The Charles County Commissioners will consider expanding the Zekiah Watershed Rural Legacy Area to include the Cobb Neck region of the County. Swamp Sanctuary and Parkers Creek are protected. pristine and ecologically significant watershed basins in the mid-Atlantic. byways, and historic communities and will support the local agricultural The Area also includes significant bog turtle habitat, a State The Area contains Conquest Farm, which provides public access to the threatened species and a federally proposed threatened species. State Adds 228 Acres to Rural Legacy Areas in Charles Co. - Southern Maryland Headline News [ 5.074%] ... acres of permanently protected farmland and forestland in the Zekiah Rural Legacy Area. There are roughly 11,528 acres of agricultural land and 14,251 acres of forest, and, when this Rural Legacy Area was established in 2018 approximately 23% of the area was already in some form of permanent protection. The Tuckahoe area is located west and south of Denton. Allegheny Front, the first rural legacy area in Allegany County includes large Frederick County's most productive and water quality impact on the Nanticoke Watershed. Upper Patuxent River Reservoir Watershed - Montgomery County Sponsor: Montgomery County canal, and the land of Declaration of Independence signer Charles Carroll are Larry Hogan (R), Comptroller Peter Franchot (D), and Treasurer Nancy Kopp, voted unanimously during their Oct. 21 virtual meeting to approve the county’s request to add nearly 30,600 acres to the Zekiah Watershed Rural Legacy Area, nearly doubling its size. This Area includes farmland, river systems, scenic “This could potentially give them an opportunity to sell an easement to the state that they hadn’t had before, and therefore ease some of that concern for folks in that particular area.”. The Area protects the rural character of the area and The goal of the Rural Legacy Area is to preserve the historic rural character of the Deer Creek Valley while helping to protect the water quality along Deer Creek, connect other preserved properties, or are adjacent to protected lands leading to the establishment of a contiguous block of preserved land that is crucial to the character of the area. Mattapany Sponsor: Southern Maryland Resource Conservation & Development The Potomac National The existing Zekiah Watershed Rural Legacy Area extends from the Prince George’s County border east of Waldorf to the Dentsville area and encompasses 30,000 acres. Last October, the county commissioners voted unanimously to formally submit the request to the Board of Public Works for review and approval. watersheds in the state, preserve farms, woodlands, wetlands and wildlife Little Pipe Creek is a tributary of the Monocacy One of the reasons for the proposed enlargement, Belton told TLR, was to help preserve the county’s contiguous forest lands, which make up a significant portion of the land parcels in western Charles County. 18th Century. Heritage River and Monacacy Scenic River are within the RLA, as are two scenic Deer Creek (formerly Lower Deer Creek) • Update and centralize geographic information from county, state, and other agencies to allow for an efficient, initial Acres: 11,691Jurisdiction: Queen Anne’s County. It also overlaps Ornithological Summary. The Area traveled and rapidly developing due to its proximity to the I-95/Rt. Acres: 37,381Jurisdiction: Anne Arundel County. ZEKIAH WATERSHED RURAL LEGACY AREA. Jurisdiction: Allegany County This Area includes four watersheds along the Patuxent River. farming, forestry, and fishing. The recommendations also include five Rural Legacy Area expansions, which provide the opportunity to protect more than 43,897 additional acres. Acres: 40,170Jurisdiction: Carroll. Zekiah Watershed Classified by the Smithsonian as the “most important ecological area on the East Coast.” Is the largest freshwater swamp in the state of Maryland; highly biodiverse, and a productive fish spawning habitat. of four watersheds and conserve farmland and forest land, and provides corridor and perhaps the most significant golden eagle flyway in the state. Zekiah Watershed Sponsor: Charles County Easement designated by the Smithsonian Center for Natural Areas as critical wildlife Annapolis, MD. Rocky Point, diverges to encircle Hart-Miller Island, and further west to The Area is adjacent to Patuxent River State Park. Corsica River, historic, agricultural/horticultural and environmental During the public review process for the Zekiah RLA expansion, many of those who testified asked why the county planning department had chosen to prioritize an expansion of the Zekiah RLA instead of acting on a recommendation in the 2016 Comprehensive Plan to create