The Gunpowder Watershed Conservation Project

National Park Service LogoIn 2015, the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, in collaboration with other local land trusts–Land Preservation Trust, The Manor Conservancy, and Long Green Land Trust– launched the Gunpowder Watershed Conservation Project with a goal of identifying and mapping lands that should be prioritized for preservation. This collaborative effort also includes representatives from Baltimore County government, Maryland Environmental Trust, and other organizations interested in land preservation. The National Park Service is providing the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy with technical assistance through the  Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program.

Maps based on preservation priorities identified during workshops hosted by the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy will culminate in a Strategic Conservation Plan to guide the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy’s future land preservation efforts. Resource experts and representatives from other area land trust organizations attended the first workshop in the Summer of 2015 helped generate a list of preservation priorities. Examples of preservation priorities for the partner land trusts include farmlands, forests and natural habitats, coldwater fisheries, continuous equestrian trails and historically significant areas. In March 2016, land trust board members participated in Workshop 2, to take a survey which ranks the important resources identified by all the participating land trusts, so that each survey land trust would obtain a “priority ranking” for what is most important to them, for the purpose of creating individual preference maps.

GVC-landpres-map2In addition to soliciting input from area land trusts with shared preservation interests, the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy is utilizing Baltimore County’s extensive resource data, as well as data from surrounding counties, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the Chesapeake Bay Program to assist in the process of prioritizing  lands of highest resource value so that they can be targeted for preservation.

Drafts of the priority maps for the Gunpowder Rural Legacy Area have been created and are currently being reviewed.

To learn more about the Gunpowder Watershed Conservation Project, contact Ann Jones.