• Watershed-Wide Actions

    Ongoing

    • Completing and determining applications of high-resolution land cover datasets.
    • Compiling and publishing a dataset of protected lands in the watershed every two years.
    • Funding a LandScope Fellow to support geographical data improvements and identifying and implementing at least three cross-platform interoperability features to improve data accessibility and applications.
    • Using partner-provided models and tools (including LandScope Chesapeake) to identify key conservation focus areas.
    • Quantifying and incorporating land conservation practices into the Chesapeake Bay Program’s modeling efforts and exploring how land use projections might be used to incentivize land conservation for pollution load reduction.
    • Aligning wetland protection with the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program.
    • Implementing recommendations from the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Land Trust Assessment.
    • Partnering with land trusts and local governments to determine the best way to protect landscapes around Department of Defense installations in the watershed when necessary and where feasible.
    • Convening annually to advance programs and projects that support conservation priorities.
    • Committing annually to enhancing and contributing to diversity and inclusion in conservation planning and stewardship.
    • Developing and advancing messaging around key farm, forest, heritage and habitat conservation goals.
    • Expanding funding administered through the Land and Water Conservation Fund to protect land in the watershed.
    • Securing new funding for key Chesapeake Conservation Partnership initiatives.

    July – December 2016

    • Developing maps of high conservation value forests, including a watershed-wide layer and county-level forest patch maps.
    • Using existing land conservation programs (including the U.S. Department of Defense Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program) to identify opportunities to conserve priority landscapes around Department of Defense installations in the watershed.
    • Using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental justice screening tool to consider protecting land in areas vulnerable to increased development.
    • Developing a strategy to proactively address potential adverse impacts to natural, cultural and historic resources.

    January – December 2017

    • Improving the quality, quantity and availability of historic and cultural site-level, landscape-level and viewshed-level data documentation.
    • Identifying organizations and funding sources to improve the quantity and quality of habitat data.
    • Developing a process to revise or reconsider management strategies toward land conservation to accommodate anticipated climate-related changes or impacts.
  • Actions in Maryland
    • Developing a collective vision and priorities to strengthen the state’s land trust movement. (Ongoing)
    • Developing recommendations to strengthen land trusts in key areas. (Ongoing)
    • Returning state land preservation programs to full cash funding. (July 2018)
    • Targeting limited funding for land preservation toward Targeted Ecological Areas. (Ongoing)
    • Pursuing federal funds (including those administered through the U.S. Department of Defense Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program) to leverage state and county funds in the purchase of conservation easements. (Ongoing)
    • Using funds from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Program Open Space to leverage federal funding for land acquisition. (Ongoing)
    • Partnering with local sponsors to administer the Maryland Department of Planning Rural Legacy Program. (Ongoing)
    • Reaching out to local jurisdictions that receive funding through Program Open Space and to local sponsors of Rural Legacy Areas. (Ongoing)
    • Informing landowners, local governments and the general public about land conservation options and tools. (Ongoing)
    • Reaching out to landowners to solicit applications for the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) Program. (Ongoing)
    • Developing a mapping tool to facilitate the planning and monitoring of conservation easements. (December 2016)
    • Completing a strategic plan for establishing a volunteer model for the monitoring of conservation easements. (Ongoing)
    • Seeking donations of conservation easements on lands of high natural resource value toward maintaining water quality. (Ongoing)
    • Developing plans to protect priority and signature landscapes through donations of conservation easements. (Ongoing)
    • Protecting and expanding the network of green infrastructure and outdoor spaces in underserved neighborhoods and communities in the greater Baltimore area. (Ongoing)
    • Participating in the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership. (Ongoing)
    • Holding an annual Maryland Land Conservation Conference. (Ongoing)
  • Actions in Pennsylvania
    • Defending and protecting current sources of conservation funding. (Ongoing)
    • Developing a Conservation and Recreation funding initiative. (Ongoing)
    • Developing a Growing Greener III funding initiative. (Ongoing)
    • Researching and writing success stories to demonstrate the benefits of the Keystone Fund and Growing Greener funding. (Ongoing)
    • Maintaining the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ support of Pennsylvania Land Trust Association (PALTA) and Land Trust Land Protection work. (Ongoing)
    • Maintaining PALTA’s support of the Get Outdoors Pennsylvania Initiative. (Ongoing)
    • Developing a network of land conservation organizations to increase and improve the quality of conservation transactions and advocate for better conservation policy. (Ongoing)
    • Helping organizations adhere to Land Trust standards and practices and prepare for accreditation. (Ongoing)
    • Developing model documents and other guidance to help organizations and government agencies expand and improve their conservation efforts. (Ongoing)
    • Holding seminars, forums, roundtables and other events to train and education conservation practitioners. (Ongoing)
    • Distributing educational materials to key conservation stakeholders. (Ongoing)
    • Developing op-eds on relevant conservation topics for statewide newspaper distribution. (Ongoing)
    • Developing a mapping tool to highlight shared service area boundaries and foster collaborative conservation. (2017)
    • Mapping land trust fee properties to complement the National Conservation Easement Database. (Ongoing)
    • Working with the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association to finalize the Comprehensive Conserved Land Layer Project. (Ongoing)
    • Using the results and findings of the Pennsylvania Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan to manage protected lands. (Ongoing)
    • Supporting the annual Pennsylvania Land Conservation Conference. (Ongoing)
  • Actions in Virginia
    • Supporting the Virginia Land Preservation Tax Credit Program. (Ongoing)
    • Allocating matching funds from the state to local purchase of development rights programs. (Ongoing)
    • Distributing annual appropriations for grant funding administered through the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation. (Ongoing)
    • Creating a collaborative body to identify high-conservation value sites throughout the state to prioritize and fund high-priority acquisition targets. (TBD)
    • Maintaining an online database of land conservation and natural heritage, historic and water quality resources. (Ongoing)
    • Funding and developing databases of geographical information on land conservation. (Ongoing)
    • Developing a mapping tool to facilitate decision-making related to land and resource management. (Ongoing)
    • Developing a proof of concept pilot program to determine the value of forestland retention as a possible best management practice credit toward the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). (Ongoing)
    • Administering a robust conservation easement and land acquisition program focused on keeping forests intact and undivided and enabling landowners to manage their forestland for timber products and environmental values. (Ongoing)
    • Conducting a comprehensive outreach program to teach Virginia Century Farm families, other farmers and the general public about farmland preservation options and tools. (Ongoing)
    • Providing four best management practice training sessions per year for forest owners and harvesting contractors. (Ongoing)
    • Participating in an annual statewide conference to increase capacity and foster excellence among land conservation professionals. (Ongoing)
    • Participating in regional meetings and conferences to enable and increase partnerships. (Ongoing)