Deep Creek Discovery Center to receive a bald eagle

Bald Eagle #14-0144 recovered well from his amputation surgery last month – Dr. Kristin took the eagle to surgery to remove the dead bone at the end of the eagle’s wing. The surgery site healed well, and follow-up radiographs indicate no further issues.

The non-releasable Bald Eagle will be placed as an education animal at Deep Creek Lake State Park in Maryland, where he will be a regular part of the park’s Scales and Tales program. Deep Creek Lake State Park will be building a new enclosure for this eagle next week, and once permits are approved by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the eagle will be transported to his new home later this spring.

– See more at:

Garrett hosting first-ever Birdfest

Watching tours, children’s activities at weekend event

From Staff ReportsCumberland Times-News

MCHENRY — The first Garrett County Birdfest will be held May 2 through 4 at the Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center.

Expert birders will lead multiple bird walks throughout the county. Birding is often excellent the first week in May because many migrants are returning and leaves are not fully out, creating a window of opportunity to see the birds, according to Ranger Connie Skipper.

Participants will get tips on birding by ear as they listen for distinctive songs, although seeing the birds is a priority. Beginner and experienced bird watchers are encouraged to bring binoculars.

Children’s activities and crafts will be available May 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and May 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Katie Fallon, the author of “Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search of a Vanishing Songbird,” will sign her books May 3 at 6 p.m.

Bird photography at the aviary will be held May 4 from 2 to 3 p.m. Different bird species will be on display on natural perches during that time. A donation is requested to participate.

Skipper will lead a bird walk at the Sang Run kayak put-in May 2 at 8 a.m.

Matt Tillett will lead a twilight bird hike at 8 p.m. in New Germany State Park.

Handcrafted birdhouses and other items will be on sale throughout the weekend. The new animal adoption Wild Parent program will also be available.

Additional bird walks will occur at Herrington Manor State Park, Cranesville Swamp and the Western Maryland 4-H Center. For more information, call 301-387-7067 or go to

More here.

New Germany State Park Receives Donation of 100 Trees

by kking

Savage River Watershed Association helps replace trees lost to Hurricane Sandy

Savage River Watershed Association donated more than 100 red spruce trees to New Germany State Park to replace some of the many hemlocks lost during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The trees were planted along the banks of Poplar Lick Run, a native Brook Trout stream that flows from New Germany Lake to Savage River.

“New Germany was one of many areas that sustained extensive damages during Hurricane Sandy,” said Park Manager Erin Thomas. “We’re very grateful for the support of the Association’s volunteers who understand the importance of protecting and restoring this valuable habitat.”

Brook Trout are Maryland’s only native freshwater trout species and require relatively pristine conditions for survival. They typically cannot survive when water temperatures exceed 68 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that maintaining tree cover along the stream plays an important role in supporting a healthy Brook Trout population.

More here.

Hydrilla Treatment Set for Deep Creek Lake

In 2013, DNR biologists discovered hydrilla – an invasive weed known to impede recreational uses of waterways – in the southern portion of Deep Creek Lake. Hydrilla has not been found in the majority of the lake at this time. In response, DNR convened a nationwide expert panel to evaluate all potential Hydrilla control strategies, and found that the best, most effective action would be to treat the lake-bottom where Hydrilla has been found with small amounts of herbicide starting in late May and continuing through the summer. Exact dates will be posted prior to application. The amounts to be used have been proven harmless to humans, waterfowl and wildlife, and will have no restrictions for drinking, swimming and or eating fish post treatment at label application rates.

.pdf map of where hydrilla has been found at DCL.

More here.

State Approves Recreation Enhancements in Garrett, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties

by kking

Maryland families will continue to benefit from Maryland’s signature Program Open Space with this week’s Board of Public Works’ approval of funding for recreational upgrades in Garrett, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

“From playgrounds and ball fields to trail access and community gardens, Program Opens Space allows us to create and improve upon opportunities for children and families to enjoy the outdoors safely and close to home,” said Governor O’Malley. “In fact, we enjoy the remarkable distinction of having facilities funded by the program within 15 minutes of every Maryland community.”

