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Scenic Rivers Land Trust secures about 71 acres of protected land in Crownsville, an ‘important bird area’ for at-risk species

An important bird habitat has been protected from development as a landowner living along the North River tributary in Crownsville has relinquished the right to build on about 71 acres of land that includes woods and fields.

The Scenic Rivers Land Trust secured the easement using money from the Anne Arundel County Forestry and Forested Land Protection Grant Program. That program is funded by the county and administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

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The land is a part of the South River Greenway, an “important bird area,” according to the National Audubon Society. The North Branch tributary and the Bacon Ridge tributary are both surrounded by forest, and those forests meet at the confluence of the streams near Route 50, according to Audubon. It is one of the largest patches of forest in the county outside of the Patuxent Research Refuge. The National Audubon Society is a non-profit focused on protecting birds and their environments.

Birds that require large patches of forest can be found at the site. At least 18 species regularly breed in the area, and in 2007 three at-risk bird species were spotted: worm-eating warbler, Kentucky warbler and Louisiana waterthrush, according to Audobon.

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The property includes 66 acres of mature forest and five acres of fields, which will be planted with trees. The site also consists of six acres of wetland and 2,500 linear feet of stream.

“The importance of our wild and open spaces is not lost on anyone this year. Clean air, healthy waterways, and places of beauty and relaxation are so important to the health of our communities,” Scenic Rivers Executive Director Sarah Knebel said in a statement. “Thanks to the county’s commitment to protecting our forests and farms, as well as conservation-minded landowners, we can continue to work together to build a resilient network of natural and open lands that will be there for us long into the future.”

Over the course of three decades, the land trust has secured conservation easements on 3,000 acres in the county.

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