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Mission Statement
Conserve, steward, and advocate for the unique rural landscape of the Eastern Shore.

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Cecil County Maryland Tag

460 Acres in Cecil County Preserved; Will Become Bohemia River State Park

June 7, 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 460 Acres in Cecil County Preserved; Will Become Bohemia River State Park The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC), in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), is preserving 460 acres in Cecil County for the future development of a new state park. The Board of Public Works unanimously approved the acquisition this morning. The new water-access site, located near Chesapeake City, will eventually be called Bohemia River State Park and will complement existing Maryland Park Service properties in the area – Elk Neck, Fair Hill, and Sassafras. This is a big win for land conservation on the Eastern Shore, and more specifically, Cecil County. “Over the course of the past 27 years, ESLC has been involved with literally thousands of Eastern Shore farms. OBX Farms is truly one of the most beautiful we’ve ever assisted in preserving!” said ESLC Executive Director Rob Etgen. “This purchase will keep the land open, free from future development, and most exciting of all, available to the public for generations to come. ESLC is incredibly proud to play a role in this important legacy.” The acquisition of OBX Farms was fully funded by Program Open Space, which preserves natural areas for public recreation, and watershed and wildlife protection across Maryland. In addition to existing agricultural land that will most likely continue being farmed, approximately 14,000 feet of riverfront property will now be available to the public for kayakers, standup paddle-boarders, canoers, and other activities. The property’s rich network of riparian forests and tidal and non-tidal wetlands will provide for habitat restoration and water quality benefits. Once the acquisition is complete (projected Fall 2017), the department will develop an interim public access plan for the property, which will enable visitors to enjoy passive, nature-based activities until a master plan can be developed. Public access

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Executive McCarthy ignores county plan

(Op-Ed from Cecil Whig - May 31, 2017) From: Jill E. Burke, Elkton We are responding to County Executive McCarthy’s article in the Whig (March 16), and his response (April 28) to an opinion piece in the Baltimore Sun (Feb. 19) regarding Cecil County's tier map and the Comprehensive Plan on which it is supposedly based. Rather than being solely about protecting private property rights, the 2010 Comprehensive Plan states that they should be balanced with the need to manage growth. The 41 individuals on the review committee crafted a plan that reflected their diversity of opinions and put equal, if not more, emphasis on conserving agricultural and forested lands and on keeping our rural areas rural. The tier map adopted by the county in 2012 and recently endorsed by the decidedly un-diverse Tier Map Advisory Committee makes a mockery of our Comprehensive Plan and its commitments to conservation and rural character. Executive McCarthy seeks to be “aligned with state law,” but seems ready to ignore the law when he disagrees with what it tells him to do. The intent of the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 is clear from its title. An interpretation was presented to the Tier Map Advisory Committee as Tier Map No. 11 (Whig March 9, 2017). This map came closer to the legal requirements than anything since Tier Map No. 4 from August 2012. Rather than be insulted by the state’s approach to land use planning, we are insulted that our county executive should so comprehensively ignore our own plan. Jill E. Burke is the president of the Cecil Land Use Association.

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Editorial regarding Cecil County Tier Map issue

(This is an editorial from the March 8th edition of Cecil Whig. It can be found here: http://www.cecildaily.com/opinion/editorials/article_8c522eab-ea67-541e-bbce-86557515cf24.html Missed opportunity When County Executive Alan McCarthy announced his appointments for a tier map advisory committee late last week, it left us scratching our heads. The group was requested by the Cecil County Council to review the controversial land use planning map that the county adopted in late December over the objections of local and statewide conservationists. The intent of the council’s request — at least from our vantage point — was to give serious weight to the criticisms levied by environmentalists and determine whether further restrictions to future development rights should be made. Instead, McCarthy chose to appoint two farmers, two people with connections to the development and real estate industry and a private landowner who had called for the end of tier maps to his committee. Essentially, his appointments stacked the deck with those whose direct interests will be ensuring that as much land stays out of restrictive zoning as possible — and he wasn’t exactly coy about that move either. “I have appointed a knowledgeable and diverse group of individuals that I am confident will achieve my ultimate goals of protecting property rights and ensuring that our Comprehensive Plan is not rendered moot by excessive and unnecessary state legislation,” he said in a statement. Without anyone with a conservation background serving on the committee, how could the concerns of proper land use planning and preservation be adequately vetted? When we talk with recent transplants to Cecil County, almost always the reason for their arrival is the land’s unspoiled rural charm. Without proper land use planning, however, the county is left at risk of spotty development, potential harm to tributary waters and wasted investment in infrastructure upgrades. It’s readily apparent, however, that McCarthy shares the same worldview as

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