easier choice for people when they are looking toward the future with their land, you know what their kids are gonna want to do with it, things like that so the added tax benefits and stuff you know push it that way," said Evelyn Cowles.

The Piedmont Environmental Council said they have resources to help people understand how they can put their land under conservation easement.

You can find those resources, here