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BPW Approves Preservation Of 518 Acres
In Caroline, Wicomico And Worcester Counties Through Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program

Annapolis, Md. (November 16, 2011) - Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve 518 acres of streamside forests, natural areas and wetlands, including properties in Caroline, Wicomico and Worcester Counties, through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) easement option.

“I’d like to commend these Maryland landowners for making conservation practices on their land a priority, said Governor O’Malley. “Together, we can curb stormwater runoff, improve our water quality, and preserve the legacy of our land in Maryland for generations to come.”

Caroline County – The BPW approved preservation of a 61-acre CREP easement in Caroline County. This easement, known as the Christopher CREP easement, will permanently protect water quality through streamside buffers along 3,100 feet of Faulkner Branch located within the Nanticoke watershed. The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will co-hold the easement.

“By placing 61 acres of grass buffers and forest under a permanent CREP easement, Ron and Linda Christopher have preserved precious wildlife habitat and have helped protect the water quality of Faulkner Branch, a tributary of Marshyhope Creek and the Nanticoke River,” said Jared Parks, Land Protection Specialist with Eastern Shore Land Conservancy.

Wicomico County – The BPW also approved preservation of three CREP easements in Wicomico County; the Bowman, Carmack and Tracey easements, totaling 427 acres. The Lower Shore Land Trust and DNR will co-hold both the Bowman and the Carmack easements. Wicomico County and DNR will co-hold the Tracey easement.

A permanent CREP easement on Wynn and Susan Bowman's property will preserve 98 acres of forest and vegetation along the Wetipquin Creek, a tributary of the Nanticoke River. The easement will preserve close to 80 acres of pine and mixed hardwood and 18,646 linear feet of buffer along Wetipquin Creek and the drainage ditches flowing directly to the creek.

“The decision to preserve the land was important not only for the conservation values; but for Susan, the third generation to live on the property, the decision was also about leaving a legacy for her family,” said Kate Patton of the Lower Shore Land Trust.

The Carmack CREP easement will permanently protect water quality through 13,921 feet of Truitt Branch and other tributaries to the Pocomoke River. The easement will preserve 91 acres of forest, providing riparian buffer to the drainage area of Campbell Branch, tributary of the Pocomoke River. It is estimated that four development rights will be extinguished by the easement.

“By protecting the property with a permanent CREP easement, Holly Carmack and her son Michael and his family will be protecting Campbell Branch, an area identified by DNR heritage as having the potential to support rare species,” said Patton.

The Tracey easement will permanently protect water quality through 52,414 feet along Peter’s Creek, Quantico Creek, Dennis Creek and other tributaries and drainage ditches. These drainages are part of the Nanticoke Creek Watershed.

“Preserving the Pappendick farm, a multi-generational farm owned by Alice Tracey, serves to protect water quality, natural habitat and resource-based industries in Wicomico County,” said Patton. “The Lower Shore Land Trust worked with Mrs. Tracey to fulfill her wishes to preserve her family farm and honor her family’s legacy.”

Worcester County - The BPW approved preservation of a CREP easement in Worcester County totaling 29 acres. This easement, known as the Collins CREP easement, will permanently protect water quality along 3,600 feet of tributaries to Porter Creek in the Newport Bay Watershed. As part of the transaction, the landowner will be donating a conservation easement on the remaining 13 acres of property to be held by Worcester County.

This 43-acre property to be permanently protected, including 29 acres of land that will remain permanently in native vegetation (CREP), is in the Newport Bay subwatershed of Maryland’s Coastal Bays, the third most degraded of the five bays located between Ocean City and the mainland. Ditches are a necessity for agriculture, but also recognized as a source of nutrient contamination. Worcester County and DNR will co-hold the easement.

“The conservation easement also fulfills the vision for the property that landowners, Deborah and Grover Collins, have always had in mind — that it be permanent wildlife habitat for personal enjoyment and hunting, as well as some farming, and that it never be developed,” said James C. “Bud” Church, President, County Commissioners of Worcester County. “Protecting water quality is achieved one project, one property at a time. The County Commissioners are very pleased to work with the State of Maryland and the landowner to permanently protect this restored property in Newport Bay watershed.”

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.


   November 16, 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. 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