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Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is committed to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore and the lands and waters that connect them.

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Party to Preserve a success!

Thank you to our sponsors and to those who attended our 2014 Party to Preserve at the Daffin House Farm in Caroline County. The barn came alive with twinkling lights, a warm fire, music from the Lions of Bluegrass, and delicious barbecue. We honored Gov. Harry Hughes for his lifetime commitment to conservation on our beautiful Eastern Shore. As you can see, it was truly a party!

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American Farmland Trust’s director to headline conference

Andrew McElwaine, president of American Farmland Trust, will give the welcoming address at the 15th Eastern Shore Planning Conference, to be held Friday, Nov. 20, at the Tidewater Inn in Easton. To join the conversation, register now. McElwaine has more than 30 years of senior nonprofit management experience in conservation, public policy and land protection. Before joining AFT, he served for seven years as president of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. McElwaine has an impressive track record in conservation, land protection, agriculture and public policy. As president of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples, Fla., he helped to acquire easements on farm and ranch land through donations and purchases. He supported a successful campaign for a state constitutional amendment to reduce property taxes on lands with agricultural easements, and sought solutions to Florida’s long-term water and growth-management problems. He also successfully led coalitions at the local, state and federal level to restore the Everglades, improve water storage and management, and balance growth with land conservation. He acquired easements on farm and ranch land and oversaw more than 25,000 acres of easements held by the organization. Previously, he was president of The Pennsylvania Environmental Council, where he worked to conserve land and water resources in the state, including farmland. He co-chaired two successful statewide bond initiatives that generated more than $1 billion in conservation financing, including substantial support for local and regional farmland protection. As a result, Pennsylvania became one of the nation’s leaders in farmland easement purchases. He also served as the lead contractor for the Susquehanna River nutrient trading program, which rewards farmers for implementing best management practices. Previous positions include Director of Environmental Programs at the Pittsburgh-based Heinz Endowments, staff member on President George H. W. Bush’s Commission on Environmental Quality and Senior Legislative Assistant to the late U.S. Senator John Heinz (R-PA). McElwaine earned

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Ag secretaries discuss future of farming

EASTON -- All three Delmarva secretaries of agriculture will participate in a panel discussion at Eastern Shore Land Conservancy's 15th Eastern Shore Planning Conference: The Future of Eastern Shore Agriculture. Moderated by radio host Marc Steiner, the conversation will focus on learning from the past and looking to the future. Register now to reserve your seat for this important talk. EARL F. (BUDDY) HANCE Governor Martin O'Malley appointed fourth generation Southern Maryland farmer, Earl F. Hance as secretary of the Maryland Department of Agriculture in May 2009. He served as deputy secretary of agriculture from February 2007 until May 2009. Prior to these appointments, Buddy Hance served as president of the Maryland Farm Bureau, chairman of the Maryland State Tobacco Authority, and as chairman of the Southern Maryland Agricultural Commission among other farm and community activities. Hance also was active in numerous local, state, and national farm and civic organizations. At the national level, he represented the Northeastern states on the American Farm Bureau Federation and was a member of the Nationwide Insurance Company Board Council. In Maryland, he served as a member of the Rural Maryland Council, the Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department, the Patuxent River Commission, the Southern Maryland Tourism Council, the Maryland State Tobacco Authority, the Calvert Farmland Trust, the Board of the Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum and the Board of the Calvert County Farm Bureau. A former tobacco farmer, Secretary Hance and his family farm 400 acres of corn and soybeans and operate several commercial greenhouses. Buddy and his wife Robin live in Port Republic, Calvert County and have three children and one grandchild. Ed Kee Ed Kee is a native Delawarean who was born in New Castle and now lives in Sussex County. He has spent his entire career in Delaware Agriculture. Kee began his professional agricultural career as the farm manager

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Party to Preserve

October 11, 2014 - October 11, 2014 9790 Tuckahoe Road Map and Directions | Register Description:Owners John and Karen Jaeger lovingly restored Daffin House, the oldest home in Caroline County, to its original character. This farm was preserved forever in 2002 with a conservation easement held by ESLC. The post-and-beam barn is the heart of the farm and our party. Warm yourself by the stone fireplace, enjoy the bluegrass band, and bid on fabulous auction items. Tour the house and stroll the grounds to fully appreciate the importance of this historic property’s preservation. READ MORE ABOUT THIS FARM, FABULOUS AUCTION ITEMS AND MORE! Tickets are $100. Patron ($500, 2 tickets) Sponsor ($750, 2 tickets) Benefactor ($1,000, 2 tickets) Preserver ($2,500, 4 tickets) Party To Preserve

