County Set to Meet with State on Proposed Rural Legacy Areas

At the request of Thomas F. McKay, President, St. Mary's County Board of Commissioners, members of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Rural Legacy Program, including Bruce Fleming, Chairman, Rural Legacy Advisory Committee, and Pamela Bush, Director, Rural Legacy Program, will be visiting St. Mary's County on Thursday, April 21, 2005, to meet with officials and key staff and to tour areas proposed by the Board of County Commissioners for the state's Rural Legacy Program.

"We intend to do all we can to get the Rural Legacy Program back on track in St. Mary's County, said Thomas F. McKay, President, Board of County Commissioners, and this effort will provide the state with a better understanding of the areas that have been submitted in recent applications and us with a better understanding of the state's position."

The meeting will be held at the Captain Walter Francis Duke Regional Airport, 44200 Airport Road, California, Maryland 20619, beginning at 11:30 a.m. It will include briefings on Rural Legacy objectives and the status of St. Mary's County Rural Legacy Applications; an update on the Huntersville, St. Mary's/Mattapany Forest Block; current zoning and planned adjustments to the TDR Program; and recommendations for moving forward. A Press Conference will be held immediately following the meeting at 12:45 p.m.

The Rural Legacy Program, part of Maryland's Smart Growth Initiatives, encourages local governments and private land trusts to identify Rural Legacy Areas and to competitively apply for funds to complement existing land preservation efforts or to develop new ones. Easements or fee estate purchases are sought from willing landowners in order to protect areas vulnerable to sprawl development that can weaken an area's natural resources, thereby jeopardizing the economic value of farming, forestry, recreation and tourism.

For more information, contact the Public Information Office at 301-475-4200 extension 1342.

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