News from the DNR Office of Communications

BPW Approves Preservation Of 198 Acres Through Program Open Space

Annapolis, Md. (April 20, 2011) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve 198 acres of streamside forests, natural areas and wetlands in Somerset County, through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) easement option.

“By committing to permanent conservation practices on their land, these Maryland landowners are significantly contributing to the protection of our State’s natural resources for our children and theirs,” said Governor O’Malley.

The 84-acre easement on the Hammaker property will permanently protect water quality through streamside buffers along 12,844 feet of streams and ditches that feed into the Big Annemessex River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, as well as eliminate a possible 15 development rights. This easement has extraordinary ecological value and will help provide clean air, clean water and wildlife habitat for future generations.

The BPW also approved a 73-acre CREP easement on the Raab property in Somerset County, which will permanently protect water quality through streamside buffers along 16,184 feet of streams and ditches that feed into Broad Creek and the Manokin River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.

The Raab easement is adjacent to the St. Pierre Marsh in Upper Fairmount and extinguishes three development rights.

“It has been gratifying working with Dr. Raab and his late wife Barbara Ann to fulfill their goal of conserving their land and restoring wildlife habitat along Broad Creek,” said Kate Patton, executive director of the Lower Shore Land Trust.

The Raabs worked with the CREP program to plant over 16,000 feet of vegetative buffers which help to reduce the nutrient and sediment flowing out to the Manokin River and provide valuable habitat for turkey, songbirds and other wildlife.

In addition, the BPW approved a 41-acre CREP easement on the Raptor Pines LLC (Hammaker) property in Somerset County. This easement will extinguish 10 development rights and permanently protect water quality through streamside buffers along 5,698 feet of streams and ditches that feed into the headwaters of the Big Annemessex River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.

All three of these CREP easements will be co-held by the Lower Shore Land Trust and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Maryland’s CREP easement option is administered by DNR and is funded through Program Open Space. The State of Maryland has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide funds to landowners who make permanent the conservation practices established through 10- or 15- year CREP contracts. CREP provides for the establishment of stream buffers, grass plantings, shrubs and trees, and the retirement of highly erodible land. In addition to providing important habitat for wildlife, all of these practices work to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed by reducing soil runoff, increasing groundwater absorption, and reducing stream sedimentation and nutrient loading into Maryland’s waterways.

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.


   April 20, 2011

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