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Frederick County Easement Protects Water Quality

Board of Public Works Approves Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program Acquisition

Photo of Toll Road FarmThe Board of Public Works today approved a Maryland Department of Natural Resources item that will grant more than $468,000 to acquire a 77-acre Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program easement in Frederick County.

Program Open Space funds will be used to purchase a permanent conservation easement on property located north of Unionville.

“Through our partnership with Frederick County, we can preserve agriculture and farmland while benefiting the environment and water quality,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “This voluntary program is a win-win for our bay and our farmers, and is essential to protecting the state’s 134 unique watersheds.”

Frederick County is considered a “Target Level 1” county, where easement practices have the greatest impact on water quality. The easement on the Toll Road Farm Property will permanently protect water quality by requiring 1,250 linear feet of forested and vegetative stream buffers along tributaries to Clemson Branch.

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, a federal-state partnership, helps develop wildlife habitat, establish wetlands, plant streamside tree buffers, and preserve forests and natural areas by providing landowners with dependable and steady rental income. The completely voluntary program benefits the state’s agriculture community and contributes to enhanced and improved water quality throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.