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Dauphin County Comp Plan Logo


Protecting agricultural lands is critical for maintaining an adequate food supply and the rural character in much of Dauphin County.

Agricultural lands are particularly prevalent in the northern portion of the County, but are also important in many portions of the more urbanized southern region.

Ensuring the future viability of our agricultural resources relates to our ability to manage development, conserve the most critical resources, and support the farmers’ technical needs in managing and operating their farms.

In addition to our agricultural resources, Dauphin County also has extensive woodland, areas of limestone (karst) geology, and other natural habitats, as well as extensive historic resources worth managing, protecting, and enhancing. These areas not only provide character and historic context to our communities, but also wildlife habitat, water supply recharge areas and places for a wide range of recreational opportunities.

Dauphin County is committed to preserving or protecting the most important of these resources through growth management, conservation, and education/outreach.


  • Preserve and/or protect our agricultural, historic and cultural resources along with other important environmental features.


  • Working with the Manada Conservancy, Central Pennsylvania Conservancy, Hershey Trust, DCCD, DCNR, DEP, and other key organizations, seek to coordinate land conservation efforts focused on the areas with the most important agricultural resources and/or greatest environmental sensitivity and potential for development;

  • Promote the utilization of a variety of land use control and land acquisition techniques, such as direct land acquisition, easements, environmental protection zoning, , dedication, buffers, low impact development, overlay zones and transfer of development rights to protect and preserve historic/cultural and other environmentally sensitive lands;

  • Support municipal comprehensive planning effort that are consistent with this plan, the RGMP, and that seek to protect important historic/cultural and other environmental resources;

  • Work with water suppliers to define Source Water protection areas for all public water supplies and preserve/protect these areas through a variety of land preservation and/or other protection mechanisms as appropriate;

  • Working with the PHMC, historic resource stakeholders and municipalities, work toward a more complete inventory of Dauphin County’s historic resources so that effective management plans can be developed;

  • As the items listed herein are put into action, the Implementation Partners should seek to continue their efforts  toward the accomplishment of the plan’s goals through the identification and implementation of additional efforts deemed appropriate by the their committee and the County Commissioners.  Any such actions should be publicly identified in the “Tracking Our Progress” section of the Comprehensive Plan Website.


Areas of Prime Farmland

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Forested Land & Karst Features

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