Our View: Trail Building and Public Access in Bacon Ridge

As many of you may have seen in a recent Capital article, a small group has tried to inject politics into public access to Bacon Ridge Natural Area. It is important that this unfortunate effort in no way dishonors the hundreds of hours of volunteer work expended by county residents in building the public hiker/biker trails. These trails are enjoyed by hundreds of bikers, runners and hikers. Current issues aside, Scenic Rivers Land Trust (SRLT) fully supports the continued volunteer effort for responsibly extending the trails.

I, for one, spent several Sundays helping to build the Bacon Ridge trails during the first two phases. I also regularly enjoy running the trails. I know that both County Executive Steve Schuh and Steuart Pittman support the volunteers and champion more public access. Both recognize that the county has a moral and legal obligation to both serve its citizens and protect our public spaces, history, and natural resources. 

The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) and SRLT – the two co-holders of the Bacon Ridge conservation easement - have approved every request by the county to allow trail building. Those approvals came with modest conditions. SRLT was informed by the county that the start of Phase 3 had potential violations of these conditions, and the county was going to pause the volunteer effort until the problems were remedied. Unlike a park, Bacon Ridge is designated as a Natural Area, meaning that additional protections are in place to safeguard its natural resources. Legally, SRLT and MET are obligated to advise the county so that it can stay in compliance with the conservation easement that protects the valuable cultural and natural resources of this beautiful Natural Area.  

We look forward to additional trails in the near future and fully support the effort to construct these trails under the careful guidance of the County’s Department of Recreation and Parks. We well recognize the increased quality of life that access to Bacon Ridge brings to our community. For those interested in more detail, I have attached a brief article.

Nina Fisher
President
Scenic Rivers Land Trust


Scenic Rivers Land Trust
National Accreditation Application
Stakeholder Notification/Public Notice
August 15, 2018

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Scenic Rivers Land Trust is pleased to announce it is applying for accreditation. A public comment period is now open.

The land trust accreditation program conducts an extensive review of each applicant's policies and programs. "Accreditation is one of the many ways we can show the public that they can trust us, that we are doing good work, and that our organization is strong. We will be proud to be named one of the leading land trusts in the state. Out of the 45+ lands trusts in Maryland, only 5 are currently accredited," said Sarah Knebel, Conservation Director at Scenic Rivers Land Trust.

The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending applications. Comments must relate to how Scenic Rivers Land Trust complies with national quality standards. These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust. For the full list of standards see http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/help-and-resources/indicator-practices.

To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org, or email your comment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Comments may also be faxed or mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn: Public Comments: (fax) 518-587-3183; (mail) 36 Phila Street, Suite 2, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

Comments on Scenic Rivers Land Trust's application will be most useful by October 28, 2018. 


Green Give 2018: June 12 - June 13

Kickoff event: Tuesday, June 12 5:30-7:30pm

St. Lukes Episcopal Church in Eastport

The GreenGive is a local, environmentally-focused, online initiative designed to both raise funds and expand residents' and businesses' engagement with local environmental organizations, issues, projects and actions. In 2017, its inaugural year, the GreenGive raised over $209,000 to support local efforts to restore the waterways of Anne Arundel County. 

This year, 11 organizations (including Scenic Rivers) are banding together to make an even bigger impact to clean our local waterways. For a little more than 24 hours, we will invite the Anne Arundel County Community to join our online fundraising drive with us to support clean water in our own communities. The online drive will begin on Tuesday, June 12th at 5pm.

Learn more at http://www.greengive.org/


 

Walk for the Woods 2018walk T shirt 2018 final for approval

Saturday, April 28th, 2018
7:00am - 3:00pm
Farm Road, Bacon Ridge Natural Area, Crownsville, MD

Get ready for another relaxing and beautiful day walking in the woods at Bacon Ridge Natural Area. Scenic Rivers Land Trust and Anne Arundel County Dept. of Recreation and Parks are partnering once again to provide a day of guided hikes and ongoing programs. Go to www.SRLT.org for more information. Free admission.

Rain date: Sunday, April 29th, 2018 from 7:00am to 3:00pm.

Do you have questions or want to volunteer for this event? Email Sarah Knebel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call at 410 980 6837

Click here for more information.

 


Our Current Thinking: Crownsville Hospital Center Sports Complex Proposal

The proposed sports complex for the Crownsville Hospital Center has generated wide-ranging conversations within the community, and we have received numerous inquires about it. We are watching the development of this proposal closely. To know our current thinking, please read this document.
For those of you not aware of the proposal, here is the link to more information

Date: 1/5/2018


05

Big News for Forests!

