|Press Releases | Search DNR | DNR Home|
Governor O’Malley Announces BPW Approval Of FY 2008 Rural Legacy Grants
Allocated to 21 Counties Will Preserve Forest and Farmland
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Today, Gov. Martin O’Malley announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval of Rural Legacy grants to 21 local governments and land trusts for preservation of forest and farmland across Maryland.
“I am personally honored and privileged to be a part of the effort to protect the magnificent lands that define the rural character of our state and support natural resource based livelihoods such as farming, forestry, tourism and outdoor recreation,” said Governor O’Malley. “The land preserved through Maryland’s nationally renowned Rural Legacy Program offers invaluable environmental benefits that protect local watersheds that drain into the Chesapeake Bay.”
Today the BPW formally approved $21,022,365 in FY ’08 funds as well as $928,404 in reallocated funding from expired grants. Additionally the BPW approved designation of one new Rural Legacy Area, the 23,000-acre Dividing Creek Rural Legacy Area, as well as expansion of two existing Rural Legacy Areas located in Queen Anne’s County – by a cumulative total of 7,079 acres. Governor O’Malley first announced the proposed grants while overlooking a vast scenic rural landscape with Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith, and other community and conservation leaders at the Wisner Family Farm in Baltimore County last March.
Maryland’s Rural Legacy program provides funding to preserve large, contiguous tracts of land and to enhance natural resource, agricultural, forestry and environmental protection while supporting a sustainable land base for natural resource based industries.
“Our Rural Legacy Program is unique in that it encourages local governments and land trusts to work together and determine how best to protect their vital working landscapes,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary and Rural Legacy Board Chair John R. Griffin, who played a key role in establishing the program.
Under Gov. O’Malley’s BayStat Initiative, land conservation investments are targeted to protect the most ecologically valuable properties that most directly impact Chesapeake Bay and local waterway health.
Enacted by the General Assembly in 1997, Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program has to date provided over $163 million to preserve 58,217 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.
TOTAL RURAL LEGACY PROGRAM FY 2008 GRANT FUNDS = $21,950,770
Rural Legacy Area
FY 2008 Grant
Anne Arundel County
Anne Arundel South
Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Talbot Counties
Agricultural Security Corridor
Little Pipe Creek
Lower Deer Creek
Patuxent Prince George’s
Queen Anne’s County
Dividing Creek (N) **
St. Mary’s County
N = New Rural Legacy Area
*Manor RLA includes property in Baltimore and Harford counties.
** Dividing Creek RLA includes property in Somerset and Worcester counties.
For additional information, visit http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/land/rurallegacy/.
April 2, 2008
Contact: Olivia Campbell
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 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 12 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.