POS Stateside Targeting
Established in 1969, Program Open Space (POS) symbolizes Maryland’s long-term commitment to conserving natural resources while providing exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities. The Stateside of POS acquires parklands, forests, wildlife habitat, natural, scenic and cultural resources for public use.
While Maryland continues to lead in the area of land conservation, Governor Martin O’Malley has identified new administrative policies to enhance Maryland’s land conservation programs. Accordingly, the Department of Natural Resources will maximize available funding by being more strategic in setting priorities for which lands are to be conserved. DNR has implemented a new “POS Targeting” land conservation system based first on ecological priorities. The creation of a more transparent process is based on scientific data, management priorities and public needs (recreational, historic, and cultural access; and resource-based economies).
The “POS Targeting System” begins with an ecological screen that uses an ecological baseline to select “Targeted Ecological Areas”. From the collection of selected areas, a programmatic screen will use implementation criteria to identify “Annual Focus Areas”. Finally, a parcel screen will be used to assess, score, and prioritize parcels within the focus areas. A smaller portion of State POS funds will still be used to acquire high priority recreational, cultural, and historic sites, providing key Chesapeake Bay access points, trails connections, and state park in-holdings.
By using a more refined analysis of updated ecological data, DNR has created a more transparent process where decisions are supported by science.