Chair (chosen by Governor): Audrey E. Scott, Secretary of Planning

Appointed by Governor: Gregory A. Bowen; Lloyd C. Jones, Jr.; Thomas A. Mattingly, Sr.; Erroll A. Mattox; George Maurer; Kevin Schmidt; Vera M. Schultz; John L. Thompson; Stephen L. Weber; Nicholas William.

Appointed by Senate President: Roy P. Dyson; Thomas M. Middleton.

Appointed by House Speaker: Rudolph C. Cane; Paul S. Stull.

Ex officio: Lewis R. Riley, Secretary of Agriculture; James C. DiPaula, Jr., Secretary of Budget & Management; C. Ronald Franks, Secretary of Natural Resources; Audrey E. Scott, Secretary of Planning.

Staff: Joseph F. Tassone

c/o Planning Services, Dept. of Planning
301 West Preston St., Baltimore, MD 21201 - 2365
(410) 767-4562
e-mail: jtassone@mdp.state.md.us

In July 2002, the Task Force to Study the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation was created (Chapter 473, Acts of 2002). The Task Force was to study and make recommendations concerning the program, practices, and financial standing of the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (as did a previous task force of the same name created in September 2000).

The present task force did study and recommend guidelines for farmland preservation acreage goals by county; and for designating and certifying priority preservation areas. Recommendations also covered new sources of funding that target preservation priority areas; increased funding to enable the program to achieve its legislative goals; and creation and funding of a State critical farms program that encourages similar county programs. The Task Force additionally considered matters relating to tenant houses, easement valuation systems, an installment purchase option, and other changes that strengthen the State's agricultural land preservation program.

The Task Force reported to the Governor and General Assembly in January 2005. Authorization for the Task Force extended to May 31, 2004 (Code Agriculture Article, sec. 2-517).

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