Governor Larry Hogan Honors Conservationists at Government House
More than 100 guests attended a reception Oct. 12 at the Government House in Annapolis to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Maryland Environmental Trust and honor landowners who have voluntarily and permanently preserved their land. Governor Larry Hogan, along with Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton, recognized private landowners for donating permanent conservation easements.
Since 2014, Maryland Environmental Trust accepted more than 27 easements and eight amendments, preserving close to 2,982 acres of cultural, historical, natural , scenic and working lands. Since its inception in 1967, the trust has helped preserve more than 134,000 acres across Maryland.
“Our administration is grateful to conservation-minded citizens for their commitment to preserving land in Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “These easements are an example of how individual Marylanders can play an essential role in safeguarding our state’s most treasured places. Their commitment to protecting farms and forests, beaches and bays, and our state’s natural and cultural resources benefits all Maryland citizens by helping ensure healthy local communities and economies, clean air and water, and the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.”
James Constable, chair of Maryland Environmental Trust’s board of trustees, lauded the combined effort of the trust and other state conservation and preservation programs. “When added to the Natural Resource Department’s success with the Rural Legacy Program, Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation and the local land trusts that Maryland Environmental Trust supports, the numbers are truly impressive,” Constable said. “We are grateful to the participating citizens and land trusts for helping preserve and steward these beautiful lands. It serves as a wonderful gift for future generations.”
“Easements sometimes are the culmination of several years’ effort to conserve a property,” Maryland Environmental Trust Director Bill Leahy said. “Thanks to our unique collaborative approach, we are able to partner with landowners, the State Department of Natural Resources, local counties and cities, and others to set a great example of how to bring many different sources of support together to accomplish our mission.”