Conservation Easement preserves 17 acres in Washington County

Conservation Easement preserves 17 acres in Washington County

The State has permanently preserved 17 acres of forests, natural areas and wetlands along Conococheague Creek in Washington County. Governor Martin O'Malley and Board of Public Works approved the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) easement on the Salgado property in Clear Spring, at today's meeting in Annapolis.
"By protecting this land we are continuing to work toward restoring the Chesapeake Bay," said Governor O'Malley. "This easement will conserve vital forestland that will forever provide natural buffers to filter polluted runoff before it reaches Conococheague Creek."
This easement on property owned by the Salgado family will permanently protect water quality through streamside buffers on both sides of a 1,600-foot stream that runs through the property and empties into the Conococheague Creek.
"This area is rich in agricultural history and within a stone's throw of several historic places, including St. Paul's Church which was a safe haven for local settlers during the French and Indian War," said Eric Seifarth, land preservation planner of Washington County.
Washington County and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold the easement.
CREP provides for the establishment of stream buffers, grass plantings, shrubs and trees, and the retirement of highly erodible land. In addition to providing important habitat for wildlife, all of these practices work to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed by reducing soil runoff, increasing groundwater absorption, and reducing stream sedimentation and nutrient loading into Maryland's waterways.
Maryland's CREP easement option is administered by DNR and is funded through Program Open Space. The State of Maryland has entered into an agreement with the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide funds to landowners who make permanent the conservation practices established through 10- or 15- year CREP contracts.
The three-member Board of Public Works is composed of Governor O'Malley (chair), Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. The BPW is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultation contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement transactions.

This information was provided by the Hagerstown/Washington County Convention and Visitor's Bureau - www.marylandmemories.com