Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fields (of Fire?)

Like a life-sized game of Stratego, the lines are being drawn between pastoral landscapes and sprawling development in Maryland. With the enactment of renewed Program Open Space (POS) legislation that expands and reclaims some of the legacy funding to create agricultural and conservation easements in perpetuity, landowners who want to dedicate some of their holdings to posterity have a little help through POS.
Photo by Jean  (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Quite sensibly, the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Program targets prime farmland and the Maryland Rural Legacy Program similarly targets areas that have high value to local ecology. For Calvert County, the latter includes an area along the Patuxent River north of Huntingtown, the area between Prince Frederick and Port Republic, and most of the Patuxent River side of the peninsula south of St. Leonard. Statewide, the targeted ecological areas form a semblance of wildlife corridors that could offer resilience to a multitude of species in this time of climate chaos.

Another recent governmental move to stymie loss of agricultural land in Calvert County was the limiting of transferable development rights (TDRs) to farmland, as opposed to the former practice of setting aside residential lots, such as the one I merged to my place of residence at minimal cost a couple of years ago.

Another factor favoring a regrarian Maryland is a faltering economy driven, in the main, by world population exceeding the carrying capacity of the planet. While suburban sprawl is projected to continue apace in our state, economic disruptions and declining resources will, at least, temper growth in the coming decades.

In fact, do you see what's happening in Europe with the wave of refugees flowing out of the Middle East? That is what our countrysides could experience in a few years with waves of unemployed, starving urbanites looking for sustenance outside of dried up food deserts. Project Open Space funds might be best spent on building campgrounds in preparation for such fiascos.

Agricultural land preservation probably won't be able to keep pace against greed and Gaia, so your best insurance at this point may be found among those who have been planning for catastrophe.  The PrepCon this weekend in St. Leonard coincides with Calvert Green Living, which I have already signed-up for. Either event may be a good use of your time if you are concerned about surviving the future.

Featured Post

A Coming War We Must Strive to Prevent

S ome anger smolders over generations. It depends on the offense. Whatever the eldest of the Paddock boys endured because of his father'...