News from the DNR Office of Communications

Governor O'Malley Announces BPW Approval Of Preservation Of 364 Acres Through Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program

Projects in Frederick and Queen Anne’s Counties

Annapolis, Md. (November 17, 2010) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve 364 acres of streamside forests, natural areas and wetlands, including 65 acres in Frederick County, and 299 acres in Queen Anne’s County through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) easement option.

“Together with our federal and local partners, we are able to curb runoff, improving water quality for future generations,” said Governor O’Malley. “I commend these Maryland landowners for volunteering to make conservation practices on their land permanent.”

CREP provides for the establishment of stream buffers, grass plantings, shrubs and trees, and the retirement of highly erodible land. In addition to providing important habitat for wildlife, all of these practices work to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed by reducing soil runoff, increasing groundwater absorption, and reducing stream sedimentation and nutrient loading into Maryland’s waterways.

Frederick County – The BPW approved preservation of a 65-acre CREP easement in Frederick County. Owned by the Convention of Protestant Episcopal Church, this property will permanently protect water quality for a public water supply and valuable recreational trout waters near the Monocacy River. The easement will be co-held by Frederick County and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“This Protestant Church CREP easement provides permanent stream valley protection along the Monocacy River, which is classified as a Maryland Scenic River,” said Tim Blaser of Frederick County. “The owners have been good stewards of the land, and this helps them to ensure that the good stewardship practices are made permanent.”

Queen Anne’s County – The BPW also approved preservation of three CREP easements in Queen Anne’s County totaling 299 acres. The Biophilia, Jarrell, and Redman CREP easements will permanently protect water quality through more than 21,000 feet of streamside buffers along waters that feed into both the Chester River and Tuckahoe Creek. These three CREP easements will be co-held by Queen Anne’s County and DNR.

“Protection of water quality and wildlife habitat will benefit with the imposition of these CREP easements, in addition to maintaining significant conservation values including wetlands, and to prevent the use or development of the property,” said Gene M. Ransom III, President of the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners.

Maryland’s CREP easement option is administered by DNR and is funded through Program Open Space. Maryland has entered into an agreement with the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide funds to landowners who make permanent the conservation practices established through 10- or 15-year CREP contracts. CREP provides for the establishment of stream buffers, grass plantings, shrubs and trees, and the retirement of highly erodible land. In addition to providing important habitat for wildlife, all of these practices work to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed by reducing soil runoff, increasing groundwater absorption, and reducing stream sedimentation and nutrient loading into Maryland’s waterways.

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.


   November 17, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

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 www.dnr.maryland.gov