From the Maryland Department of Natural Resources:
Governor Martin O’Malley announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve the land through the Rural Legacy Program.
“By partnering with landowners to preserve Maryland’s heritage and natural beauty, we are creating an actual rural legacy to be enjoyed by our children and theirs,” said Governor O’Malley.
Gunpowder Falls Rural Legacy Area (Baltimore County) — The Riley Property will permanently protect 23 acres of forestland, which will primarily be managed for timber production under a Forest Stewardship Plan. Water quality will be preserved through 2,000 feet of riparian buffers near the Gunpowder River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.
“The word people use most often to describe my property is ‘retreat.’ Whether you’re sitting alone on the deck listening to birds or the trickling of the stream, or walking in the woods with a child and coming upon a turtle or cluster of wildflowers, the results are the same: a respite from the daily clamor and a fresh appreciation of rural Maryland’s natural legacy,” said owner Cindy Riley. “I am pleased that through conservancy and stewardship, new generations will enjoy this same retreat.”
The easement, which will extinguish 1 development right, will be held by The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Gunpowder Falls Rural Legacy Area totals 13,432 acres, 36 percent of which is now protected.
Deer Creek Rural Legacy Area (Harford County) — The Habonim Camp will permanently protect 268 acres within a large block of lands already protected with conservation easements totaling over 3,000 acres. Water quality will be preserved through a 100-foot forested buffer along 7,450 feet of Deer Creek. The easement, which will eliminate 26 development rights, will be held by Harford County.
The property will remain a youth summer camp facility, providing recreation and environmental education. “Camp Moshava,” as it is known to hundreds of summer campers, is an ideal camp property nestled in the Deer Creek Valley of Harford County.
“The easement will not only protect the property from future residential development but also preserve woodland habitat, stream and river buffers and even a serpentine barrens area located on the property,” said William Amoss of the Harford County Department of Planning and Zoning. “The funding for this easement will insure that future generations can come to ‘Camp Moshava’ to enjoy and learn from this outdoor experience and the importance of properties like this to the Chesapeake Bay.”
The Deer Creek Rural Legacy Area has approximately 32,444 acres, 49 percent of which are now protected.
Maryland’s 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, Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program has to date provided over $267 million to protect 72,384 acres of valuable farmland, forests, and natural areas. The 11-member Rural Legacy Advisory Committee and the Rural Legacy Board, which is comprised of Maryland’s Agriculture, Natural Resources and Planning Secretaries, reviews grant applications annually. For additional information, visit http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/land/rurallegacy/.
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.