News from the DNR Office of Communications

Governor O'Malley Announces BPW Approval Of Rural Legacy Preservation In Dorchester And Queen Anne's County

Annapolis, Md. (October 21, 2009) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval of four conservation easements protecting 435 acres in Dorchester County and 325 acres in Queen Anne’s County through the Rural Legacy Program.

“Maryland’s forests, farms and fields support our rural families and economy” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “By planning for the future and protecting these lands, we are preserving our local food supply as well as a way of life and heritage for future generations.”

Today the BPW approved $1,055,616 for acquisition of a 229-acre conservation easement preserving productive farmland and forests in the Chester River watershed. Protection of this property will ensure that conservation practices, including 450-foot streamside buffers, will remain in place for generations to come. The property is located in the Foreman Branch Rural Legacy Area and the easement will be held by DNR and Queen Anne’s County.

The BPW also approved $652,690 and $516,580 for acquisition of two conservation easements in the Lands End Rural Legacy Area. This funding will enable acquisition a conservation easement protecting 47 acres of vital farmed waterfront along the Chester River and Southeast Creek. An adjacent farm, fronting the Chester River and Island Creek, will also be protected by a 49-acre conservation easement. Both easements will be held by DNR and Queen Anne’s County.

The BPW approved $2,324,847 for the protection of a 435-acre property containing productive agricultural land, important wetlands and forest, and 8,200 feet of streamside buffers. The property will be protected through a conservation easement held by DNR. Protection of the property was made possible through partnership between DNR, The Nature Conservancy and The Conservation Fund.
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 $193,348,024 to protect 63,883 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.


   October 21, 2009

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

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 www.dnr.maryland.gov