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NEWS
February 24, 2013
Since 2003, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' Forest Service, in cooperation with the Potomac Watershed Partnership, has been providing the “Backyard Buffers” program to small-acreage landowners in Western Maryland.  The program was established to help any landowner with a drainage ditch, stream, creek or river flowing through or adjacent to their property qualify for one free “buffer in a bag,” each of which is big enough for...
NEWS
By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com | June 14, 2011
This month, two more Jefferson County landowners added 184 acres to the county’s farmland protection program, bringing the total number of acres saved from developers to 2,615. The latest additions represent the 27th and 28th conservation easements completed by the county’s Farmland Protection Board since it was established in 2000, said Elizabeth Wheeler, the program’s administrator. Laurie L. Scott of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., added 49 acres off Engle Molers Road. The Hockman family — Judith, Gordon and Margaret Ann Saunders — owners of Twin Ridge Orchard Co. on Luther Jones Road, added 135 acres.
NEWS
January 20, 2008
To the editor: The proposed home rule charter fails Washington County landowners. As a member of the charter board, I was concerned about two items the board failed to include. The proposed charter offers county residents no protection from eminent domain abuse and it offers no broader protections for property owners. Eminent domain allows government to take private property for public use, provided government provides just compensation and obeys due process. But as the infamous 2005 Kelo v. New London Supreme Court ruling made clear, government often abuses its eminent domain power, seizing private land and redistributing it to developers.
NEWS
October 13, 1999
WILLIAMSPORT - A group of property owners facing eviction by the National Park Service will hold a rally Friday afternoon at the C&O Canal Cushwa Basin. The homes of about 70 families along the C&O Canal are at risk of being condemned because of their proximity to the canal, said Blaine Weaver, whose summer cabin is one of those targeted. The National park service purchased the properties from the landowners in the 1970s and then negotiated contracts that allowed the residents to live on the property for a specified time.
NEWS
August 17, 2006
When the Washington County Commissioners approved a rural rezoning plan on a 3-2 vote in 2005, even the three who voted for it acknowledged it wasn't perfect. As Commissioner Doris Nipps said, the county board had done the best that it could and it was time to get on to something else. But in an effort to ease the ill feelings the plan spawned among many property owners, the commissioners agreed to create a mechanism to compensate landowners for equity lost as result of the rezoning plan.
NEWS
February 21, 2009
Applicants sought for legacy program CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Division of Forestry officials are seeking applications for the Forest Legacy Program, a federal initiative to protect important forestland from conversion to nonforest uses. Applicants can obtain an application and information by going to the Division of Forestry's Web site at www.wvforestry.com or by calling Forest Legacy Forester John Rowe at 304-545-6063. Applications must be received by Saturday, Feb. 28. Backyard Buffers program to begin Washington County landowners who are eligible for Backyard Buffers program are being sought.
NEWS
August 16, 2005
Landowners have less than a month to submit applications for the Grassland Reserve Program, administered jointly by the USDA's Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The deadline is Aug. 26 to submit GRP offers and have them considered for funding in September. This year, Maryland has $133,200 available for qualifying applicants. "The voluntary Grassland Reserve Program provides an excellent opportunity for landowners to preserve and conserve our nation's grasslands," said Elizabeth Anderson, executive director for the Maryland Farm Service Agency.
NEWS
August 25, 2004
Landowners have only a few days to file applications for the Grassland Reserve Program administered by the USDA's Farm Service Agency and Natural Resource Conservation Services. Friday is the deadline to submit grassland offers and have them considered for 2004 fiscal year funding. In Maryland, more than $170,000 is available to qualifying applicants. The program "helps preserve and conserve our nation's grasslands by providing financial and technical assistance to the landowners," said Colleen Cashell, executive director of the Farm Service Agency in Washington County.
NEWS
January 30, 2007
The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is launching a state-based anemometer loan program and is now accepting applications. The program loans wind measuring devices to landowners. These allow them to quantify and characterize the wind resource available at their property. The program is designed to empower landowners by supporting their interest in wind energy through the loan of anemometers and wind vanes and providing education about wind energy development. The program has six anemometers; four will be mounted atop 99-foot tall towers, and two will be mounted atop 164-foot tall towers that are supported by four sets of guy wires.
NEWS
June 30, 2004
Maryland and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have agreed to extend and enhance the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program through 2007, said Colleen Cashell, director of the Washington County office of USDA's Farm Service Agency . This partnership, formed in 1997, will allow Maryland to continue the process of enrolling up to 100,000 acres of environmentally sensitive land along streams and rivers to be set aside and maintained to protect water...
