ANNAPOLIS (December 21, 2011)—The Maryland Board of Public Works approved the purchase of eight easements protecting 1,034 acres of Maryland farmland in four counties for approximately $4.5 million in State and local funding. Of that total, 4 easements consisting of 542.85 acres are in Charles County ($2,566,690.09) and two easements consisting of 167.75 acres are in St. Mary's County ($780,133.64), for a total cost of $3,346,823.73.
The State did not release the names of the property owners in the announcement.
This approval brings the total farmland protected in perpetuity by the
Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) in Maryland to 287,694 acres.
Created by the General Assembly in 1977, MALPF purchases agricultural preservation easements that forever restrict development on prime farmland and woodland and has permanently preserved land in each of Marylands 23 counties, representing a public investment of over $605 million. With county and other state preservation programs, nearly 558,914 acres of farmland are protected in Maryland. This is the greatest ratio of farmland preserved to total landmass of any state, according to the Governor's office.
Maryland has one of the strongest agricultural land preservation records in the nation. Each easement purchase proves our commitment to keep farming a viable and sustainable industry in our state, said Governor O'Malley. By working with our local partners through the MALPF program, we will keep Maryland's future smart, green and growing by helping farmers stay on their land, preserving open space, protecting our environment, and maintaining the rich agricultural heritage of our State.
The Board is comprised of the Governor, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, and Comptroller Peter Franchot.