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County Executive Leopold Announces Approval of Landmark Conservation Easement Protecting the Bacon Ridge Natural Area

Annapolis, MD (October 13, 2009) - County Executive John R. Leopold announced today that the Maryland Environmental Trust Board of Trustees and Scenic Rivers Land Trust Board of Directors has approved a Conservation Easement for 630 acres of the Bacon Ridge Natural Area in the South River Greenway. This Conservation Easement marks a significant landmark in Mr. Leopold’s commitment to protect over 1,000 acres within the South River Greenway.

"The Conservation Easement preserves this scenic rural property and protects its natural forest and wetland habitats," said County Executive Leopold. "Future use of the property is now restricted to passive recreation. The County agrees to enter into a Cooperative Wildlife Management Agreement ensuring the long-term protection of area plants, wildlife, and their natural habitat."

The Bacon Ridge Natural Area in the South River Greenway includes 546 acres of the Crownsville Hospital Center property along with the 84-acre County-owned portion of the Natural Area. The Bacon Ridge Natural Area, in the heart of Anne Arundel County, contains one of the largest tracts of unbroken forest in the County and provides critical habitat for forest birds and rare, threatened and endangered plants.

In addition to the 630 acres protected by the Conservation Easement, an additional 400 acres in the Bacon Ridge Natural Area are on track to be preserved using Program Open Space funds and other means of acquisition. Since December 2006, County Executive Leopold has moved to protect over 2,800 acres County-wide for conservation and public use.

"Scenic Rivers Land Trust thanks Anne Arundel County and the State of Maryland for their vision to protect this unique landscape and provide natural spaces for citizens, shelter important wildlife, and protect the headwaters of the South River," said Alyssa Domzal, Greenways Coordinator for the Scenic Rivers Land Trust. "The Crownsville forest parcel is the centerpiece of the Greenway. We are eager to continue productively working alongside the County and State for many years."

The County will soon establish a Stewardship Committee assigned to provide guidance and recommendations for attaining the goals and objectives of the Conservation Easement.

Aditional information on the South River Greenway.


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