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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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Rob Etgen Tag

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This Is Why I Preserve: Rob Etgen

Rob Etgen is a founder of Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and serves as the organization's President. As part of a new series titled This Is Why I Preserve, we're giving him the opportunity to share part of his story of why he became interested in preservation on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

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Upper Eastern Shore Location to Provide Environmental and Recreation Benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Board of Public Works today unanimously approved the Maryland Department of Natural Resources acquisition of 1,172 acres in Queen Anne’s County for the development of a new Wildlife Management Area that will provide conservation, habitat and recreation benefits, including birding, hiking, hunting and trapping. The department worked in cooperation with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) on the acquisition. The new area will be managed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service. The acquisition near Church Hill will permanently protect agricultural fields, mature forested uplands, and stream corridors that currently provide excellent water quality protection. The property functions as a headwater catch basin that drains into Brown’s Branch, a tributary of Southeast Creek on the Chester River. “This acquisition is an exciting win for both conservation advocates as well as outdoor enthusiasts,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “This large and incredibly beautiful property on the Upper Eastern Shore will protect ecologically-sensitive habitat while providing the public an excellent location for outdoor recreation, especially hunting or trapping.” The Program Open Space acquisition will protect the uncommonly high diversity of fauna and flora found in the upland areas of the property, which provide essential habitat for migratory songbirds, pollinators and small mammals. “This farm has been one of our highest priorities for conservation for more than two decades,“ ESLC President Rob Etgen said. “It includes a huge area of prime farmland, and the streams are the largest remaining chunk of unprotected habitat for several endangered wildlife species. I am incredibly excited about this farm and grateful to the Hogan Administration for their support and stewardship.”

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Comptroller Franchot to present ESLC with Bright Lights Award

The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy invites the public to join us at The Packing House (formerly known as Phillips Packing Co.’s ‘Factory F’ ) on July 31st at 11:30am as Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot presents ESLC with the Bright Lights Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship! The “Bright Lights Award” pays tribute to businesses and nonprofit leaders and organizations that foster innovation in their fields. More specifically, the award recognizes and celebrates innovation in the private and nonprofit sectors that strengthen Maryland’s economy, generate jobs and tax revenue, and develop new ideas that more effectively deliver services and products within the marketplace. The Packing House is located at 411 Dorchester Ave., Cambridge. The event will last approximately one hour, with Comptroller Franchot presenting the award at approximately 12pm. A tour featuring discussion about the history and future plans for the building will be available to guests. Walking shoes are encouraged! Speakers: Victoria Jackson-Stanley, Mayor of Cambridge; Katie Parks White, Director of Conservation, ESLC; Mike Binko, Founder/CEO, Startup Maryland; Peter Franchot, Comptroller of Maryland; Rob Etgen, Executive Director, ESLC   Note: ESLC is currently crowdfunding for the stabilization of The Packing House smokestacks – an essential part of Phase 1 of the revitalization process. Please contribute and/or help spread the word!

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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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A loss for Maryland’s land preservation community – John Hutson

John Hutson, a leader in Maryland’s land preservation community who assisted in the protection of more than 43,000 acres throughout the state, died of cancer on Tuesday, November 22 in Franklin, Tennessee. He began his career with the Maryland Department of Agriculture at the Charles County Soil Conservation District. In 1984 and transferred to the Maryland Environmental Trust in 1989.  Mr. Hutson was hired as an easement planner and was serving as the manager of the Easement Program manager when he retired in 2014. During that time, he worked with 265 families who voluntarily protected 43,500 acres of farms, forests and historic properties.  After retirement from the state, he worked with the Scenic Rivers Land Trust and the Land Preservation Trust assisting in the stewardship of their protected properties. Mr. Hudson loved the land and the people he worked with throughout some of the most beautiful areas of the state.  His daughter, Erin Meold said “he loved walking the properties and taking photos.  He loved talking to all the different people involved and learning the farm history.  He taught me what it meant to really enjoy what you to do make a living”. He was a friend and mentor to many entering the land preservation field, always exhibiting an exemplary spirit and dedication.  One of the many people he mentored is Jared Parks from the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy “He helped me cut my teeth in this field on some very interesting projects on the Eastern Shore.  They don’t make better people than John, or people with a bigger heart”. Rob Etgen, director of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy: “John was ESLC's longest running easement partner from MET staff, a fast friend to all who worked with him, and a dear personal friend of mine. He was also the “Dad of the Year’ for

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