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Officials tout easements on Hudson Valley farms

TAGHKANIC, N.Y. (AP) -- Open space advocates say more than $5 million worth of conservation easements will help seven farms in the New York's Hudson Valley.

The conservation group Scenic Hudson announced the easements Tuesday for farms in Columbia and Dutchess counties. The group says the money will protect 1,265 acres in the two counties. Development has spread across the Hudson Valley in recent decades, putting more pressure on farmers.

About half the money for the easements comes from a U.S. Department of Agriculture land protection program. Funds were also provided by Scenic Hudson, Dutchess County and the town of Red Hook. The Columbia Land Conservancy and the Dutchess Land Conservancy covered transaction costs.