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Bedford group works to improve area’s natural resources

From Mirror reports

BEDFORD — Most Bedford County residents would agree the Bedford region is an outdoor enthusiast and sportsman paradise.

One can find trails, parks, and fishing holes from one end of the county to the other nestled within wide swaths of forests, farms, serene landscapes, and other natural resources. Earlier last year, a group of local leaders and residents from various backgrounds — agriculture, business, environmental, engineering, and local government — came together and formed a committee to contemplate the development of the Bedford Countywide Action Plan intended to preserve or improve local natural resources without sacrificing other community initiatives tied to infrastructure, local economics, farming, transportation, and improved flooding conditions.

The Bedford CAP’s main objective is the implementation of a variety of programs and practices intended to improve local water quality and natural resources in the county. Local improvements and preservation efforts will benefit the community while assisting the state with meeting its Chesapeake Bay obligations. The committee identified six focus areas in the CAP to implement or help implement improvements and preservation practices.

The six areas include agriculture, stormwater, preservation of natural areas, point source pollution, riparian buffers, and education. Action Teams are forming around each focus area to provide guidance and direction for future activities and efforts.

Additionally, local insight and expertise is provided from the County Conservation District and County Planning Commission. Jennifer Lentz Kovacs, the Bedford County Conservation District Manager, expressed “It’s a privilege for the conservation district to be part of this collaborative approach, working with our partners and stakeholders to implement the CAP with existing practices and funding sources to put projects on the ground.” LandStudies was hired to serve as the local CAP Coordinator to handle administrative and technical support duties.

Participation in the Bedford CAP implementation is open to any interested county resident or organization with local interests. Any individual interested in learning more about the Bedford CAP or wanting to get involved can contact The Bedford County Conservation District, Bedford County Planning Commission, or the CAP Coordinator.

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