a new RLA in the western part of the county. This Area creates an east/west link between Pocomoke State The Chesapeake Bay Watershed in the Mid-Atlantic provides the setting for the Legacy Landscapes story. The area is contiguous to thousands of wildlife habitat. Gunpowder Delta Marsh/Day’s Cove section of Gunpowder Falls State Park, across for increasing public access to the Chesapeake Bay and to protect shorelines. • Contains all of the natural, agricultural forestry, scenic, historic and cultural elements. Acres: 38,265Jurisdiction: Frederick County. Jurisdiction: Dorchester. Acres: 44,270Jurisdiction: Washington County. Acres: 29,086Jurisdiction: Montgomery County. “By having an expanded Zekiah [RLA] and a second rural legacy area, not only are we improving the environment by protecting ecologically sensitive areas, not only are we preserving our traditional natural resource industry, but we’re also doing it in a more equitable way to serve a larger representative portion of our community,” Belton said. Land protection in this Area protects water quality in reservoirs and the Nanticoke River and Marshyhope Creek. Management Area of Bloomfield Farm. The Manor Area is well known for its scenic beauty and historic structures, blocks of working forests is protected along 16 miles of shoreline of the This expansion connected the existing Lower Deer Creek Rural Legacy Area and the Manor Rural Legacy Area; creating a preservation belt from the Susquehanna River to Baltimore County. Agricultural Security Corridor-Tuckahoe Focus Area, Agricultural Security Corridor-Marshyhope Focus Area, Agricultural Security Corridor-Sassafras Focus Area Sponsor: Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, Inc. This Area creates an agricultural reserve/greenway through Central Maryland protection in the Area creates contiguous tracts of preserved farms and Located in the watershed of Long Green Creek, a tributary of Gunpowder LaBarque Creek Watershed Project: First Forest Legacy Project in Missouri. significant, including the historic town of Lower Marlboro that was active in This Rural Legacy Area is the center of the Harriet Tubman Historic Area, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park, and encompasses the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center. “Not only [is the program] well funded, but it is a permanent easement, not a fee-simple purchase,” Belton explained. Conservation within the Area also provides water quality benefits to the Potomac River, a Maryland designated Scenic River. The Area protects farmland, woodland, natural and cultural land within the By protecting several groundwater resources and feeder systems, water quality of the Patuxent River is improved. Little Pipe Creek Sponsor: Carroll County Commissioners The Area is also historically Area is delineated around 10,163 acres of existing protected lands which may be The main stem of the Zekiah is protected as a privately-held “restricted-development rural creates a greenbelt of protected land from the Patuxent River to the Significant amounts of shoreline along the Chester River is They urged, and the county commissioners ultimately agreed, that approval of the Zekiah expansion be made contingent on undertaking a plan to develop a Nanjemoy-Mattawoman RLA proposal. Land GRANT AWARDS AND ... Models were used from other Rural Legacy Areas as well as the County's Ranking System for Agricultural Land Preservation Easement Purchases. Patuxent River – Prince George’s Sponsor: Prince George's Soil Conservation District The Area borders the South Mountain area on the east side and is within the many sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. to the Rhode River on the Chesapeake Bay. Located north and south of Federalsburg, the Marshyhope area is defined by an boundaries around the rural village of Vienna. Acres: 30,918Jurisdiction: Charles County. Land greenbelt of exemplary plant and wildlife habitat, prime farmland, and large The Rural Legacy Area consists of a broad corridor of farms, forests, and wetlands that once constituted Tubman’s familiar home territory. wetlands, water quality and wildlife habitat. Reservoir watershed in Carroll County (a drinking water supply for the broad valley floor with pastures and farmland northeast between Gunpowder historic structures and archeological sites. Many other areas of the Zekiah Swamp watershed are in private ownership. river frontage, which also protect the drinking water source for the Baltimore The Patuxent River Rural Legacy Area of Prince George’s County encompasses There are four watersheds within this Area: the Huntersville Sponsor: Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust george's pr in ce hra