Maryland's Green Infrastructure Assessment
Strategic Land Conservation
As of 2021, Department of Natural Resources
programs compiled an enviable record in land conservation, acquiring outright 350,000 acres of natural lands and supporting conservation easements on 172,000 additional acres. Private groups like The Nature Conservancy have also protected natural areas from development. Many of these lands are incorporated in the mapped Green Infrastructure.
An important function of the Green Infrastructure Assessment is to provide maps which government agencies and private land trusts can use to help focus their efforts on strategic locations. Working together in a more coordinated way will help limited conservation dollars go further and result in more ecologically valuable purchases.
To further assist protection efforts, habitat conditions, biological data, connectivity, size and other information were assessed within each hub and corridor. These data were used to assign an ecological score for each hub and corridor to help prioritize limited conservation funding. This approach, modified for smaller areas, is now being used to assign ecological scores to parcels under consideration for protection. This information is being used to guide DNR’s conservation actions on a regular basis.