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Chestertown Farm preserved forever

Ed and Marian Fry and their son Matt, and his wife Meg, are again expanding operations on their dairy farm, 54 years after Ed’s father first established the farm in Kent County. The expansion is made possible with an easement by Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and Maryland Environmental Trust. Putting land under easement fulfilled a couple objectives for the family, said Matt. The farming business and the land were owned by different entities. A corporation owns the business, and a limited partnership consisting of extended family members not involved in the business owned the land. Selling a scenic conservation easement on the farm allowed Matt and Meg buy the land. It also helped meet the vision his grandfather would have laid out for the land – that it stay a working farm. In the 1960s, Matt’s grandfather, Ed’s father, moved away from his dairy farm in Montgomery County and started his farm in Kent County. Montgomery County was growing, and he knew he would not be able to farm the way he wanted to for very long. The sale was satisfying for extended family members, as well. Although they did not want to encumber the farm to pay for major building improvements for the farming operation, they did want farming to continue on the land in the manner their grandfather intended. The easement allowed them to get their value from the property and see the farm remain profitable. “This is what we call the home farm here,” Marian said of the dairy and organic grain operation outside of Chestertown. Matt and Meg, both Virginia Tech graduates, settled in Kent County to farm. Matt has been farming with his parents since 2007. He now manages the dairy herd and also participates in management decisions for the larger farm. The Frys recently expanded the dairy herd. Now, 470 cows are milked

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What are BMPs?

This article is the first in a series of articles about Best Management Practices. In addition to background about BMPs, these articles will provide practical advice for implementing BMPs on your property. You also may download the full guide. One special characteristic of the Eastern Shore that distinguishes it from other regions along the Atlantic coast is its close proximity to the Chesapeake Bay. Home to thousands of species, the Bay is an impressively large body of water that has a contributing watershed stretching through six states and the District of Columbia. An estimated 17.5 million people live within the Bay watershed. Having such an extensive area of land that flows into it means the risk of becoming heavily polluted is much higher. It also makes it that much more important that there are open-space, low-development areas like the Eastern Shore. Instituting the proper protections in these areas is critical to improving the health of the Chesapeake. Landowners of eased lands on the Eastern Shore are in a position to meaningfully improve the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. By their nature, eased lands produce much less pollution because they restrict commercial and residential development. However, easement landowners can also improve water and environmental health by taking proactive actions. Best Management Practices (BMPs) is an overarching term that describes those proactive actions. BMPs optimize production on the land while reducing negative environmental impacts. BMPs are used in a number of different industries including forestry, oiland gas extraction, and water treatment. In the context of water quality, “best management practices” refers to efforts meant to control water pollution. Traditionally, land development has been mainly concerned with stormwater retention and redirection. Without being treated for any pollutants, stormwater is sent directly into the nearest stream or river. This means any residual motor oil, trash, or fertilizers left on the pavement or fields will get

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ESLC’s Party to Preserve

REGISTER NOW for our annual fundraiser, the Party to Preserve, from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, at Daffin House Farm in Hillsboro. The focus of the party’s auction will be experiencing the Eastern Shore – and beyond. Spend a week at a guest house at the edge of Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and watch moose and elk in their habitat. The house includes a queen bed and space for a child or two. A treehouse provides additional fun. Package includes a round of golf for two at the Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club and a docent tour of the National Museum of Wildlife. Birders can bid on a migratory bird banding at Foreman’s Branch Bird Observatory at Chino Farms and lunch at the Imperial Hotel. A late spring morning just after a warm front passes will produce a bounty of neotropical migrant birds in their finest mating plumage. These jewels are caught in ultra-fine mist nets, taken to a banding lab where they are weighed, aged and banded. Then, they are released unharmed to continue the northward journey to their habitual nesting areas. The Nature Conservancy Maryland/DC Chapter will provide a guided kayak trip for four on Nassawango Creek with a conservationist. This preserve is one of the northernmost remaining examples of a bald cypress swamp. The Nature Conservancy has protected 9,953 of swamp and upland forest along this creek. Stop along the way to enjoy wine and cheese among the water lilies and cypress. Prefer a history lesson? Join Dr. Scott Wing, head of the Smithsonian Institution’s Paleobiology Department, for a tour of the National Museum of Natural History. The paleobiology department focuses on fossil plants and the history of climate change between 70 and 40 million years ago, the last part of the Mesozoic