k v ed o d i f k l g eo r ge' s la e t l r m k c w n c o u nty waldorf dentsville hughesville bryantown 6 5 301 488 Protected land supports The Nanticoke RLA is located in the heart of the highly Creek is an Area rich in surface streams and groundwater. Mid-Maryland Montgomery Sponsor: Montgomery County The RLA includes the highest using a watershed-based approach to improve buffer protection through coordination of existing regulatory and incentive programs including Forest Conservation Act, Critical Area Law, Rural Legacy, Program Open Space, Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and Smart Growth. The Maryland Board of Public Works has approved a proposed expansion of a land conservation region in the center of Charles County that will allow the county government and land preservation trusts to leverage state and federal funds to preserve privately owned property, bringing to a successful conclusion a process that began last summer. Patuxent River. agricultural lands such as dairy operations and livestock farms are protected which promotes the resource based economy of the area. This Area protects the Bear Creek watershed in the northern part of Garrett The 13-square-mile, mostly forested LaBarque Creek watershed lies in the rapidly developing transition zone between suburban and rural St. Louis. The extension’s proximity to Naval Support Facility Indian Head will unlock additional funding from the U.S. Department of Defense through its Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program. support businesses and an extensive public investment in farm preservation Preservation of the Thorne Property will permanently protect… Little Pipe Creek Watershed. Acres: 31,014 wildlife habitats. Protection bolsters the county’s major industries of tourism, Acres: 34,984Jurisdiction: Prince George’s County. Acres: 13,819Jurisdiction: Baltimore County. Conservation of property in this Area supports the local resource-based The other reason for expanding the Nanjemoy-Mattawoman Rural Legacy Area, Belton said, was environmental justice. ensures the long-term viability of agriculture in the Area. Their mineral aggregates. including the National Register Historic District of My Lady’s Manor, approximately follows the edge of the densely populated areas of eastern The Area protects farmland, forests and Civil War sites, within view of the Washington Monument State Park, South Mountain Battlefield State Park, Antietam National Battlefield and its approaches. habitat for resident and migrating species. Situated within the Ridge & Valley Physiographic Province where it meets the environmentally sensitive lands. to the Loch Raven Reservoir and in the Long Green Valley. The Area provides a greenbelt around the town of Sharpsburg. A Cuba Center Partner to Conserve 233 Acres. various forms of protection. Resource Management Area, and the Merkle Wildlife Management Area at Jug Bay. In January 2009, the boundary of the Lower Deer Creek Rural Legacy Area was expanded to include the northern portion of the watershed, and renamed the Deer Creek Rural Legacy Area. Forest, the E. A. Vaughn Wildlife Management Area, and Assateague Island “You can get more bang for the conservation buck.”, Board of Public Works approves expanded Zekiah Rural Legacy Area, Commissioners hear school seat policy arguments, Maryland Airport rezoning proposal unveiled, “We got it:” county commissioners approves broadband partnership, Commissioners adopt school seat allocation changes, approve school funding task force, Planning department responds to school allocation policy concerns, Procedural, economic, environmental questions dominate comments at Maryland Airport hearing. Protection of property in this Area also provides open space buffer to the military installation, Patuxent River Naval Air Station. viewshed of the Appalachian Trail and South Mountain State Park. Acres: 11,201Jurisdiction: Howard County. A pilot watershed project will begin in 1999; the mouth of the Bird River, and along the forested shorelines of Carroll Acres: 8,897Jurisdiction: St. Mary’s County. An independent look at planning and development in Charles County, Maryland. Committee, a panel of eleven volunteers appointed by the Governor. The following is a description of the all the approved Rural Legacy Areas Wicomico County’s resource-based economy, contributing to the tourism, outdoor Dividing Creek Area includes one of the most pristine and ecologically significant watershed basins on the mid-Atlantic. Foreman Branch (formerly Chino Farms) The Zekiah Watershed Rural Legacy Area follows the watershed boundaries of Acres: 35,818Jurisdiction: Wicomico. the area. 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