News from the DNR Office of Communications

Governor O’Malley Announces BPW Approval Of Rural Legacy Preservation In Harford, Baltimore And Carroll Counties

Annapolis, MD – Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works approval of six conservation easements in Harford, Baltimore and Carroll Counties through the Rural Legacy Program funding.

“Land conservation allows Maryland to preserve its natural landscapes and help protect its treasured Chesapeake Bay,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “We are committed to protecting our State’s beautiful open spaces for Maryland families forever, and these six easements are evidence of that commitment.”

Today the Board of Public Works approved $1.6 million for four conservation easements totaling 192 acres within the Deer Creek Rural Legacy Area of Harford County, which preserves large continuous blocks of woodland. Water quality will be protected through permanent riparian buffers along thousands of feet of Deer Creek and its feeder streams, which is a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. All easements will be held by Harford County.

In Baltimore County, the BPW approved $451,457 for the acquisition of a 62-acre conservation easement located within the Gunpowder Rural Legacy Area, preserving 22 acres of woodland and 37 acres of pasture. Water quality will be protected through permanent riparian buffers along 1,800 feet of streams feeding into Little Gunpowder Falls, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. The easement will be held by the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

In Carroll County, the BPW approved $653,096 for the acquisition of a 107-acre conservation easement, the Smith property, located in the Little Pipe Rural Legacy Area, preserving significant agricultural land. Water quality will be protected through permanent forested riparian buffers along 2,554 feet of Little Pipe Creek, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. The easement will be held by Carroll County.

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 $186,909,114 to protect 62,841 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

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.

   July 22, 2009

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 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