Anne Arundel County and the Chesapeake Bay Trust have created a $1 million grant program to encourage conservation easements to protect forested land. Landowners can improve their neighborhoods, protect local streams and be well compensated. Scenic Rivers Land Trust (SRLT) has been protecting land in Anne Arundel County since 1988 and stands ready to assist landowner in accessing these funds to protect their family land.

The county is using existing Forest Conservation Act funds for the innovative grant program to provide landowners with cash incentives to put conservation easements on forested properties or on properties appropriate for tree planting.

  • Payments of $3,000+ per acre
  •  Landowners still own and enjoy their land
  •  Assistance provided for forest management
  •  No public access required
  •  Land must be placed in a perpetual conservation easement with a qualified land trust

 

A conservation easement may also qualify landowners for additional income tax deductions, reductions in property tax and lower estate taxes. The incentive payment and tax reductions compensate the landowner for a portion of both forest management expenses and the value lost from relinquishing development rights.


This program is not complicated, but there are many details. SRLT can help walk landowners through the opportunity and help them decide if it matches their goals for their land. While there is no specific limit, SRLT believes that this program is best suited to properties of 10 acres or more.

Click here to learn learn more

For more information contact Sarah Knebel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 410-980-6837.


Paddle & Potluck on the Patuxent with the Patuxent Riverkeeper

Date: Saturday, November 5th

  • Paddle: 2:00pm - 4:00pm 
  • Fire and Potluck: 4:00-6:30pm 
  • Meet at the:
    Patuxent Riverkeeper Center
    17412 Nottingham Road
    Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 

SRLT is partnering with Patuxent Riverkeeper to celebrate the Patuxent and the importance of land conservation to our rivers. Join us on a paddle led by the Patuxent Riverkeeper - bring your own or rent your gear on site at the actual location where British soldiers landed during the War of 1812. Stick around after the paddle and enjoy a bonfire (it’s Guy Fawkes Day, after all). Enjoy potluck with the Patuxent Riverkeeper and SRLT staff for a fun evening. Please bring a dish to share.

Register HERE today!

Kayak + lifejackets + Paddle rentals can be done through the Patuxent Riverkeeper online shop beforehand or, when you  arrive on site november 5th

This event is partially sponsored by BGE

Your Woods and Your Wallet: A workshop for Maryland Landowners

  • Date: Wednesday, October 5th
  • Time: 6:30pm-8:00pm
  • Where: Crofton Community Library - 1681 Riedel Rd, Crofton, MD 21114

 

Having woods on your property benefits wildlife, the air you breathe and your local streams. Your woods can also benefit your wallet. Scenic Rivers Land Trust and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay are hosting a workshop to discuss the many economic incentives and opportunities available to Maryland woodland owners.

Learn how to

  • Assess and enhance the value of your woodland
  • Reduce property taxes
  • Access conservation tools & financial incentive programs
  • Select professionals to help you meet your goal

The information discussed during this workshop is geared towards landowners with 5 or more acres of woods.

Registration is FREE but required by 10/3 - Register HERE today!

For more information please contact Sarah Knebel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 410-980-6837

This event is partially sponsored by BGE.


 Land Conservation 101 for landowners

  • Date: Thursday, September 29th
  • Time: 2:00-4:00pm
  • Where: Crofton Community Library - 1681 Riedel Rd, Crofton, MD 21114

 

Have you thought about preserving your land, but aren’t quite sure what that entails? Learn about the basics of conservation easements and what this opportunity can do for you. SRLT staff will provide information, options, and answers to your questions.

The information discussed during this workshop is geared towards landowners with 10 or more acres of land.

A FREE workshop, but registration is required by Sept. 27 - Register HERE today!

For more information contact Sarah Knebel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 410 980 6837

This event is sponsored by the Paul & Maxine Frohring Foundation.


Breakfast Briefing on Conservation Easements
for Tax, Legal and Real Estate Professionals

Tuesday September 13th, 2016
8:30am-10am

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
210 Holiday Ct, Annapolis, MD 21401

As we enjoy a continental breakfast, there will be an overview of the legal and tax framework of conservation easements and an introduction to the Scenic Rivers Land Trust, the most active land trust in Anne Arundel County with 61 easements on 2,700 acres. Highlights include recent congressional action that makes the enhanced tax incentive for conservation easements permanent and allows landowners to carry forward income tax deductions for 15 years.

Registration for this no-fee event is required by September 7th by contacting Sarah Knebel, SRLT Easement Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 410-980-6837.

This event is funded by the Paul & Maxine Frohring Foundation.