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Governor O’Malley Announces Rural Legacy Preservation of 305 Acres in Washington, Baltimore and Wicomico Counties
Annapolis, MD. – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced the Board of Public Works (BPW) approval of five conservation easements in Washington, Baltimore and Wicomico Counties through the Rural Legacy Program.
“I am extremely proud of these projects that preserve the unique and majestic rural character of our State, said Governor O’Malley. “These lands, safe from development, will maintain the legacy of Maryland’s important forest and agricultural lands and a contribute to a healthier Chesapeake Bay as we continue to work towards a future that is smart, green and more sustainable future for our natural resources.”
Today, the Board of Public Works approved the 52-acre conservation easement of the Morgan Farm, a significant historical Civil War property, in Washington County. The easement is located within a 2-mile radius of more than 8,800 acres of land permanently protected near Antietam Battlefield. The farm is on part of a large tract of land that was the site of Antietam Iron Works which produced cannons for, among others, the Continental Army. The farm also played a significant role during the Battle of Antietam with the Union 9th Corp passing through the general area. In addition to preserving this history, this acquisition will permanently protect its forestland and water quality through the 1,000 linear feet of riparian buffers along a tributary that flows into Antietam Creek and the Potomac River.
In Baltimore County, the Board approved three conservation easements totaling 201 acres to add to the Piney Run Watershed Rural Legacy Area, which protects large continuous blocks of productive agricultural land, forest resources and miles of streams. Streams in the Piney Run area drain into Loch Raven and Pretty Boy Reservoirs in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, so preservation of this property will provide significant water benefits to the Baltimore Metropolitan Water Supply.
Finally, the Board approved a 52-acre conservation easement in Washington County which adds to the area protected within the Quantico Creek Rural Legacy Area, recognized for its rural character, open lands, cultural significance, natural wildlife habitat and water quality impact on the Nanticoke Watershed. Protected land supports Wicomico County’s resource-based economy, contributing to the tourism, outdoor recreation, fishing, agriculture and forest industries.
Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program provides funding to preserve large, contiguous tracts of land and to enhance natural resource, agricultural, forestry and environmental protection while supporting a sustainable land base for natural resource based industries.
Enacted by the General Assembly in 1997, Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program has to date provided over $182.7 million to preserve 62,079 acres of valuable farmland, forests, and natural areas. The 11-member Rural Legacy Advisory Committee and the Rural Legacy Board, which is comprised of Maryland’s Agriculture, Natural Resources and Planning Secretaries, reviews grant applications annually. For additional information, visit http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/land/rurallegacy/.
The three-member Board of Public Works, chaired by Governor O’Malley, is comprised of Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. The BPW is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.
May 20, 2009
Contact: Megan Rhoads
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 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 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 12 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