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Rural Legacy Program Preserves Land in Baltimore County

Gorgeous scenic view of a barn in a vast field with the sun setting in the backgournd

Mountain Road Barn by Jason Germeroth

The State has added 85 acres to its permanently protected rural landscape and eliminated three developmental rights in Baltimore County. Governor Martin O’Malley and the Board of Public Works yesterday approved funding to preserve the land located in the Piney Run Rural Legacy Area.

“Designating these forests and agricultural lands as easements not only preserves Maryland’s heritage and working landscapes for future generations, but protects water quality within tributaries that lead to the Chesapeake Bay,” said Governor O’Malley.

The easement on the Mount Carmel Tree Farm property will permanently protect 66 acres of valuable land and prevent the development of one lot. Preservation of this parcel will ensure that the trees lining Black Rock Run will forever protect the water quality in Prettyboy Reservoir, and the 2,615 feet of viewshed along Mount Carmel and Cedar Grove roads will always remain.

The easement on the Reynolds property will permanently protect 19 acres and prevent the development of two lots. Preservation of this parcel will protect 2,163 linear feet of streamside buffers filtering runoff to Little Piney Run, and 300 feet of viewshed along Dark Hollow Road.

These easements add to an existing 14,000-acre block of protected land in the Piney Run Rural Legacy Area.

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 more than $249 million to protect nearly 78,000 acres. 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.