Development rights on 27 acres of land in Washington County have been entered into two preservation programs, according to state news releases.
Gov. Martin O’Malley and the state Board of Public Works approved the addition of the lands into the Rural Legacy Program and Conservation Reserve Easement Program, or CREP, the releases said.
A 17-acre parcel near Clear Spring has been preserved through CREP, one release said. CREP is part of the Chesapeake Bay initiative, and purchases easements on properties to buffer streams and erosion-prone slopes, said Eric Seifarth, the land preservation planner for Washington County.
The land, belonging to Marie Salgado, is along a stream that empties into Conococheague Creek, Seifarth said. Not developing the buffer areas helps prevent nutrients and other pollutants from entering the Chesapeake Bay, he said.
The value of the easements was $57,556 and, with applicable fees, the total cost came to $62,985 in state funds, Seifarth said.
The easements will be held jointly by Washington County and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the release said.
The other property is 10 acres of wooded land off Chestnut Grove Road near Keedysville, Seifarth said. A property’s development, agricultural, environmental and historic value are taken into account when it is considered for entry into the program, he said.
The state paid $37,004 for the easement on the land and about $2,500 in fees for a total cost of $39,528, Seifarth said. The property belongs to Bonnard J. Morgan, he said.
“The Morgan property is part of a large tract of land acquired in 1727 by Israel Friend, a Quaker who purchased the land from the Indian Chiefs of the Five Nations, Seifarth said in the release. The land also was part of the site of Antietam Iron Works, which produced cannons for the Continental Army, the release said.
There are 43,000 acres around Antietam, South Mountain and along the Potomac in the mid-Maryland Washington Rural Legacy Area. About 23,000 of those acres have been preserved through the Rural Legacy and CREP programs and other land-trust programs, Seifarth said, including federal public lands such as the C&O Canal, Appalachian Trail and Antietam National Battlefield.