The Board of Public Works on October 12, 2022, unanimously approved more than $27.1 million in Rural Legacy Program grants for conservation easement acquisitions, reflecting the highest annual amount appropriated since 2002. Funding from these grants will permanently protect 7,100 acres of working farms, forests, open space, shorelines, and wetlands — plus cultural and historical resources — throughout the state. Additionally, the Rural Legacy Board approved an expansion of more than 36,000 acres in six Rural Legacy Areas. The Board of Public Works includes Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and Treasurer Dereck Davis. The projects were recommended by the Rural Legacy Board, which consists of the Secretaries of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Maryland Department of Agriculture, and the Maryland Department of Planning. “This increased funding is the result of the Hogan Administration fully funding land conservation and preservation programs, and also reflects high transfer tax revenues from the recent housing boom in Maryland,” Maryland DNR Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said. “The Rural Legacy Program is one of Maryland’s most important tools for preserving and protecting our lands by working with local partners, landowners, and nonprofit organizations to maintain Maryland’s rural character and our natural-resource based industries.” […]
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