In Garrett County, Friendsville will receive $40,000 to develop a new parking area for recreational hikers, bikers and boaters. The project will allow easy access to the Youghiogheny River and nearby trails, and alleviate parking issues along Maryland Route 742. Grantsville will receive $12,568 to improve the existing restrooms at the 14-acre Grantsville Town Park. Oakland will receive $3,000 to install an outdoor bocce court adjacent to the Oakland Armory/Community Center; this facility is currently used extensively by groups, individuals, organizations and Garrett College students for basketball practice, soccer games and other activities.

More here.

Fourmile Ridge wind project approved, moves forward

Elaine Blaisdell
Cumberland Times-News

— FROSTBURG — The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Fourmile Ridge wind project in eastern Garrett County and site preparation started April 7, according to Frank Maisano, a wind industry spokesman. The current notice listed on the FAA website for the project is for a small change in turbine location.

The project was hinging on the decommissioning of the Grantsville VOR/DME system, which drew opposition from Ed Kelley, manager of the Garrett County Airport, and the Maryland Aviation Administration. The Grants-ville VOR/DME system will be decommissioned, according to Maisano.

VOR/DME refers to a combined radio navigation station for aircraft consisting of two beacons placed together.

“The decommission of the Grantsville VOR would leave Garrett County and Cumberland airports without a ground-based approach and would eliminate numerous instrument procedures, including six instrumental approach procedures, nine standard arrival routes, four victor airways and one remote communication outlet,” Kelly previously said in a letter to Melinda George of the FAA. “The loss of procedures and services could severely impact the safety of general, commercial, emergency and military aviation within the now served VOR/DME.”

The Fourmile Ridge project started out as a Synergics project with 24 wind turbines and was revised to an Exelon project with 16 wind turbines in the Frostburg Road area.

The Maryland Public Service Commission approved the Fourmile wind project last year.

Construction on the project is slated for completion by early November with testing and plans to begin commercial operations by mid-December 2014, according to Maisano.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at

More here.

Change is good

It is with some sadness – and some excitement – that I am announcing that I am no longer an agent with Railey Realty. I have been blessed to work with many amazing people and I have enjoyed my time there. However, I am taking a huge step in a different direction as of today. There are some legalities to work out and some paperwork that has to be filed, but stay tuned, a BIG announcement will be forthcoming, God-willing. 

For the time being, I am now proudly licensed with Offlake Realty in Oakland – and the broker is my very good friend Bob Orr. Office number is 301-387-8060. If you need to reach me, all of my contact info is still the same – and cell is 301-501-0420. Call me anytime to chat…or ask any questions you may have.

Please bear with me as I slowly and methodically update my advertising.

#1 in Sales in Garrett County & Railey Realty 1st Quarter 2014 – Jay Ferguson!

Update 9-29-14: It was brought to my attention that I was the #1 agent for Railey Realty for the 1st quarter of 2014…after 2 of the owners, whose stats were not compiled as part of the equation originally. They don’t count ‘owners’ as part of the sales volume equation, just ‘agents’. So, all in all, I was really #3 in the Railey Realty office overall, which still isn’t too bad! I’m still proud of the achievement – its no small feat!

I received some exciting news this week – I am the Railey Realty office Top Producer thus far in 2014 as of Q1. That also translates into being the top producing real estate salesperson in all of Garrett County & Deep Creek Lake for the 1st quarter, too. I’m very blessed to have received this honor…and very lucky. Last year was a slow start, this year has been one of my best. THANK YOU to all my clients, customers and fellow agents for your support! God is Great!

The real estate market is picking up steam and prices are finally on the rise! If you are in the market to buy or sell real estate, give me a call!