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Governor O’Malley Announces Preservation of 163 Acres In Talbot County
Annapolis (March 4, 2009) – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works approval of a 163-acre perpetual conservation easement in Talbot County through the Maryland Environmental Trust.
“The Passano family serves as an example to Maryland landowners, wanting to preserve the pristine, undeveloped nature of Maryland’s rural lands,” said Governor O’Malley. “By working with State organizations, such as the Maryland Environmental Trust and local partners, we can ensure that the landscape that we treasure today will be available for future generations.”
Today, the Board of Public Works approved the donation of a perpetual conservation easement to MET and the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, Inc. by landowners William and Helen Passano and Leslie Passano to permanently protect 163 acres of productive agricultural and forestland located in Talbot County's Priority Preservation Area. The property connects two other parcels to form a 1,399-acre contiguous block of protected land and about 57 acres are part of Chesapeake Bay’s Critical Areas, identified as having the greatest potential to affect water quality and wildlife habitat.
“The Maryland Environmental Trust is pleased to work with such conservation minded property owners,” said Elizabeth Burton, MET Executive Director. “This exceptional parcel not only provides for essential and diverse habitat, but also creates an extended greenway providing for other environmental benefits.”
Located along Little Neck Road southwest of the village of Trappe, the property features about 78 acres of cropland, 62 acres of woodlands and 6 acres of wetlands. The property provides habitat for the federally listed Delmarva fox squirrel, an endangered species, and forest interior dwelling birds, whose populations are declining in Maryland and throughout the eastern United States due to sprawl development and deforestation.
The three-member Board of Public Works, chaired by Governor O’Malley, is comprised of Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. The BPW is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.
The Maryland Environmental Trust was established in 1967 by the Maryland General Assembly to preserve privately owned farm, forest and other significant lands and has since protected over 119,500 acres statewide. MET is one of the oldest and most successful land trusts in the country, and is authorized by law to accept private donations of interests in real estate, money or other property; such gifts are tax deductible. In giving conservation easements, landowners donate the development rights on their property while retaining all other rights of ownership. Public access is not a requirement. For more information, visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/met and www.conservemd.org.
March 4, 2009
Contact: Kara Turner
410-260-8018 office I 443-980-2599 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