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NEWS
February 24, 2013
Since 2003, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' Forest Service, in cooperation with the Potomac Watershed Partnership, has been providing the “Backyard Buffers” program to small-acreage landowners in Western Maryland.  The program was established to help any landowner with a drainage ditch, stream, creek or river flowing through or adjacent to their property qualify for one free “buffer in a bag,” each of which is big enough for...
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NEWS
By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com | June 14, 2011
This month, two more Jefferson County landowners added 184 acres to the county’s farmland protection program, bringing the total number of acres saved from developers to 2,615. The latest additions represent the 27th and 28th conservation easements completed by the county’s Farmland Protection Board since it was established in 2000, said Elizabeth Wheeler, the program’s administrator. Laurie L. Scott of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., added 49 acres off Engle Molers Road. The Hockman family — Judith, Gordon and Margaret Ann Saunders — owners of Twin Ridge Orchard Co. on Luther Jones Road, added 135 acres.
NEWS
By MARLO BARNHART | August 19, 2009
WILLIAMSPORT -- An Antietam Creek Water Trail gathering Wednesday became more than just academic. Landowners and representatives from state and local environmental groups, the National Park Service and several governmental bodies met at the Washington County Department of Water Quality on Elliott Parkway. "We're looking at the Upper Potomac tributaries such as the Antietam a little more closely," said David Biser, vice president of the Antietam Creek Watershed Alliance based in Hagerstown.
NEWS
February 21, 2009
Applicants sought for legacy program CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Division of Forestry officials are seeking applications for the Forest Legacy Program, a federal initiative to protect important forestland from conversion to nonforest uses. Applicants can obtain an application and information by going to the Division of Forestry's Web site at www.wvforestry.com or by calling Forest Legacy Forester John Rowe at 304-545-6063. Applications must be received by Saturday, Feb. 28. Backyard Buffers program to begin Washington County landowners who are eligible for Backyard Buffers program are being sought.
NEWS
By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Special to The Herald-Mail | February 19, 2009
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- Jefferson County Commissioners Patsy Noland and Dale Manuel opted Thursday to let those who would be affected be allowed to vote on whether Mannings, W.Va., should become the county's sixth incorporated town. The people in Mannings, a spread-out stretch of homes, a mobile home park and country store on Blue Ridge Mountain, won't get a chance to determine their own destiny, at least not this time around. The commission's majority - Lynn Widmyer, Jim Surkamp and Frances Morgan - voted to deny a petition circulated by local developer Paul Ashbaugh requesting the incorporation.
NEWS
December 23, 2008
HAGERSTOWN -- State and county officials last week approved the purchase of four easements that, if accepted by the landowners, will permanently preserve about 468 acres of Washington County land for agricultural use. Three of the easements, totaling 357 acres, will be purchased through the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation for about $2.2 million. Two will preserve land in the Clear Spring area and one will preserve land in the Williamsport area, according to Eric Seifarth, the county's rural preservation administrator.
NEWS
January 20, 2008
To the editor: The proposed home rule charter fails Washington County landowners. As a member of the charter board, I was concerned about two items the board failed to include. The proposed charter offers county residents no protection from eminent domain abuse and it offers no broader protections for property owners. Eminent domain allows government to take private property for public use, provided government provides just compensation and obeys due process. But as the infamous 2005 Kelo v. New London Supreme Court ruling made clear, government often abuses its eminent domain power, seizing private land and redistributing it to developers.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | December 29, 2007
GERRARDSTOWN, W.VA. - Residents in Gerrardstown said they will fight a brick company's proposal to move its operations to a 224-acre site off W.Va. 51. Continental Brick Co.'s evaluation of the property has alarmed residents, who have refused to sell their land and said this week they will fight the proposal. Don Sult, vice president of operations for Continental Brick Co. near Martinsburg, W.Va., said Friday that the company sent a letter Dec. 11 to property owner Stevan Hudock, which indicated shale testing had been taking place at the Carr property site, which neighbors a historic 200-year-old farm known as Prospect Hill.
NEWS
By JONATHAN S. KAYS / Extension Specialist in Natural Resources | July 10, 2007
People who buy a large acreage lot with or without trees, along with their home are commonly faced with questions they find hard to answer. If most of the property is cleared, they have to mow acres of grass which is time consuming and costly. What is the best way to transition an area of lawn into a forest? If I plant trees, what trees should I plant and how do I protect them from deer browsing? If the property has a lot of woods, the question may be what should I do to be a good steward of the woods?
NEWS
March 6, 2007
A Pennsylvania agency will be trying this summer to increase the awareness and control of noxious and invasive weeds on farm land in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program in the state. The Pennsylvania Resource Conservation & Development aims to help landowners learn to these bad weeds, while emphasizing the beneficial plants that improve wildlife habitat. Controlling noxious weeds is a requirement in the conservation reserve program. Some people have trouble recognizing them in their early and middle stages before they become established and more difficult to control.
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