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BPW Approves Preservation of 530 Acres through Rural Legacy Program

Easements in Baltimore, Garrett, Harford and Prince George’s Counties

Annapolis, Md. (July 27, 2011) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve 530 acres of Maryland landscape in the Bear Creek, Deer Creek and Patuxent Prince George’s Rural Legacy Areas through the Rural Legacy Program.

“By partnering with landowners to preserve Maryland’s heritage and natural beauty, we are creating an actual rural legacy to be enjoyed by our children and theirs,” said Governor O’Malley.

Gunpowder Falls Rural Legacy Area (Baltimore County) — The Riley Property will permanently protect 23 acres of forestland, which will primarily be managed for timber production under a Forest Stewardship Plan. Water quality will be preserved through 2,000 feet of riparian buffers near the Gunpowder River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.

“The word people use most often to describe my property is ‘retreat.’ Whether you're sitting alone on the deck listening to birds or the trickling of the stream, or walking in the woods with a child and coming upon a turtle or cluster of wildflowers, the results are the same: a respite from the daily clamor and a fresh appreciation of rural Maryland's natural legacy,” said owner Cindy Riley. “I am pleased that through conservancy and stewardship, new generations will enjoy this same retreat.”

The easement, which will extinguish 1 development right, will be held by The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Gunpowder Falls Rural Legacy Area totals 13,432 acres, 36 percent of which is now protected.

Bear Creek Rural Legacy Area (Garrett County) — The Schmuck Farm will permanently protect 103 acres of valuable agricultural and forestland and protect water quality with 1,870 feet of buffers along tributaries that feed into Bear Creek and the Youghiogheny River. The easement will be held by Garrett County, extinguishes 52 development rights and protects natural trout streams and interior-dwelling bird and black bear habitat.

“This is a valuable addition to Garrett County’s Bear Creek Rural Legacy project due to its proximity to Deep Creek Lake’s growth area; the size of the property, its proximity to other protected lands, its water quality protection values and the protection offered to the existing natural habitat,” said Chad Fike, agricultural preservation administrator for Garrett County.

The Bear Creek Rural Legacy Area encompasses approximately 31,437 acres, 18 percent of which are now protected.

Deer Creek Rural Legacy Area (Harford County) —  The Habonim Camp will permanently protect 268 acres within a large block of lands already protected with conservation easements totaling over 3,000 acres. Water quality will be preserved through a 100-foot forested buffer along 7,450 feet of Deer Creek. The easement, which will eliminate 26 development rights, will be held by Harford County.

The property will remain a youth summer camp facility, providing recreation and environmental education. “Camp Moshava,” as it is known to hundreds of  summer campers, is an ideal camp property nestled in the Deer Creek Valley of Harford County.

“The easement will not only protect the property from future residential development but also preserve woodland habitat, stream and river buffers and even a serpentine barrens area located on the property,” said William Amoss of the Harford County Department of Planning and Zoning. “The funding for this easement will insure that future generations can come to ‘Camp Moshava’ to enjoy and learn from this outdoor experience and the importance of properties like this to the Chesapeake Bay.”

The Deer Creek Rural Legacy Area has approximately 32,444 acres, 49 percent of which are now protected.

Patuxent Prince George’s Rural Legacy Area (Prince George’s County) — The Jenkins property will permanently protect 136 acres of significant farmland, forest resources and riparian buffers and creates over 760 acres of contiguous land along the Patuxent River that will remain undisturbed from development. Water quality will be improved through the establishment and maintenance of 100 foot forested buffers along a tributary of the Patuxent River. Woodlands on the property will be protected by a Forest Stewardship Plan. The easement, which will extinguish 23 development rights, will be held by Prince George’s County.

“This is the first Rural Legacy easement to be purchased in Prince George’s County and is the culmination of years of hard work by the Prince George’s Soil Conservation District,” said Robert "Yates" Clagett Jr. of the Prince George's Soil Conservation District. “We will continue to work with the Rural Legacy program to help preserve a critical mass of farmland that can provide our citizens with local commodities, scenic vistas and the protection of our sensitive environmental areas.”

The Patuxent Prince George’s Rural Legacy Area currently has approximately 13,207 acres, 38 percent of which are now protected.

Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program provides funding to preserve large tracts of forestry and 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 $267 million to protect 72,384 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

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.

   June 27, 2011

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 a 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