News from the DNR Office of Communications

Governor O'Malley Announces BPW Approval Of Preservation Of 596 Acres Through Rural Legacy Program

Easements in Carroll, Dorchester and Kent Counties

Annapolis, Md. (March 23, 2011) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve 596 acres of Maryland landscape, including 49 acres in the Upper Patapsco Rural Legacy Area and 547 acres in the Agricultural Security Corridor Rural Legacy Area, including its Marshyhope Focus Area in Dorchester County and the Sassafras Focus Area in Kent County, through the Rural Legacy Program.

“Maryland’s working farms contribute significantly to our economy and support our working families,” said Governor O’Malley. “By protecting these properties we are preserving the farms, forests and fields that define our great State, ensuring our culture and heritage will live on through our children and theirs.”

Upper Patapsco Rural Legacy Area (Carroll County) – Preservation of the Alban property will permanently protect 48.6 acres of farm and forest land and will extinguish four development lots. Stream buffers will be maintained along approximately 463 feet of the East Branch of the Patapsco River, and a Forest Stewardship Plan and Total Resource Management Plan will help prevent soil erosion, maintain water quality and provide for managed agricultural and forestry uses.

The easement will be held by Carroll County.

“Proceeds from the sale of the Alban rural legacy easement will be used to acquire additional land, thus helping to enlarge the Alban’s existing operation, while simultaneously ensuring that additional Chesapeake Bay tributaries are permanently buffered,” said Jeff Everett, administrator for the Carroll County Agricultural Land Preservation Program.

The Upper Patapsco Rural Legacy Area totals 39,198 acres of which 6,841 acres are protected.

Agricultural Security Corridor Rural Legacy Area – Marshyhope Focus Area (Dorchester County) — Preservation of the Fooks and Laws property will extinguish nine development rights while preserving 116 acres of productive farmland and forestland. The entire property that this easement protects has been identified as ranking among the State’s most ecologically valuable lands, which also contains potential habitat for forest interior dwelling species as well as for six state-listed endangered, threatened or rare plant species. The easement will be held by the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) is grateful to the Fooks family for their decision to protect their beautiful farm in Dorchester County,” said ESLC Executive Director Rob Etgen. “With its wonderful combination of farmland and woods, this easement adds to a swath of over 1,000 acres of previously preserved lands in the vulnerable Marshyhope area.”

Agricultural Security Corridor Rural Legacy Area – Sassafras Focus Area (Kent County) — Two easements, both owned by the Fuchs family, will protect 431 acres of productive farmland and forestland combined. Together they will extinguish 15 development rights. Protection of these properties adds to the more than 2,200 acres of protected land within a mile of these properties. Water quality will be protected through the required maintenance of 100-foot riparian buffers along 5,271 feet of Still Pond Creek and its tributaries and 3,453 feet of both sides of a tributary to Churn Creek that runs through one of the properties. The easement will be held by ESLC and DNR.

“The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is thrilled the Fuchs family was able to forever preserve over 431 acres of land between two beautiful, productive farms near the beautiful town of Still Pond,” said ESLC Executive Director Rob Etgen. “The continuation of this land as active farmland will provide income for their family, their children and grandchildren now, and its protection also assures that agriculture will be a viable option for future generations as well.”

The Agricultural Security Corridor Rural Legacy Area totals 45,781 acres, of which approximately 20,656 acres are currently protected.

Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program provides funding to preserve large tracts of forestry, agricultural land and natural resources, and for environmental protection while sustaining land for natural resource-based industries. Enacted by the General Assembly in 1997, Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program has to date provided over $257 million to protect 69,634 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 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 consultation contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement transactions.
 


   March 23, 2011

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

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