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Conservation Easement Preserves 57 Acres In Washington County

Annapolis, Md. (March 21, 2012) - The State has permanently preserved 57 acres of forests, natural areas and wetlands along Little Antietam Creek in Washington County. Governor Martin O’Malley and Board of Public Works approved the Conservation Reserve Enhancement easement on the Little Antietam Farm Properties, LLC, at today’s meeting in Annapolis.

“We are fortunate to have land conservation programs that help us protect and restore Maryland’s natural resources,” said Governor O’Malley. “Together, we can curb stormwater runoff, improve our water quality, and preserve the legacy of our land for future generations.”

An easement on the Little Antietam Farm Properties, LLC, owned by the Czarra family, will permanently protect water quality through streamside buffers that filter groundwater along 1,900 feet of Little Antietam Creek, a Potomac River tributary.

“This property is part of a centuries-old agricultural heritage in Washington County,” said Eric Seifarth, lands preservation administrator for Washington County. “The property also has significant Civil War history and is in the viewshed of the Appalachian Trail. Additionally, the Czarra family would like to place the remaining 300-plus acres of their farm under the protection of a Rural Legacy Program easement.”

Washington County and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold the easement.

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.

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.

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 21, 2012

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. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at