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Governor O'Malley Announces Funding to Save Maryland's Critical Civil War Battlefields

Civil War Trust Preserves over 150 Acres of Core Battlefield Land in Frederick County

Frederick, Md. (August 6, 2012) ─ Committed to preserving some of the State’s most sacred, historic landscapes for future generations, Governor Martin O’Malley today announced funding of $980,000 to go toward protecting seven properties that make up Maryland ’s core Civil War battlefields in Frederick County. The Civil War Trust, together with the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET), is permanently protecting more than 150 acres of battlefields, including key routes in the Heart of the Civil War Heritage area. With the sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War underway (2011-2015), many Maryland residents have unprecedented interest in this significant chapter in American History.

“As Maryland moves forward, we must preserve the past; the lessons we learn from history direct our paths forward,” said Governor O’Malley. “We have a duty to protect the hallowed ground where our nation’s early history unfolded.”

Today, the historic properties are held in private ownership, mainly as farmland. The land has largely been preserved and appears as it would have during the Civil War era. With mounting interest of residents and tourists alike, the project will not only conserve scenic cultural landscapes threatened by future potential development, but also contribute to economic development through heritage tourism.

“We thank Governor O’Malley and the State of Maryland for recognizing the great role Maryland played in the Civil War, and preserving these priceless battlefields,” said Civil War Trust President O. James Lighthizer. “Without this project, the land could be developed into commercial or residential properties. Now our history will be preserved for generations to come.”

The Civil War Trust will acquire the properties and preserve them in perpetuity through conservation easements held by MET, a statewide land trust. MET already holds more than 80 easements in Frederick and Washington Counties ─ protecting the scenic view sheds of both the South Mountain and Antietam Civil War Battlefields. These easements restrict development on 8,654 acres, and maintain the land in farms and forests. The funding provided will be used for surveys, appraisers, acquisition costs, and closing costs. The Civil War Trust will also provide funding for the total $1.96 million project. MET will steward the land in perpetuity to ensure the terms of the easements are upheld, and to forever protect it from inappropriate development.

“We are pleased to be a partner with the Civil War Trust on this important project,” said MET Director Elizabeth Buxton. “These battlefields and the view sheds represent some of Maryland’s most significant cultural landscapes. The land, primarily farmland, will now be permanently protected by conservation easements so future generations can experience and learn about this historic conflict.”

The Saving Maryland’s Critical Civil War Battlefields project is funded through the Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP), which funds non-traditional, community-based transportation-related projects. In 2012, Maryland awarded six TEP projects totaling more than $4 million. The Governor determines which projects qualify for funding based on need and potential benefit to the public. The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration oversees the federal program, which has awarded more than $206 million for 270 projects in Maryland since the TEP program began in 1991.


   August 6, 2012

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