Release Date: 03/06/2014
Annapolis, MD, March 6, 2014 – Governor Martin O’Malley yesterday announced that the Board of Public Works (BPW) approved the purchase of 11 easements protecting 1,175 acres of prime Maryland farmland in four counties for $4.7 million in state and local funding. This approval brings the total farmland protected in perpetuity or approved by the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) to 295,040 acres. The Board is comprised of the Governor, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, and Comptroller Peter Franchot.
“Maryland has one of the strongest agricultural land preservation records in the nation. Each easement purchase proves our commitment to keep farming a viable and sustainable industry in our state,” said Governor O'Malley. “By working with our local partners through the MALPF program, we will keep Maryland's future smart, green and growing by helping farmers stay on their land, preserving open space, protecting our environment, and maintaining the rich agricultural heritage of our state.”
Created by the General Assembly in 1977, MALPF purchases agricultural preservation easements that forever restrict development on prime farmland and woodland and has permanently preserved land in each of Maryland’s 23 counties, representing a public investment of more than $617 million. With county and other state preservation programs, nearly 800,000 acres of farmland and resource land are protected by easements in Maryland. This is the greatest ratio of farmland preserved to total landmass of any state.
According to the last survey conducted by the Schaefer Center for Public Policy, public opinion supports this investment. A full 97 percent of respondents believe that it is important that the state preserve farmland for farming. Marylanders believe that farms and the products they produce should remain a part of the State’s culture and economy. A summary of Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation Easement Purchases approved by Board of Public Works on March 5, is now available online at www.mda.maryland.gov/documents/ bpw_malpf-03-05-14.pdf
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