Maryland Surpasses BayStat Land Conservation Goals
Annapolis, Md. (January 5, 2011) — Maryland has surpassed its annual
land conservation goal, protecting 12,812 acres in 2010. The State’s goal of
conserving 9,700 acres was set using BayStat, a powerful tool established in
2007 to assess, coordinate, and target Maryland’s restoration and conservation
programs. On Wednesday, December 15, the Maryland Board of Public Works held its
final meeting of calendar year 2010, approving projects that marked this major
milestone for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
“Together with our partners we celebrate our success of exceeding our land preservation goals,” said Governor O’Malley. “Our land resources are critical to our quality of life, our State’s economy and our future.”
In 2010, DNR protected 12,812 acres through Stateside Program Open Space acquisitions and purchased conservation easements through the Rural Legacy Program and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), exceeding the BayStat goal of 9,700 acres for all three programs combined.
Since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2010, DNR has saved $8.5 million through voluntary discounts provided by willing landowners and Federal or private funds leveraged by conservation partners. As a result, DNR has been able to protect more land for less money than ever before. The projects and activities of Program Open Space support over 300 jobs statewide.
Project highlights from 2010 include:
- Purchase of a key site at Patuxent River Park that provides critical fishing access for people with disabilities;
- Protection of a highly ecologically significant property that also provides public access to the Torrey Brown North Central Rail Trail;
- Permanent protection of 94,317 feet (over 17 miles) of streamside buffers, critical to restoration of the health of the Chesapeake Bay, through CREP;
- Expansion of the Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area to include a key parcel for protection of the Serpentine Barrens, a unique environment containing 39 species of rare, threatened and endangered plants species as well as rare insects, rocks, and minerals; and
- Acquisition of 773 acres of ecologically valuable and severely threatened land in the Mattawoman Creek watershed, one of the Nation’s most endangered watersheds according to American Rivers.
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.