Maryland lost over 100,000 acres of agricultural to development in the 15-year period 2001–2016, says a recent report from American Farmland Trust. “Farms Under Threat” assessed ag-land loss nationally in two categories: urban and highly developed (UHD), which represented 29 percent of the conversion, and low-density residential (LDR), which accounted for 71 percent. What’s more, once land conversion begins as LDR, the area is 10 times more likely to be converted to UHD, according to AFT. The Heart of Maryland has seen more than its share of conversion, despite our two counties, Washington and Frederick, having among the state’s most committed and successful land preservation programs. The pace of conversion has just been too much for available funding. That’s why the Heart of Maryland Conservation Alliance was founded. We are currently evaluating our best paths to bringing more conservation funding to our region. If you would like to help, contact HMCA coordinator David Lillard. Access the AFT report here.