News from the DNR Office of Communications

BPW Approves Preservation Of 170 Acres Through Rural Legacy Program

Easements in Baltimore, Dorchester, and Harford Counties

Annapolis, Md. (November 3, 2010) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve 170 acres of Maryland landscape, including 28 acres in the Manor Rural Legacy Area, 125 acres in the Nanticoke River Rural Legacy Area, and 17 acres in the Deer Creek Valley Rural Legacy Area through the Rural Legacy Program.

“Our farms support our working families and contribute to our economy,” said Governor O’Malley. “Not only are we preserving the farms, forests and fields that define our great State, we are also preserving our culture and heritage for our children and theirs.”

Manor Rural Legacy Area (Baltimore County) – A 28-acre Rural Legacy easement placed on property owned by the Franzoni family will permanently protect an integral part of the rural scenic landscape of northern Baltimore County by extinguishing two development lots. The easement is adjacent to lands protected by conservation easements held by the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) and the Harford County Agricultural Land Preservation Program.

"The Manor Conservancy is thrilled to be able to protect this valuable farmland and the scenic beauty it provides along Jarrettsville Pike, one of our most traveled commuter routes," said Deborah Bowers, Project Director of The Manor Conservancy, Inc. "By preventing future development, this project protects wildlife habitat and water quality along a stretch of the Little Gunpowder Falls. We are very pleased with this landowner's commitment to the beauty of this historic area."

This easement will be held by The Manor Conservancy and the DNR.

The Manor Rural Legacy Area consists of 28,434 total acres, of which 14,444 acres are currently protected.

Nanticoke River Rural Legacy Area (Dorchester County) – A 125-acre conservation easement will be placed on property known as the Reid Farm in Dorchester County’s Nanticoke Rural Legacy Area. This easement, purchased in cooperation with the Department of the Navy’s Encroachment Protection Agreement with DNR, will protect valuable farm and forest land by extinguishing 13 development lots and supporting sustainable resource-based industries in Dorchester County. The easement will protect land that contains habitat for Delmarva fox squirrels, forest interior dwelling species and breeding and stopover habitat for migratory songbirds and raptors.

“Having the Navy join our team is a tremendous boost to conservation, and we are thrilled that protecting the Nanticoke River’s natural treasures can be complementary to our national security interests,” said Liz Zucker, The Nature Conservancy in Maryland’s Eastern Shore Project Director. “The Nanticoke River is home to some of Maryland’s best remaining stretches of river, parts of which would be familiar to another Navy explorer, Captain John Smith of Jamestown, who sailed the river 400 years ago.”

The easement will be held by the DNR and the U. S. Department of the Navy.

The Nanticoke Rural Legacy Area totals 21,250 acres of farm and forest land, of which 11,765 acres are currently protected.

Deer Creek Valley Rural Legacy Area (Harford County) – In the Deer Creek Valley Rural Legacy Area, preservation of the 17-acre Norton property will preserve valuable forest land and extinguish two development lots. Water quality will be protected through permanent forested streamside buffers along Deer Creek and tributaries on the property that feed into the Susquehanna River. The forest land on this property will be managed under a Forest Management Plan.

“Ralph and Sabrina Norton have taken a very proactive role in preserving the natural lands bordering Deer Creek, while providing opportunities for groups to experience that beauty from a hands on perspective,” said William Amoss, Chief of Agricultural and Historic Preservation for Harford County. “This Rural Legacy easement compliments an existing Harford County Agricultural Land Preservation Easement and fully protects Camp Hidden Valley, originally donated to the Campfire Girls in 1967.”

This easement completes protection of a series of parcels owned by the same family, and will be held by Harford County.

The Deer Creek Valley Rural Legacy Area consists of a total of 66,701 acres, of which 32,343 acres are currently protected.

Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program provides funding to preserve large tracts of forestry and agricultural land and natural resources, and for environmental protection while sustaining land for natural resource-based industries. Enacted by the General Assembly in 1997, Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program has to date provided over $206 million to protect 68,064 acres of valuable farmland, forests, and natural areas. The 11-member Rural Legacy Advisory Committee and the Rural Legacy Board, which is composed of Maryland’s Agriculture, Natural Resources and Planning Secretaries, reviews grant applications annually. For additional information, visit

The three-member Board of Public Works (BPW) 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.

   November 3, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at