What is the amount of federal land owned by the government in Maryland? Let Us Look about
The extent of federal land ownership in Maryland is a topic that intertwines environmental, historical, and administrative aspects. As of the latest data, the federal government owns approximately 3.2% of Maryland’s total land area. This equates to 205,362 acres out of Maryland’s 6.3 million total acres.
To provide context, Maryland, with its diverse landscapes ranging from the Appalachian Mountains in the west to the sandy dunes of the Atlantic coastline, ranks 44th in the nation in terms of the percentage of land owned by the federal government.
This relatively small percentage reflects Maryland’s status as a smaller state with a significant urban and suburban footprint, especially in areas like the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan region.
Breakdown of Federal Land Management in Maryland
The distribution of this federally owned land in Maryland is primarily under the stewardship of several key government agencies:
- Department of Defense (DOD): The DOD manages the largest share, amounting to 55.3% of the federal land in Maryland. This includes military bases, training areas, and other defense-related facilities.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS): The FWS oversees 24.2% of the federal lands, primarily focusing on wildlife refuges and habitats for the preservation of biodiversity.
- National Park Service (NPS): The NPS is responsible for 20.2% of the federal lands in Maryland. This includes national parks, historical sites, and recreational areas that are significant both for their natural beauty and historical importance.
- Bureau of Land Management (BLM): The BLM, while a major land manager in western states, has a relatively minor presence in Maryland, managing only 0.3% of the federal lands.
Historical and Environmental Significance
Maryland’s federal lands are not just administrative entities; they are integral to the state’s identity and history. These lands include various national parks and monuments, as well as a national seashore, which not only preserve critical ecosystems but also serve as custodians of Maryland’s rich historical heritage.
The growth in federal land since 1990, which has seen an increase of 18.2%, indicates an ongoing commitment to preserving these spaces for future generations.
Implications and Conclusion
The management of federal lands in Maryland is crucial for various reasons, including national defense, conservation of wildlife, preservation of natural and historical sites, and recreational activities. These lands contribute to Maryland’s economy through tourism and provide essential habitats for numerous species, while also representing the state’s commitment to preserving its natural and historical heritage.
In conclusion, the 3.2% of Maryland’s land owned by the federal government plays a vital role in the state’s environmental stewardship, historical preservation, and contribution to national defense, showcasing a multifaceted and significant aspect of land management in the United States.