News from the DNR Office of Communications

BPW Approves Preservation Of Nearly 300 Acres In Allegany And Garrett Counties

Nature Conservancy Donates Nine Acres

ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 2, 2009) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval of the acquisition of 299 acres in Allegany and Garrett Counties through Maryland’s Program Open Space. The BPW also accepted nine acres donated by The Nature Conservancy.

“Today’s acquisitions are important as we move towards a sustainable future,” said Governor O’Malley. “By approving the nearly 300 acres in Western Maryland and with the help of The Nature Conservancy, we are preserving vital forests and trees, which will continue to help clean our water, air and Natural Resources.”

Garrett County
The BPW approved $365,625 for the acquisition of 244 acres of critical forestland in-holdings within Savage River State Forest southwest of Frostburg. The properties contain rare mountain peat land, unusual red spruce forest, and sensitive wetlands. This complex is a large, high quality wetland with numerous state-listed threatened species. Mountain peat land and red spruce forest communities are found around the wetland; these are natural habitats that are usually found much further North in the United States.

The Department of the Environment has designated this area as a non tidal wetland of special state concern. In addition, the Wild Calla, a state endangered plant, and interesting butterfly communities are found within these wetlands. This acquisition is surrounded by Savage River State Forest on three sides and lies within the Target Ecological Area receiving one of the highest rated lands identified so far. This acquisition is made possible through Maryland’s Program Open Space.

BPW also approved to accept the donation of nine acres containing wooded land with rock outcrops as an addition to Potomac State Forest. The Nature Conservancy is donating this property.

"The Nature Conservancy is delighted, through this donation, to contribute to the state of Maryland's efforts to protect our outdoor heritage here in western Maryland," said Donnelle Keech, Allegany Forest Project Director for The Nature Conservancy of Maryland. "Giving people the first-hand opportunity to enjoy our Maryland forests now is one of the best ways to make sure our children have the same chance in the future."

The nine-acre property is located adjacent to Potomac State Forest and borders it on two sides. The property fits within Potomac State Forest sustainable management area and will be a great addition to the State Forest. The Potomac Forest management supports this donation and states that it will help consolidate management of the forest block and provide increased public access.

Allegany County
BPW approved $75,000 for the acquisition of 30 acres of forestland and trails as an addition to Green Ridge State Forest located in Allegany County.

The acquisition is a highly ecologically significant property containing two lots –one containing 10 acres and the other containing 20 acres – which are in-holdings located within Green Ridge State Forest and will become part of the park and available for public enjoyment.

These parcels lie within the Target Ecological Area and have received high ecological rankings under the Program Open Space Targeting System. The parcels are in-holdings in an area that encompasses a section of the Green Ridge State Forest Hiking Trail, recently named in honor of recently retired DNR forester, Francis Zumbrun. This trail is one of three in Maryland to receive a “National Trail” designation, the others being the Appalachian Trail and the C&O Canal National Historic Park. This trail is expected to rival the Appalachian Trail in popularity.

Since 2007, Governor O'Malley and the BPW preserved more than 25,696 acres of natural areas for public recreation and watershed and wildlife protection across Maryland. Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for acquisition of 346,425 acres for open space and recreation areas. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded Program Open Space.

The three-member Board of Public Works is comprised of Governor O’Malley (chair), 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.


   December 2, 2009

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 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