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Governor Ehrlich Announces Conservation of 828 Acres near Antietam Battlefield in Washington County
ST. JAMES -- Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., today announced funding for two proposed conservation easements near the Antietam Battlefield that are within the newly designated 4,000-acre expansion of the Mid-Maryland/Washington County Rural Legacy Area. The Governor was joined by O. James Lighthizer, president of the Civil War Preservation Trust, and Civil War re-enactors during today’s announcement.
The first easement will encompass 672 acres of land adjacent to the St. James School, which provided the backdrop for considerable Civil War activity. The second property, the 155-acre Alexander Farm, was used as a Confederate approach and staging area in the weeks leading up to the Battle of Antietam. It continues its historic agricultural use today.
“A major goal of conservation efforts in this area is to preserve land around the federal Antietam Battlefield so that the agricultural and open space remains much the same as during the Civil War,” said Governor Ehrlich. “These sites give visitors a first hand look at some of the most important events in U.S. history, and bring to life stories that have been buried in the landscape for nearly 140 years. I’d like to recognize the hard work of the Washington County Commissioners in spearheading this effort.”
The proposed easements will also support Maryland’s $9.3 billion tourism industry and provide environmental benefits.
The total purchase price for the two easements is $3.3 million and is comprised of a $1.6 million federal Transportation Enhancement Program grant via the Maryland State Highway Administration; $668,000 from Washington County; and a proposed $988,000 in Rural Legacy Funds from DNR.
While the Rural Legacy portion of the funding is pending review by the program and approval from Board of Public Works, this project has all of the elements desired by the program: considerable private partner interest, a significant contribution from the local jurisdiction, and a major infusion from our federal partners.
The Transportation Enhancement Program, established in 1991, is funded through the Federal Surface Transportation Program. The popular program funds non - traditional transportation projects in local communities, including pedestrian/bicycle facilities, historic preservation and mitigation efforts. To date, nearly $140 million in transportation enhancement funds have been awarded to organizations and local governments across the State.
October 25, 2005
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 18,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov