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Rural Legacy Program Preserves Land in Baltimore and Carroll Counties

Photo by Edward Deacon

The State has added 77 acres to its permanently protected rural landscape, eliminating 148 developmental rights in Baltimore and Carroll counties. Governor Martin O’Malley and the Board of Public Works approved the funding at today’s meeting in Annapolis.

“It is our job as a State to conserve Maryland’s ecologically and historically significant lands today, for the benefit of tomorrow’s generations,” said Governor O’Malley. “This project will forever protect sweeping green pastures, dense forestland and habitat for an array of wildlife.”

The easement protects streamside forest along 2,140 linear feet of an unnamed tributary to the East Branch of the Patapsco River, and 895 linear along Piney Run upstream from Loch Raven Reservoir, a major source of drinking water for the Baltimore Metropolitan region. A Total Resource Management Plan will help prevent soil erosion, maintain water quality, and provide for managed agricultural and forestry uses.

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.  The BPW is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultation contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement transactions.