Learn about protecting your land
There is no one-size-fits-all in land conservation. That’s good news for interested landowners. Which funding sources are available and which land trust or agency is appropriate for your circumstances depends on several criteria, listed below.
The first step is to learn about your wishes for your land and some of its characteristics through a short interview on the phone. That will help us determine which Heart of Maryland partner might be the right fit for you. Call David Lillard at (240) 285-9354 or email info at catoctinlandtrust.org.
Here are some of the variables. Don’t worry about memorizing them! These are just to help you organize your thoughts.
Property location. Each conservation program has its own criteria. For example, Washington and Frederick counties have Rural Legacy Areas that are approved by Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program. Properties within those areas receive priority ranking in some funding programs. Other parcels are of great conservation interest because they are adjacent to or near existing parkland, like the Appalachian Trail.
Parcel(s) size. Many programs have minimum requirements for parcel size. But not all.
Primary use. There are easement programs for farmland, forests, scenic or recreational values, and other uses.
Soils. You don’t need to think about this too much to get started. Soils are important for farmland easements; and your conservation partner will have access to soils maps. Just know that this is one of the considerations.
Water resources. You know the saying: Water is life. As the population of our region grows, the need for clean, safe drinking water is greater than ever. Keeping water clean from the source to the tap, and from the stream to the Bay, is important. If there is a stream on your property, you might qualify for certain conservation programs.
Special characteristics. What draws you to your land? Did Civil War soldiers encamp nearby? Is it part of the viewshed from the Appalachian Trail?