By Greg Pilchak
On Wednesday August 10th, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service hosted an NASF State and Private Forestry program tour for key congressional staff.
The goal of the tour was to highlight the value of the USDA Forest Service State and Private programs by showing how states leverage resources and implement the programs on the ground. The tour was led by Marlyand State Forester Don Van Hassent, the Maryland Forest Service, and its partners. While the tour focused on tangible local and state effects, NASF policy director Gary Schiff also connected it to the larger national context.
“The Maryland Forest Service and NASF were pleased to host congressional staff on last week’s field tour,” said Don Van Hassent, adding, “The Maryland Forest Service and its collaborating partners showcased the work they do to ensure the health and productivity of the state’s 2.5 million acres of forests and enhance public benefits from trees and forests.”
The tour included four stops, each organized around one program or theme. The first stop centered on urban and community forestry; the second highlighted forest health and watershed forestry; the third stop concentrated on the Forest Stewardship Program and private landowners; and the fourth focused on State and Volunteer Fire Assistance and the Maryland Firewise Program.