There is, however, one key difference. Amid public outcry, Hackerman dropped his proposal, and the land was not ultimately sold. The O'Malley administration, by contrast, went ahead with the land purchase. Mr. Gill said that the purchase stands on its own. The land scored highly on his agency's scale for assessing the environmental sensitivity of land under consideration for conservation, it fits within the state's "greenprint" and it connects well with other land under preservation, he said. But that is no doubt true of many parcels in Maryland. The question is, would the state have sought out this land, and would it still be buying it now, if it did not ultimately intend to fulfill Ms. Braver's vision?