From the Maryland Department of Natural Resources:
The State has added 176 acres to its permanently protected rural landscape and eliminated 15 developmental rights in Harford County. Governor Martin O’Malley and the Board of Public Works today approved funding to preserve the land locate in the Deer Creek Rural Legacy Area.
“The Rural Legacy Program and its generous land donors enable us to protect the future of our farming communities while preserving the rich history, rural character and natural beauty of Maryland’s landscapes,” said Governor O’Malley.
The easement known as the Linkous Property may be viewed as a keystone acquisition, as it ties together 3,000 acres of protected properties along Deer Creek, a State-designated Scenic River. This beautiful property adjoins the Harford County-owned Eden Mill Nature Center with the Falling Branch portion of Rocks State Park through neighboring conservation easements. The land shares a 4,200-foot common border with the Center, a nature park funded through Program Open Space.
The easement will protect 75 acres of forestland, including buffers that help enhance water quality along 3,800 feet of unnamed tributaries to Deer Creek. It will also preserve the scenic views along 1,900 linear feet of Fawn Grove Road.
The property will be held by Harford County. The Rural Legacy Area totals 66,701 acres of which 32,712 are currently protected.
Enacted by the General Assembly in 1997, Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program provides funding to preserve large tracts of forests, agricultural land, and natural resources, while sustaining land for natural resource-based industries. It has to date provided approximately $237 million to protect nearly 78,000 acres of valuable farmland, forests and natural areas. The 11-member Rural Legacy Advisory Committee and Board, comprised of Maryland’s Agriculture, Natural Resources and Planning Secretaries, reviews grant applications annually.
The three member Board of Public Works is composed of Governor O’Malley (chair), Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. BPW is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultation contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement transactions.