ANNAPOLIS (April 4, 2012) - The State of Maryland has added 1,209 acres to its permanently protected rural landscape, eliminating 100 development rights in four counties. Governor Martin OMalley and the Board of Public Works today approved funding to preserve the land, located in Baltimore, Dorchester, St. Marys and Worcester Counties, through nine Rural Legacy easements.
In St. Marys County, preservation of the 75-acre Kessler, the 73-acre Lancaster and the 46-acre Dement Properties will permanently protect 194 acres of valuable forestland, extinguishing 33 development lots and improving water quality in the Patuxent River watershed. The easements will be held by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the U.S. Navy and the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust. The Mattapany Rural Legacy Areas total 13,660 acres, of which 2,458 are currently protected.
Not only do these easements help the county reach its land preservation goals, they also help protect the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, the county's largest employer, from encroachment, said President, St. Mary's County Commissioner, Jack Russell.
Also in St. Marys County, preservation of the 81-acre Burroughs Property will permanently protect forestland and productive agricultural farmland while extinguishing 15 development lots. The preserved property will protect the water quality along nearly 7,300 feet of streams that flow into the Patuxent River. The easement will be held by DNR and the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust. The Huntersville Rural Legacy Area totals 8,343 acre, of which 3,421 are currently protected.
Marylands Rural Legacy Program provides funding to preserve large tracts of forestry and agricultural land and natural resources, and for environmental protection while sustaining land for natural resource-based industries. Enacted by the General Assembly in 1997, Marylands Rural Legacy Program has to date provided over $205 million to protect 67,354 acres of valuable farmland, forests, and natural areas. The 11-member Rural Legacy Advisory Committee and the Rural Legacy Board, which is comprised of Marylands Agriculture, Natural Resources and Planning Secretaries, reviews grant applications annually. For additional information, visit dnr.maryland.gov/land/rurallegacy/.
The three member Board of Public Works is composed of Governor OMalley (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.
Source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources