By Katherine Munson
Aldo Leopold, a crusader for land ethics, stated in A Sand County
Almanac, published in 1949, "We abuse land because we regard it as a
commodity belonging to us." While a sense of ownership may contribute
to our abuse of land, enhanced knowledge is the best solution for
restoring and conserving our soil, water, habitat-or collectively-the
land, as Leopold defined it.
As the watersheds of Maryland's Coastal Bays and the Chesapeake Bay
become more populated and developed, successful long-term restoration
will be ever more dependent on the collective actions taken by
individuals, in particular, landowners. This is because the vast
majority of Worcester County's shoreline, and 80% of forest in Worcester
County, is privately owned.
Landowners, whether they own a small residential lot or a 300-acre farm, have a vital role to play in restoration and protection of Worcester County's clean water for future generations. By enhancing or creating natural areas and woodland, landowners can also enhance recreation, aesthetics, and wildlife viewing opportunities on their own property for their own enjoyment and for the enjoyment of future generations.
On March 6, 2010 tools and information landowners need for informed land
stewardship will be provided during a day-long conference tailored to
specific land restoration and conservation issues in Worcester County.
The program will be held from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM at the Worcester County
Government Center in Snow Hill. This event is made possible by Worcester County and a grant from the Maryland Coastal Bays Program.
The conference is open to all county residents and landowners interested
in land stewardship and will offer information and inspiration relevant
to both the small lot and the large farm. Invited experts and county
staff will present information on shoreline restoration, forest and
wildlife management, "greening" the residential yard, natural
resource-related regulatory programs, and restoration and conservation
Two concurrent sessions will run throughout the day, one
for the residential lot owner and another for the owner of larger
property. There will be opportunity take home resource materials on a
variety of related topics and get questions answered by professionals in
forestry, shoreline restoration, natural landscaping, wetland
restoration and related topics. Owners of smaller properties in
particular, are rarely offered technical expertise more routinely
offered to owners of larger parcels, and this is an opportunity for
these landowners to tap the knowledge of experts in this field.
Every household or individual attending will receive a book, published
by the Natural Resource, Agriculture and Engineering Service (NRAES),
relevant to his or her property or interests: The Woods in Your Backyard
is an award-winning handbook for landowners of less than 10 acres.
Forest Resource Management: A Landowner's Guide to Getting Started is a
workbook to help landowners envision and achieve land stewardship goals
on a larger property.
To register for the program send a check made payable to Worcester
County for $6 per registrant to Worcester County Department of
Development Review and Permitting, Attn: Signe Dennis, 1 W. Market St.
Room 1201, Snow Hill, MD 21863. First preference will be given to
Worcester County residents and landowners. Others interested in
attending will be admitted as space allows.
Katherine Munson is a Planner with the Worcester County Department of Development Review and Permitting. For more information about the conference contact Munson at 410-632-1200 ext 1302 or firstname.lastname@example.org.