A Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) news release (2019-04-24) announced that the state’s Rural Legacy Program had reached a milestone by conserving more than 100,000 acres throughout the state. The Program is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first acquisition this year.
The Program was established in 1997 and provides funding to preserve large contiguous areas of land that have importance to agriculture, natural resources, forestry, or environmental protection and support natural resource-based industries. The Program utilizes public-private partnerships between local governments and land trusts to manage and oversee lands preserved under the Program.
The milestone was reached with the Board of Public Works’ recent approval of five new conservation easements in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, St. Mary’s, Washington, and Worcester Counties.
“We have successfully worked with local partners, farmers and other landowners to conserve and maintain the rural character of our state for future generations,” [DNR Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio] said. “And with your approval of the items on our real property agenda today, which includes five Rural Legacy projects totaling 795 acres, we will exceed 100,000 acres protected under this incredible state program.” …
Among guests on hand was former Governor Parris Glendening, whose administration launched the Rural Legacy Program.
Secretary Riccio also thanked the members of the Board of Public Works — Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp — for their support through the years. Governor Hogan has fully funded land conservation and preservation programs. This has resulted in more than $55 million in Rural Legacy projects being approved by the Board of Public Works to protect more than 18,000 acres during Governor Hogan’s administration to date.