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BPW Approves Preservation Of 87 Acres In Garrett County Through Rural Legacy Program

Annapolis, Md. (September 21, 2011) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve 87 acres in the Bear Creek Rural Legacy Area in Garrett County.

Preservation of the Beitzel Property will permanently protect 87 acres of valuable agricultural and forest lands. All forest management on the property will be in accordance with a Forest Stewardship Plan, the primary objective of which is timber production in support of Maryland’s timber industry.

“The farm owned by Delegate Wendell Beitzel and his wife Ruth will be a valuable addition to Garrett County’s Bear Creek Rural Legacy plan due to its proximity to Deep Creek Lake’s growth area; the size of the Property; its proximity to other protected lands; its water quality protection values; and the protection offered to the existing natural habitat,” said Chad Fike, Agriculture Preservation Administrator for Garrett County. “This easement protects Bear Creek and its tributaries, which are natural trout streams regularly stocked by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and forestland, which is important interior-dwelling bird and black bear habitat.”

This easement, which will be held by Garrett County, will provide a permanent forest buffer on 2,990 feet of Bear Creek and its tributaries and extinguish 28 development rights.

Delegate Beitzel filed a Form B disclosure and Form D disclaimer with the Maryland General Assembly Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics relating to this acquisition. In a letter from that Committee, dated July 20, 2011, Delegate Beitzel was informed that his disclosure and disclaimer fully satisfy the requirements set out by the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics for a legislator who is participating in the Rural Legacy Program.

The Bear Creek Rural Legacy Area totals 31,437 acres of which 5,774 (18.36 percent) are 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 $267 million to protect 72,468 acres of valuable farmland, forests, and natural areas. The 11-member Rural Legacy Advisory Committee and the Rural Legacy Board, which is comprised of Maryland’s Agriculture, Natural Resources and Planning Secretaries, reviews grant applications annually. For additional information, visit

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.

   September 21, 2011

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

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 a 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