County receives $2.3M grant to preserve farmland near Antietam National Battlefield

USS ALASKA

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County receives $2.3M grant to preserve farmland near Antietam National Battlefield
Julie E. Greene
Aug 22, 2018 Updated Aug 22, 2018

Washington County was awarded $2.3 million on Wednesday — almost $943,000 more than last year — to protect farmland and forests in the county's Rural Legacy Area.

The county's designated Rural Legacy Area runs roughly from the Appalachian Trail west to the C&O Canal, and from the Rohrersville area north to about the Boonsboro area. That includes land near Antietam National Battlefield, as well as sites within view of Washington Monument State Park and South Mountain Battlefield State Park.

"We’re very happy with this amount," which is the largest Rural Legacy award the county has received in the past decade and possibly in the program's history, said Eric Seifarth, the county's rural preservation administrator.

Last fiscal year, the county received $1,359,000.

The $2,301,545 grant for this fiscal year is enough to acquire conservation easements for five farms, Seifarth said. The acreage of those farms is: 201, 188, 158, 148 and 40.

The county has received $22 million since the Maryland Department of Natural Resources program began in 1997. Including the five farms expected to be protected, the Rural Legacy program has conserved about 6,900 acres in the county, Seifarth said.

Before Tuesday's announcement, the county had preserved almost 34,000 acres toward a goal of protecting 50,000 acres by 2020, Seifarth said. The county won't meet that goal by 2020 and a new target date hasn't been set yet, he said.

The county is roughly 300,000 acres, including the Potomac River.

Board of County Commissioners President Terry Baker still needs to sign the agreement for the $2.3 million grant awarded on Tuesday.

To be eligible for a Rural Legacy grant, land must have strong agricultural value, have an historic component, have strong environmental features that need to be protected, and have the ability to be developed. If the property is land-locked and unattractive for development, it's not going to be eligible because it's basically already preserved, Seifarth said.

Other factors that are considered, but not necessary, are whether the land is home to endangered species, the quality of the soil, and whether the land protects a viewscape, such as a view from Antietam National Battlefield.

Potential easements are ranked based on the number of development rights, historic value, natural resources, and the quality of the land and land management.

Full article with pic can be found here - https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/new...cle_f88f8cea-a665-11e8-bd5f-3bd802f3632b.html

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USS ALASKA
 

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Jimklag

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#2
County receives $2.3M grant to preserve farmland near Antietam National Battlefield
Julie E. Greene
Aug 22, 2018 Updated Aug 22, 2018

Washington County was awarded $2.3 million on Wednesday — almost $943,000 more than last year — to protect farmland and forests in the county's Rural Legacy Area.

The county's designated Rural Legacy Area runs roughly from the Appalachian Trail west to the C&O Canal, and from the Rohrersville area north to about the Boonsboro area. That includes land near Antietam National Battlefield, as well as sites within view of Washington Monument State Park and South Mountain Battlefield State Park.

"We’re very happy with this amount," which is the largest Rural Legacy award the county has received in the past decade and possibly in the program's history, said Eric Seifarth, the county's rural preservation administrator.

Last fiscal year, the county received $1,359,000.

The $2,301,545 grant for this fiscal year is enough to acquire conservation easements for five farms, Seifarth said. The acreage of those farms is: 201, 188, 158, 148 and 40.

The county has received $22 million since the Maryland Department of Natural Resources program began in 1997. Including the five farms expected to be protected, the Rural Legacy program has conserved about 6,900 acres in the county, Seifarth said.

Before Tuesday's announcement, the county had preserved almost 34,000 acres toward a goal of protecting 50,000 acres by 2020, Seifarth said. The county won't meet that goal by 2020 and a new target date hasn't been set yet, he said.

The county is roughly 300,000 acres, including the Potomac River.

Board of County Commissioners President Terry Baker still needs to sign the agreement for the $2.3 million grant awarded on Tuesday.

To be eligible for a Rural Legacy grant, land must have strong agricultural value, have an historic component, have strong environmental features that need to be protected, and have the ability to be developed. If the property is land-locked and unattractive for development, it's not going to be eligible because it's basically already preserved, Seifarth said.

Other factors that are considered, but not necessary, are whether the land is home to endangered species, the quality of the soil, and whether the land protects a viewscape, such as a view from Antietam National Battlefield.

Potential easements are ranked based on the number of development rights, historic value, natural resources, and the quality of the land and land management.

Full article with pic can be found here - https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/new...cle_f88f8cea-a665-11e8-bd5f-3bd802f3632b.html

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
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