Poster: The impact of demographic change and the expansion of urban areas on rural Maryland since the 1970's.
Bernadette Hanlon, Steve Sharkey and Thomas Vicino

This poster describes a project we are working on that aims to describe and analyze demographic and economic changes in rural Maryland since the 1970s, concentrating specifically on the impact of such changes on local rural economies and the agricultural and forestry sectors. An important aspect of our analysis is to measure, using Landsat remote sensing data and information from the Agricultural Census and Maryland Property View, the extent and impact of urbanization on agricultural land and forested areas since the early 1970s. This will enable us to identify possible fragmentation of farmland, changes in the type of farming conducted, farm and fiber production, and the impact on land values.
Public policies such as Smart Growth and county land conservation programs aim to minimize the extent of urbanization on the rural landscape. With a measure of urbanization, loss of farmland and changes in food and fiber production in rural areas, we can assess these policy strategies in relation to the agricultural and forestry sectors, and offer recommendations as needed.


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