The Carroll County Department of Land Use, Planning and Development, Agricultural Lands Preservation Program, was awarded $617,995.09 through the Maryland Rural Legacy Program for preserving farmland or natural lands in Carroll County.
Carroll County is among the nation’s leading counties in its effort to preserve farmland according to a county news release. To date, approximately 62,000 acres have been permanently protected from development. This has been accomplished through several programs that offer payment in either lump sum or taxfree installments over 20 years.
Only three other counties in the nation have preserved more acres through the purchase of conservation easements the news release reports.
The award was approved by the Board of Public Works earlier this month.
The Carroll County Agricultural Lands Preservation Program will use the funds to purchase conservation easements from willing sellers within two designated areas of the county.
Conservation easements protect property from future development, but the land remains in private ownership. The owner is compensated for retiring the development potential on the land.
The Maryland Rural Legacy Program was created in 1998 to preserve large contiguous areas of rural lands for future generations.
In Carroll County, two Rural Legacy Areas are designated. One, the Upper Patapsco Rural Legacy Area, encompasses lands around the towns of Manchester and Hampstead. The Little Pipe Creek Rural Legacy Area encompasses most of western Carroll north of Rt. 26.
Carroll County was among 11 areas in the state that received $5,622,000 in total awards.
For more information on land preservation in Carroll County, contact Ralph Robertson, Program Manager or Deborah Bowers, Preservation Specialist, at 410 386-2214.
Information in this article taken from a Carroll County government news release.