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Mutiple Partners Come Together to Save a Gem
Northeast Region, January 27, 2009
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Floodplain, by Rich Mason USFWS
Floodplain, by Rich Mason USFWS - Photo Credit: n/a
Subdivision encroachment, by Rich Mason USFWS
Subdivision encroachment, by Rich Mason USFWS - Photo Credit: n/a
Forest understory, Rich Mason USFWS
Forest understory, Rich Mason USFWS - Photo Credit: n/a

In the heart of fast developing Anne Arundel County, Maryland lies a natural jewel. Nestled between busy communities and highways, is the largest remaining contiguous forest in the county.

 

A movement to preserve this patchwork of connected properties in the South River watershed has been quietly building over a couple of years. Groups including The Scenic Rivers Land Trust, The South River Federation, The Trust For Public Land, Biophilia Foundation, Anne Arundel County and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Chesapeake Bay Field Office joined together in an effort to protect forests, wetlands and streams in the South River Greenway.

 

Last week's conference, South River Greenway: Land, Water, People, brought more than 75 people from various organizations together to get the ball rolling.

 

The primary target area for initial inclusion in the Greenway covers about 6,000 acres, half of which is under some kind of protection already via public lands, county and city parks, homeowner association set-asides and BGE power line rights-of-way.

 

The forests and wetlands harbor a large diversity of migratory birds; including species of high conservation concern like the Kentucky warbler, Louisiana waterthrush, wood thrush, worm-eating warbler and prairie warbler; amphibians including the wood frog; and many types of reptiles, and mammals. 

 

The long-term goal is to find owners willing to put properties under some form of easement or perhaps sell their land to add to the core already protected. This long-term comprehensive program aims to not only keep the forest intact, but also stabilize miles of streambeds damaged by runoff, restore and preserve habitat for fish and birds, and enhance potential light recreation in the area.

 

See January 26, 2009 article in The Capital Newspaper, http://www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi-bin/read/2009/01_26-22/ENV


Contact Info: Kathryn Reshetiloff, 410-573-4582, kathryn_reshetiloff@fws.gov



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