Jay Fergusonjay@deepcreekvacations.com301-501-0420

GC Commissioners Approve State's Purchase Of 600 Acres Of Local Land

Apr. 4, 2013


The Garrett County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved the sale of three privately owned parcels of land totaling more than 600 acres to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. According to law, state acquisitions over 100 acres require the approval of the commissioners, explained DNR western region program administrator John Braskey, land and acquisition and planning.


Located on Backbone Mountain beside Potomac State Forest land, the first property is a 315-acre tract currently owned by Mountain Maryland Minerals LLC/Thomas Moran. The tentative purchase price is $615,000.

The second property is located along Pea Patch Lane. Owned by Robert Rounds, this site is 106 acres of farmland that is surrounded by the Savage River State Forest. The proposed price is $405,000.

The third tract, owned by Gerard Kursvietis, is 181 acres and is located in the Spring Lick Run area of Savage River State Forest. Braskey said this property is still under negotiations.

“All of these properties would be open, of course, to the public,” he said. “All these properties would increase hunting opportunities in Garrett County. They will be managed like our other properties.”

He added that Rounds’ property is near a wildlands, but has been assured by Forest Service officials that the site will not become a wildlands.

Commissioner Bob Gatto asked if the state approaches landowners about purchasing their properties.

“I don’t go out and try to solicit any properties,” Braskey said. “One other thing, the Department of Natural Resources does not do condemnation, eminent domain. We only buy from willing sellers.”

He estimated that 95 percent of the acquisitors are initiated by real estate agents, land managers, or the property owners themselves. Braskey added that the state is often the only party interested in purchasing the properties. He noted that the state tries to get the mineral rights to the properties that it purchases.

Braskey is a former Garrett County commissioner and was instrumental in getting the state law passed in the 1980s that requires the commissioners’ approval of DNR acquisitions over 100 acres. He said the law also applies in Allegany County.

More than 86,500 acres, or 18 percent, of Garrett County land is now owned by the state. Commissioner Jim Raley indicated this is the highest percentage of all Maryland counties.

“These properties are being purchased with POS (Program Open Space) funds, which gives certain rights for the properties being open to public use,” he said about the Moran, Rounds, and Kursvietis lands.

He indicated, however, he has concerns about how accessible those properties will actually be to the public.

“They say they are going to be free access to everybody – they’re free access with a whole set of rules and regulations that come down, that sometimes change in the future,” Raley said. “That’s been part of my frustration, of finding that limited access sometimes does take place.”

He said he has several specific examples of this problem that he plans to share with the DNR secretary, John Griffin. The commissioners will meet with Griffin on April 12 in Annapolis to discuss a variety of issues.

The commissioners’ next public session is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, at 4 p.m. at the courthouse.



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Jay Ferguson

Who I Am My name is Jay Ferguson, and I am a lifelong resident of the Deep Creek Lake area. I am also co-owner of the real estate side of Taylor Made. I have been in the real estate business for 21+ years now and I LOVE what I do! I have to say, my career really took off when I co-founded the real estate side of Taylor Made in 2014. Its been an amazing experience, building a real estate company from the ground up and achieving so much so quickly! In August 2016, we purchased Long & Foster Real Estate Deep Creek, where I had started my career in 2000. In 2018, we on-boarded virtually every agent from Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty as they closed up shop and the real estate family grew even more! We now have over 40 sales agents and have expanded to West Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well. Taylor Made is the #1 vacation rental company at Deep Creek with over 475 vacation rental homes, and over one hundred thousand yearly visitors. Its amazing what we have accomplished using the principles of honesty, teamwork and customer service! Personally, my wife Jessica and I enjoy traveling and especially spending time in the outdoors, hiking and exploring the many diverse areas that Garrett County is naturally blessed with. We have raised two wonderful children here, Kayleah (22) and Noah (13). In the summer, we love spending time on the water with friends & family and enjoying the lake life! We are both active in our church, our community & local school activities, and we fill our schedule with plenty of volunteer efforts. I currently serve on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity. I am proud to say that I was named Deep Creek Time’s Favorite ‘Community Champion’ in 2019. I was also named Garrett County Realtor of the Year in 2018-19, as well. I really enjoy promoting my hometown. I am very proud of the resort area that has developed over my lifetime and look forward to growing the area even more! Deep Creek Lake has been described as ‘The Lake Tahoe of the east', and I think that speaks volumes about the potential to own property here! Deep Creek Lake isn't really a town or city by itself; it's comprised of three towns: Oakland, Swanton & McHenry, Maryland. I am very passionate about my hometown and am impressed with how many people know about it as we travel around the country. Deep Creek Lake is an amazing place to visit and even better place to live! During the pandemic in 2020, our market exploded and more and more people left their primary residence in the city to live here permanently. With distance learning in schools and tele-commuting becoming the ‘norm’, many more people were drawn to the area to ‘live where they love to play’. Why You Want Me Working for You: In addition to being an owner, I am consistently one of the top-producing agents in the entire area and the Associate Broker of record for Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales. I have 21+ years of experience and I am a problem solver. There aren’t many situations that I have not encountered and I have a strategy for almost every scenario that you may encounter. I have extensively trained in all areas of real estate & emerging technologies, and also have trained as an appraiser, as well as served as a full-time Broker. I have a strong knowledge of the industry, as well as many trusted local contacts & affiliations that allow me to perform at a very high level and deliver results. I have a great deal of respect for my peers in this industry and have strong working relationships that I would love to put to work for you. Call me to discuss your situation - I know I can be of great service to you & others you care about! Honesty. Integrity. Results.