Maryland Land Conservation Conference a Success
The Maryland Environmental Trust’s (MET) 13th annual statewide Land Conservation Conference, The Challenge of Perpetuity, lent itself to great dialogue and informative workshops, providing guests with opportunities to exchange ideas and solutions regarding the challenges of land conservation. More than 140 people from 80 land conservation organizations across the Chesapeake Bay region convened on April 23, at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights, for the daylong training and networking event.
Peter Forbes, senior advisor and cofounder of the Center for Whole Communities in Vermont, provided the keynote address. Forbes inspired attendees with his message on the importance of connecting people with the land. His workshop addressed how to engage communities, and how land conservationists can connect with other organizations to integrate land health, social justice and the human spirit.
Representatives of land trusts, government agencies, students and conservation organizations from all parts of the region participated in a full day of workshops and discussions on a variety of topics, including Advocacy, Innovative Technologies, Stewardship, Endangered Indigenous Landscapes, Watershed-wide Land Conservation Prioritization, Managing Agricultural Easements to the Long Term, Maryland Natural Area Initiatives, and Best Management Practices for Marcellus Shale Gas Development in Maryland.
Conference sponsors included The Abell Foundation; the Chesapeake Conservancy; The Conservation Fund; the Land Trust Alliance; the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR); the National Park Service-Chesapeake Bay Office; O’Donoghue & O’Donoghue, LLP; and Wright, Constable & Skeen, LLP.
MET, the only statewide land trust, currently holds more than 1,050 easements totaling more than 129,000 acres of scenic open space, farm and forest land in Maryland. Governed by a citizen board of trustees, MET is affiliated with DNR and promotes the permanent protection of land through its Conservation Easement, Stewardship and Land Trust Assistance programs. For more information, visit dnr.maryland.gov/met.