News from the DNR Office of Communications

MET Protects Rare Butterfly Sanctuary In Garrett County

Kitzmiller, Md. (September 16, 2010) —  The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) today announced a 15-acre conservation easement in Southeastern Garrett County, donated from Woodhill, LLC to MET and the Allegheny Highlands Conservancy (AHC). Woodhill Sanctuary contains habitat for several rare, threatened or endangered butterfly species, including the official State butterfly.

“I want to thank Woodhill LLC for their generous donation,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “By preserving this butterfly sanctuary we are helping ensure that future generations fully experience Maryland’s rich wildlife and natural wonder.”

The Baltimore Checkerspot was designated the official insect of the State of Maryland in 1973 and, while once common in the region, the species has experienced significant declines in recent years. Woodhill Sanctuary is now one of only eight known Baltimore Checkerspot colonies remaining in Maryland. According to Jennifer Frye, ecologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the protection of Woodhill Sanctuary “ensures the preservation of this critical and uncommon habitat which currently supports at least five butterfly species included on the list of rare, threatened and endangered (RTE) animals in Maryland.”

LLC trustee Vlad Dupre and his late wife Elizabeth have stewarded the property for more than 25 years. Though Vlad was unaware of the unique nature of the habitat on the property, he was pleased to learn of the option to protect the property with a conservation easement. The easement protects the rare habitat by requiring a habitat management plan to guide the maintenance of the area.

“My family and I are thrilled to contribute to the preservation of these endangered species of butterflies,” said Dupre. “We consider it a privilege to be a part of the efforts of the Maryland Environmental Trust to maintain and manage natural habitats for the people of Maryland to enjoy and learn from.”

“Maryland Environmental Trust is pleased to be involved in the protection of the rare habitat within Woodhill Sanctuary,” said Elizabeth Buxton, Director of Maryland Environmental Trust. “The unique qualities of the property are irreplaceable and Mr. Dupre’s forethought in protecting the extraordinary habitat with a conservation easement is commendable.”

Allegheny Highlands Conservancy, Inc. is a nonprofit organization, established to protect and conserve land, water, and natural resources of the Allegheny Highlands region. For more information, visit http://www.alleghenyhighlandsconservancy.org/.


   September 16, 2010

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

The Maryland Environmental Trust was established in 1967 by the Maryland General Assembly to preserve privately owned farm, forest and other significant lands and has since protected over 125,000 acres statewide. MET is one of the oldest and most successful land trusts in the country, and is authorized by law to accept private donations of interests in real estate, money or other property; such gifts are tax deductible. In giving conservation easements, landowners donate the development rights on their property while retaining all other rights of ownership. Public access is not a requirement. For more information, visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/met and www.conservemd.org.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million 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 11 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