Rural Legacy Applications Upcoming!
Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) is hard at work on its annual applications to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Rural Legacy Program! The Rural Legacy Program was established in 1997 to provide funding for land conservation for natural resource-based industries; the program focuses on balancing natural resources, agriculture, and forestry with environmental protection and economic sustainability.
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ESLC has been a sponsor for Rural Legacy Areas (RLA) on the Eastern Shore since 2001, and has protected 66 properties covering over 11,000 acres of land utilizing this funding program. In 2019, ESLC worked with DNR and local governments to further expand these RLAs, by almost 4 times their original footprint, drastically increasing the number of eligible properties in the region.
As sponsor for the Harvest Crescent, Tuckahoe and Eastern Shore Heartland RLAs, ESLC is responsible for building annual applications to compete for funding allocations from the State budget. The competitiveness of these applications hinges on many variables, but none more important than the quality of the properties submitted for review to the Rural Legacy Advisory Committee and Board. The list of properties submitted each year is selected by ESLC staff from their pool of interested landowners, utilizing an internal scoring system for guidance. Once funded, ESLC works with the selected landowners to purchase a permanent conservation easement to protect the agricultural, forestry and natural resource values of the property — at no cost to the landowner.
To learn more about the Rural Legacy Program, please visit DNR’s website on the program.
If you are interested in learning about your property’s eligibility for the program, please contact ESLC’s Conservation Specialist, Larisa Prezioso, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 410-690-4603.