News from the DNR Office of Communications

BPW Approves Preservation Of More Than 740 Acres In Maryland Through Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program

Easements Located In Five Maryland Counties

Annapolis, Md. (December 15, 2010) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve over 740 acres of streamside forests, natural areas and wetlands, including properties in Dorchester, Frederick, Somerset, Washington and Worcester Counties through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) easement option.

“It heartens me to see Maryland landowners volunteering to make conservation practices on their land permanent,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Their actions are protecting water quality in rivers and streams that will positively affect restoration of the Chesapeake Bay for future generations.”

Dorchester County - The BPW approved preservation of three CREP easements in Dorchester County. The Terry, Hurley and Scanlon easements, totaling over 174 acres, will permanently protect water quality through riparian buffers along 12,050 feet within the Little Choptank River watershed and 5,135 feet within the Choptank River watershed. These easements will be co-held by the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“We are very pleased the Terry family initiated this easement, which will provide permanent protection to a combined 67 acres of buffer and forest along Beckwith Creek,” said Rob Etgen, executive director of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy. “We are also very grateful to the Hurley family for their decision to protect nearly 60 acres of farmland here in Dorchester County and the Scanlon family for making the important choice to protect their farm that buffers two tributaries.”

Frederick County - The BPW also approved preservation of a 150-acre CREP easement in Frederick County, known as the Mitchell Family Farm. This easement will permanently protect water quality through riparian buffers along 3,386 feet of Upper Linganore Creek and its tributaries. Upper Linganore Creek is part of the Monocacy River Watershed, a significant tributary to the Chesapeake Bay. The easement will be co-held by Frederick County and DNR.

“A permanent CREP Easement on the Mitchell Family Farm property provides over 3,000 feet of important buffer for Linganore Creek,” said Anne Bradley, assistant land preservation administrator for Frederick County. “The easement adjoins over 1,000 acres of permanently preserved land and is located within a Priority Preservation Area, an area Frederick County has designated as a high priority for land preservation.”

Somerset County – Acquisition of the 211-acre CREP easement owned by the Miles family in Somerset County will permanently protect water quality through riparian buffers along 10,467 feet of tributaries to the Manokin River, an important tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. The easement will be co-held by Somerset County and DNR.

“The Miles family will be able to preserve their 8th generation family farm from development while providing important buffer along Wolftrap Creek and Broad Creek, tributaries of the Manokin River in Somerset County,” said Lower Shore Land Trust Executive Director Kate Patton. “This permanent CREP easement is adjacent to the Fairmount Wildlife Management Area and adds to the forested wetlands, riparian buffer and saltmarsh attractive to many species of waterfowl.”

Washington County – The BPW’s approval of a 25-acre CREP easement on property owned by the Bowers Family in Washington County will permanently protect water quality through riparian buffers along 1,800 feet of stream, shortly before it empties into Conococheague Creek, a significant tributary of the Potomac River. This easement lies adjacent to other conservation easements, and will be co-held by Washington County and DNR.

"The permanent easement Mrs. Bowers has placed in the CREP program is an excellent property to help protect Maryland waterways,” said Eric Seifarth, land preservation administrator for Washington County. “The property assists with the buffering of 1,185 feet of the Conococheague Creek and buffers several unnamed streams that run through the easement."

Worcester County – Acquisition of the 180-acre CREP easement on property owned by the Rural Integrity Land LLC will permanently protect water quality through riparian buffers along 1,800 feet of stream, shortly before it empties in the Pocomoke River, an important tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. The CREP easement lies adjacent to other conservation easements, and will be co-held by Worcester County and DNR.

“Worcester County greatly appreciates the opportunity to protect properties important for water quality with the CREP Permanent Easement Program,” said James C. “Bud” Church, president of the Worcester County Board of County Commissioners. “The entire farm will be permanently protected by this purchase and the permanent buffers and wetlands will help protect the Pocomoke River’s water quality.”

Maryland’s CREP easement option is administered by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and is funded through Program Open Space. The State of 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.

Since October 20, 2010, Maryland landowners have protected 1,606 acres through 22 voluntary CREP easements.

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.


   December 15, 2010

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

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million 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 11 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