News from the DNR Office of Communications

BPW Approves Preservation Of 725 Acres In Dorchester County Through Program Open Space

Annapolis, Md. (December 15, 2010) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve 725 acres of land in Dorchester County through Program Open Space. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will purchase the land, known as the Mowbray-Nagal Farm, which is within an area of over 3,000 acres of protected land that links to the Nanticoke Rural Legacy Area.

“Through our partnership with The Nature Conservancy and a federal grant, we are able to protect important habitat for the Delmarva fox squirrel, an endangered species unique to our part of the country,” said Governor O’Malley. “Protecting this important species and its habitat preserves Maryland’s heritage for future generations.”

This purchase is funded through a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Recovery Land Acquisition Grant awarded to DNR and The Nature Conservancy for the permanent conservation of habitat for the recovery of the Delmarva Fox Squirrel, a listed threatened species. The Mowbray Farm includes a large block of coastal plain forest with documented Delmarva fox squirrel populations.

Located within the Target Ecological Area and the Nanticoke-Marshyhope Focus Area, the easement eliminates the potential for up to 50 development rights and requires a Forest Stewardship Plan that protects fox squirrel and migratory songbird habitat. It will be co-held by DNR and the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy.

The three-member Board of Public Works is composed 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.

Since 2007, Governor O'Malley and the BPW have preserved more than 32,644 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 353,687 acres for open space and recreation areas. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded by Program Open Space.

   December 15, 2010

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

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