U.S. Dept. of the Interior’s Nat’l Park Service to Provide Support

U.S. Department Of The Interior’s National Park Service To Provide Support To Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust For “Southern Maryland Strategic Conservation Plan”

January 24, 2011 – Embarking on a major initiative to conserve southern Maryland’s natural resources, open space and rural landscape, Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust (PTLT) has received recognition from U.S Dept. of the Interior’s National Park Service Northeast Region’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA). RTCA has just announced that it will provide project support for the “Southern Maryland Strategic Conservation Plan.quot; The Project will produce a green infrastructure-based strategic conservation plan that advances the conservation objectives of PTLT and its partners at the federal, state and local levels. Project Manager Wink Hastings of the National Park Service has begun developing a work plan for the coming year.

The Project will produce a regional strategic conservation plan that connects hubs of natural resources and agricultural open space into a continuous “greenquot; network that supports resilient, diverse ecosystems and working rural landscapes. It will link together existing plans, including those of counties, state agencies and local land trusts. The resulting plan will enable PTLT and other organizations to prioritize land conservation so that available funding resources are applied most effectively.

“We’re excited to be partnering with the National Park Service to help us facilitate a region-wide plan,” says Susan Charkes, Executive Director of PTLT. “There is growing federal support for increasing land conservation in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, to protect high priority land and maintain water quality, which are critical to halting the watershed’s decline and restoring its health. By putting various conservation plans into a regional context, the project will help make the efforts of not only PTLT but also other southern Maryland conservation organizations more effective. ”

In his letter to PTLT, David Lange, Manager of Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program said, “The National Park Service RTCA Program is eager to be a strong partner with you and help you to achieve the goals identified in your application to us. Our mission is to implement the natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation mission of the National Park Service in communities across America. We look forward to our partnership and to future on-the-ground results which improve our region by building trails, caring for improving community connections to open space and outdoor recreation.”

Other participants in the project will include the planning agencies of St Mary’s, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties; Maryland Environmental Trust; University of Maryland, Department of Geography; State of Maryland, Dept. of Natural Resources, Office of Sustainability and Dept of Land Planning and Acquisition; Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission; Defenders of Wildlife; Patuxent Research Refuge; and local land trusts.

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