Wildland preservation benefits all [Letter]

February 18, 2014

A hearty thanks to Maryland state senators who unanimously passed Senate Bill 336, the designation of new wildlands in Maryland. Their votes will help secure an additional 22,000 acres of wildlands across Maryland's varied landscapes and ecosystem from the Appalachian Mountains in Western Maryland to the coastal plains of the Eastern Shore. These ecologically rich niches will be allowed to evolve undisturbed into perpetuity, thereby enriching present and future generations of Marylanders whether or not they ever visit them.

Wildlands are the treasures of Maryland's natural world. They are the libraries and museums that hold the tapestries and mosaics of our rich natural heritage. They contain the living information that helps us to unlock the mysteries of our evolutionary past, and they are vital to our understanding of the future. They hold the genetic information that we should no more destroy than the Gutenberg Bible.

We thank Gov. Martin O'Malley and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for their role in introducing this visionary legislation. Our hope is that the House of Delegates will act as swiftly and unanimously as the Senate did and make these proposed wildlands permanent.

Ajax Eastman, Baltimore

The writer is chairman of the Maryland Wildlands Committee.

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