How the Department of Agricultures Supports Military and Community Compatible Use
Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) carries out regulatory, service, and educational activities that protect the environment and promote agriculture across the state. One of MDA's operating units, the Office of Resource Conservation, specifically works with soil conservation districts and farmers to coordinate conservation practices and programs to protect natural resources while promoting crop and livestock production. Programs offered by MDA present a unique opportunity to not only support farming and the agriculture industry, but also supplement DoD land preservation efforts aimed at valuable landscapes surrounding military installations.
Compatibility Factors relevant to the Department of Agriculture: Biological Resources, Marine Environments, Scarce Natural Resources, Threatened and Endangered Species
Relevant Programs and Plans
The Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) is a leading agricultural land preservation program whose purpose is to preserve sufficient agricultural land to meet the needs of present and future citizens of Maryland in terms of food and fiber production. According to the MALPF overview, the Foundation purchases agricultural preservation easements that forever restrict development on prime farmland and woodland. Doing so protects wildlife habitat, curbs the expansion of urban development, and protects open space. MALPF is another program that military communities can consider to further land preservation goals around installations if characteristics align with program requirements. MDA has developed a series of fact sheets that give a full overview of the program, including easement eligibility, the acquisition process, explanation of allowable uses, and more.