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Maryland Adds 188 Acres to Rural Legacy Areas in Talbot County

The newly conserved land is home to the threatened Delmarva fox squirrel.

The State this week conserved 188 acres through the Rural Legacy Program, eliminating six developmental rights to permanently protect farm and forest lands in Talbot County. Governor Martin O’Malley and the Board of Public Works approved funding for the easement on the Price property at today’s meeting in Annapolis.

“The special landscapes we protect through our Rural Legacy Program not only preserve the historic culture and character of our communities, they also safeguard our water quality and food sources for the future,” said Governor O’Malley.

Located within the Tuckahoe Focus Area of the Agricultural Security Corridor Rural Legacy Area, the Price easement will permanently protect 140 acres of productive farmland and 35 acres of a forested wildlife corridor from development that would have required septic systems. Home to the threatened Delmarva fox squirrel, the forestland also protects the water quality of Turkey Creek. The site, which includes a 100-foot buffer along the creek, will be managed with a forest stewardship plan. More than 48 percent of the 45,781-acre Agricultural Security Corridor Rural Legacy Area is 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 more than $249 million to protect approximately 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 Martin 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.