Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Conserves 589 Acres in Dorchester County

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) has announced a new conservation easement in Dorchester County.

The property, owned by Ed “Biff” Burns, protects 589 acres of land southeast of Cambridge. The permanent protection of the property helps to secure the agricultural and natural resources of the region, with approximately 227 acres planted in grain and 363 acres held in woodlands, with many qualifying as forested wetlands. The woodlands are especially important, as they provide significant habitat for Delmarva fox squirrel and many bird species, including Forest Interior Dwelling Species (FIDS), like woodpeckers, thrushes, and nuthatches, which are currently in decline in the eastern United States.

Mr. Burns grows grain in Dorchester and Wicomico Counties. Dr. Candy Burns, Biff’s late wife, was a driving force behind conserving the farm, a goal that Biff remained steadfast in honoring even after her passing in 2021. Mr. Burns is also one of the leading users and advocates of chicken dissolved air flotation (DAF) residuals, a form of food waste produced through chicken meat processing, which is an approved Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) approved soil amendment utilized on agriculture fields. Mr. Burns uses DAF residuals under the guidance of an NRCS-approved nutrient management plan. He hopes that the farm will continue to be enjoyed as a great place for farming and hunting for him and his family.

ESLC would like to thank the Burns family for its contribution to regional conservation, as well as our partners in this endeavor: the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (via the North American Wetland Conservation Act; NAWCA). Their technical and financial assistance was key to securing this beautiful farm for generations to come.

To learn about conservation easement programs, including whether your property may qualify, please contact ESLC’s director of land conservation, David Satterfield, at dsatterfield@eslc.org.

To learn more about the U.S. Navy Conservation Program in Maryland, check out the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program page at: https://www.repi.mil/. To learn more about the NAWCA program, check out their home page at: https://www.fws.gov/program/north-american-wetlands-conservation.