Governor O'Malley Announces $11 Million In Proposed Rural Legacy Allocations For FY 2010

Funding for 18 Counties will preserve forest and farmland

Annapolis, MD (December 16, 2009) - Under the leadership of Governor Martin O’Malley, the Board of Public Works (BPW) today announced $11.8 million in grants to local governments and land trusts for preservation of forest and farmland across Maryland, through the State’s nationally renowned Rural Legacy Program.

“Maryland’s forests, farms and open spaces tell a story about us -- about our history, our culture, the people who came before us and the people we have become,” said Governor O’Malley. “It’s imperative that we continue to protect these lands that define the rural character of our state, provide for our way of life and support our natural resource based livelihoods such as farming, forestry, tourism and outdoor recreation.”

Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program preserves large, contiguous tracts of land and enhances natural resource, agricultural, forestry and environmental protection while supporting sustainable land for natural resource based industries. The program is unique in that it creates public-private partnerships and allows those who know the landscape best – land trusts and local governments – to determine the best way to protect the landscapes that are critical to our economy, environment and quality of life. There are currently 30 designated Rural Legacy Areas in 22 Counties throughout the State.

“While the demand for land conservation dollars in Maryland always far outweighs available funding, one need only look at some of our success to see that these programs are clearly working,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin.

Under the Governor’s BayStat Initiative, land conservation investments are targeted to protect the most ecologically valuable properties that most directly impact Chesapeake Bay and local waterway health.

The Board of Public Works approved funding for 15 Rural Legacy Grants to local governments and land trusts in designated Rural Legacy Areas throughout the State, totaling $11,812,252 in Fiscal Year 2010 General Obligation Bond funds. Individual properties will later be submitted for Board of Public Works approval for the purchase of conservation easements or fee simple interests in real property.

The following Rural Legacy Fiscal Year 2010 Grants were approved today by the Board of Public Works:
 

 Rural Legacy Area

 County

FY 2010 Grant Award

Agricultural Security Corridor

Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent and Talbot

$250,000

Anne Arundel South

Anne Arundel

$800,000

Coastal Bays

Worcester

$1,000,000

Deer Creek

Harford

$750,000

Dividing Creek

Somerset and Worcester

$500,000

Gunpowder

Baltimore

$500,000

Lands End

Queen Anne’s

$500,000

Little Pipe Creek

Carroll

$500,000

Mattapany

St. Mary’s

$500,000

Mid-Maryland Washington

Washington

$1,000,000

Nanticoke

Dorchester

$1,500,000

Piney Run

Baltimore

$1,500,000

Quantico Creek

Wicomico

$512,252

Upper Patapsco

Carroll

$1,000,000

Zekiah Watershed

Charles

$1,000,000


The BPW also approved a request to expand the boundaries of the existing Anne Arundel South Rural Legacy Area. This 150-acre expansion in Anne Arundel County will further protect critical land located at the headwaters of the Rhode River Watershed.

The BPW also approved $1,393,513 for the acquisition of a 281-acre conservation in Fredrick county easement to permanently protect quality soil and end 15 development rights. Protecting this property will ensure conservation practices for fields and forest, including a 1,320 foot streamside buffer, draining into Catoctin Creek and then into the Potomac River.

This conservation easement is within 1,000 feet of 5,800 acres near land preserved by other preservation groups. Protection of this property preserves part of the view from the Appalachian Trail and the South Mountain State Park and provides preservation protection for the historic village of Burkittsville.

Enacted by the General Assembly in 1997, Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program has to date provided over $196,167,372 to protect 64,468 acres 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.


   December 16, 2009

Contact: Darlene Pisani
410-260-8004 office I 410-507-7524 cell
dpisani@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