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Future of Eastern Shore Agriculture conference planned for November

EASTON – Eastern Shore Land Conservancy on Thursday, Nov. 20, will host the 15th Eastern Shore Planning Conference, “The Future of Eastern Shore Agriculture,” at the Tidewater Inn in Easton. The conference will celebrate and discuss innovations and opportunities for Eastern Shore agriculture, including: strengthening current agriculture, supporting emerging and niche agricultural opportunities, and further developing Eastern Shore communities’ connection to agriculture. ESLC invites members of the agriculture community, elected and appointed officials, government staff members, community leaders, and anyone interested in food to attend. “We hope Eastern Shore agriculture will be just as strong in 500 years as it is today,” said ESLC Policy Manager, Josh Hastings. “This conference will help develop understanding about Eastern Shore agriculture, explore methods to enhance what is already being done, and strengthen rural communities through our number one industry.” The conference agenda will offer ample time for participants to hear from Maryland leaders, ask questions, and fully consider the future of Eastern Shore agriculture. An extensive exhibit hall will offer a wide range of information about history and opportunities in the region’s agriculture. Questions considered include the following: Will drones be a strong part of Shore agriculture, and what opportunities are available through precision agriculture? How have Eastern Shore farms benefited from tourism, creating new farm markets, or changing their products?  What role can a regional food hub play?  What is the future for aquaculture? What are the advantages and struggles with crop diversification and green energy?  How can we help improve accessibility food in our own Eastern Shore communities? Register today online or by contacting Jen Matthews at 410-827-9756, ext. 155, or jmatthews@eslc.org for the early bird rate of $45 or a student rate of $25.

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Land and a beetle, preserved

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy this year helped protect more than 170 acres on Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay’s Camp Grove Point in Earleville. The property’s 2,200 feet of eroding cliffs at the mouth of the Sassafras River provide unique habitat needed by the federally threatened Puritan tiger beetle, a creature smaller than the tip of a fingernail yet a fierce predator in the insect world. “We are taking a significant step forward in recovering the Puritan tiger beetle, whose largest global population is found in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland,” said Genevieve LaRouche, Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Chesapeake Bay Field Office. “This partnership illustrates the important role of local groups and landowners in the conservation of our rare native wildlife.” Every year, hundreds of Girl Scouts attend day and residential summer camps and participate in troop camping throughout the year. “Good stewardship of our land is an important part of Girl Scouting,” said Anne T. Hogan, CEO of Girl Scouts of Chesapeake Bay. “Rich with diverse wetlands and upland forests of oak, tulip poplar, beech and hickory, the new easement will permanently protect the area’s sensitive ecosystem,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Joe Gill. “By preserving this critical landscape we can help guarantee the future of the Puritan tiger beetle, as well as … osprey, eagle, deer, fox and many migratory songbirds.” Permanent protection of this land will help meet one of the federal criteria required for recovery of this species—to stabilize six large sub-populations and their habitats in the Chesapeake Bay. With the protections on the Girl Scout property, four sub-populations will be protected in Maryland. “Preservation of this property not only means protection of a unique ecological site,” said Jared Parks, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Land Protection Specialist. “It preserves a place where generations of girls can go to explore the outdoors and learn about nature with

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Recent Posts

  • Eastern Shore Towns Respond to COVID-19
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Pat Langenfelder
  • Climate Study Predicts Extent of Heavier Rains on Eastern Shore
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Alexander Walls
  • LYON RUM Distillery announces final batch of ESLC Black Rum
  • The First Look at Severe Rainfall Impacts in Maryland
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Matt Tobriner
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Carol Bean
  • Chesapeake Bay Architects Discuss Design and Climate Adaptation
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Rob Etgen
  • Thriving – Not Simply Surviving – in the Delmarva Oasis
  • Saving the Stacks
  • Buy Local Challenge: Cookin’ with Carol
  • It Was a Beautiful Day for a LANDJAM!
  • Cannery Park Planting and Clean Up