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State Preserves 17 Acres In Deer Creek Valley Rural Legacy Area

November 8, 2010 by deercreekmd · 108,905 Comments 

Governor Martin O’Malley announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve 17 acres of Maryland landscape in the Deer Creek Valley Rural Legacy Area through the Rural Legacy Program.

“Our farms support our working families and contribute to our economy,” said Governor O’Malley. “Not only are we preserving the farms, forests and fields that define our great State, we are also preserving our culture and heritage for our children and theirs.”

In the Deer Creek Valley Rural Legacy Area, preservation of the 17-acre Norton property will preserve valuable forest land and extinguish two development lots. Water quality will be protected through permanent forested streamside buffers along Deer Creek and tributaries on the property that feed into the Susquehanna River. The forest land on this property will be managed under a Forest Management Plan. Read more

DCWA Advises Governor Of Concerns With Rocks Road Project

March 12, 2010 by deercreekmd · Comments Off 

Dear Governor O’Malley,

The Deer Creek Watershed Association has been active in the conservation, protection, and enhancement of our watershed since 1967. Our members live, work, and recreate in the watershed and are concerned with land use decisions that will have an impact on Deer Creek and its surroundings.

We have reviewed the State Highway Administration’s Route 24 improvements that have been planned for Rocks State Park and would like to express the following concerns:

1) As Rocks State Park has important historic, aesthetic, recreational, environmental and cultural values, we would like to see those features preserved. We advocate minimizing tree removal, avoiding the blasting of geologic formations, and ensuring that water quality is preserved.

2) While widening of the roadbed was part of SHA’s original plan, we believe that the existing scale of the road is part of its charm, and reflects the rural nature of that part of our county. A meandering road, like a meandering stream Read more

State Approves Purchase of 130 Acres To Expand Falling Branch Area of Rocks State Park

March 10, 2010 by deercreekmd · Comments Off 

Annapolis, MD (March 10, 2010) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval of a 130-acre acquisition to expand the Falling Branch Area of Rocks State Park in Harford County. The addition is largely wooded with a mix of trees and evergreen plants and includes a significant amount of land directly facing the Falling Branch stream, a tributary of Deer Creek.

“This acquisition will add opportunities for nature-based outdoor recreation such as fishing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, canoeing and wildlife watching for Maryland families and children,” said Governor O’Malley.

The Falling Branch Area is located five miles north of Rocks State Park and is home to Kilgore Falls, a scenic and tranquil section of Falling Branch. It is a tributary of Deer Creek tucked back into the ravines of Northern Harford County, creating Maryland’s second highest vertical drop waterfall. This non-developed, environmentally sensitive area has a serene hiking trail leading back to the waterfall. Read more

Deer Creek Rural Legacy Expanded: Preservation Belt Extends to Pennsylvania

November 14, 2009 by deercreekmd · Comments Off 

When the Deer Creek Rural Legacy Area was expanded earlier this year, Deer Creek and more than 66,000 acres of its watershed became a proverbial “line in the sand,” separating Harford’s designated growth and development envelope from the county’s remaining rural lands.

Over the years, with little fanfare, the original Lower Deer Creek Rural Legacy Area has been expanded from its original size, but last year it took a mighty leap – from a northern boundary at Rocks State Park all the way to the Baltimore County line – creating a “preservation belt” from the Susquehanna River to the Pennsylvania border.

Within and beyond this “preservation belt,” Harford County and the State of Maryland are committed to helping preserve the rural character of the northern end of the county, which will, in turn, help protect the water quality along Deer Creek – so vital to the agricultural way of life.

The state’s Rural Legacy Program began in 1997 when state lawmakers serving in the Maryland Read more

DCWA Opposes Rezoning AG Land To GI Use Along Creek In Street

June 12, 2009 by deercreekmd · Comments Off 

DCWA Testimony for P&Z Public Hearings on 2009 Comprehensive Rezoning, NHHS, April 1, 2009

Good evening, my name is Lee McDaniel. I am president of the Deer Creek Watershed Association (DCWA), and I speak on behalf of the association. The issues I address tonight are D016 and D017, located on Scarboro and Sandy Hook Roads, respectively. These are both agricultural properties that surround 40+/- acres zoned GI, occupied by the existing H.P. White Laboratories, a ballistic testing firm. D016 and D017 request that 75+/- acres be converted from Agricultural to General Industrial.

DCWA is strongly opposed to any change in the agricultural zoning of these lands.

Our reasons are as follows:

1. GI is inappropriate in an area in which ALL of the surrounding properties are zoning Agricultural. The Zoning Code describes GI: “This district is intended for industrial uses of a larger scale Read more

Rural Planning on a Watershed Basis

June 12, 2009 by deercreekmd · Comments Off 

Rural planning begins with soil and water because agriculture begins with soil and water. From there, agriculture moves to commercial production of plants, animals or both.

In short, government rural planning must start with the management of natural resources and move directly to economics. For soils this is relatively easy because they are not moved from one location to another. They can be abused or improved, but except for localized construction and some commercial sales, they do not change much in time or space.

Water is a completely different story. As a fluid, it moves into an area and then out of that area. In the natural world, water normally arrives as rain, hail or snow, hits the ground and either soaks into the soil, runs off the area where it fell or evaporates back into the air. Except for evaporation, the water moves down, under the influence of gravity, to a collection point either by surface movement through streams or by underground flow through soils and broken rock. The subsurface water eventually moves into a stream from soil, unless it is trapped in the soil by a low point in the underground rock. Read more

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