MET Protects 2,186 Acres in 2011
Crownsville, Md. (January 12, 2012) ─ The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) along with Maryland landowners have protected 2,186 acres of farmland, woodland and scenic open space through 13 conservation easements and three amendments acquired in 2011. The easements will protect the natural, historic and scenic resources on these lands for generations to come.
“I am proud of the accomplishments we have made this year” said MET Director Elizabeth Buxton. “Even in this economy, there continues to be conservation-minded landowners who want to protect their land. Conservation easements provide an easy and cost effective tool for them to do just that.”
Anne Arundel County:
In early January 2011, MET gave its long-held 547-acre Crownsville Woods property to Anne Arundel County for public use. The County granted a conservation easement on the 547 acres and additional 84-acres, the Bacon Ridge Natural Area, to both MET and the Scenic Rivers Land Trust.
The resulting 631-acre easement property is predominantly forested with extensive areas of open tidal and non-tidal water, non-tidal wetlands and steep slopes. At one point considered for high-end development, the Crownsville Woods property provides scenic road frontage on Interstate 97, Hawkins Road and Chesterfield Road. Located within one of the largest intact forests in the county, this exceptional property offers a unique and secluded setting for its streams, marshes, steep slopes and native species.
The entire Crownsville Woods property is within a Targeted Ecological Area, which has been identified as a conservation priority by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). It has been identified by the National Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area and is a spawning area for yellow perch and river herring, as well as providing habitat for 12 species of fish. As the centerpiece of the South River Greenway Land Protection Initiative, the area will be managed by Anne Arundel County for a variety of passive recreational uses such as walking, running, hiking, bird watching, nature study and orienteering.
In southern Anne Arundel County, the Scenic Rivers Land Trust and MET protected 53 acres of scenic road frontage, farmland, woodland and pristine marshland off Mallard Lane and along Lyons Creek, a tributary of the Patuxent River, known as the The Melville Property. An area dominated by preserved land as part of the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary and Patuxent River Park complex, this property serves as an integral part of the predominantly rural setting. Bald Eagles and a State-listed threatened plant species are located in or near the property.
Dr. W. Robert and his wife Sandra Shortall protected their 157-acre farm with an easement held by MET and Carroll County Land Trust. The Shortall easement is MET’s third largest conservation easement in Carroll County and is the second easement donated by the Shortalls. The property is next to a large block of protected land and serves as an integral part of the predominantly agricultural and forested setting of the area. The Conservation Easement, which is co-held with the Carroll County Land Trust, will provide the permanent protection of the scenic view of productive fields and working landscape. Dr. Shortall praised the program as a great way to preserve open space in the State.
On the Eastern Shore, MET combined efforts with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy to protect the Yorktown Farm family property near Longwoods in Talbot County. This conservation easement protects 439 acres, 245 acres of active farmland classified as “prime farmland” and 186 acres of forest that is home to the Delmarva fox squirrel (a federally listed endangered species) and declining bird species that live deep within the forest.
The Longwoods area is recognized as a high priority area for aquatic and ecological resource protection in the Talbot County Green Infrastructure Plan. AgPrint and GreenPrint both identified this property for protection. This conservation easement is a big step forward in protecting targeted ecological and agricultural areas on the eastern shore.
Additional conservation easements and amendments acquired in 2011 include: 683 acres in Anne Arundel County; 47 acres in Baltimore County; 157 acres in Carroll County; 9 acres in Frederick County; 29 acres in Howard County; 137 acres in Kent County; 430 acres in Queen Anne’s County; 120 acres in St. Mary’s County; 511 acres in Talbot County and 11 acres in Washington County.
“These natural areas are a wonderful representation of beauty and diversity of our State,” said Buxton. “We are so thankful to those that helped save this land by donating to these permanent conservation easements.”
The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) serves as the statewide land trust and is governed by a citizen board of trustees which represent all regions of the state. MET was established in 1967 by the Maryland General Assembly and is affiliated with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. MET is one of the oldest and most successful land trusts in the country and holds over 1000 conservation easements protecting over 127,000 acres of scenic open space, forest and farm land. MET promotes the protection of open land through its Land Conservation Program, Monitoring and Stewardship Program and Land Trust Assistance Program. MET also provides grants to environmental education projects through the Keep Maryland Beautiful Program. For more information, visit dnr.maryland.gov/met.
|January 12, 2012||
Contact: Josh Davidsburg
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. 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