Forest Action Plan
The Maryland Forest Action Plan lays out a five-year plan based on a long-term approach to desired conditions for Maryland’s future forests. The plan characterizes a maturing forest base in Maryland that supports considerable biological diversity, expanding potential for sawtimber and other wood products, greater tree growth than removal, net gains in carbon sequestration, and protection of water quality. Forest land conversion to other uses is considered the greatest threat to many of these forest benefits, since forest land is being lost at almost 3% per decade, a loss much greater than the modest but increasing rates of land conservation.
The plan also identifies five major areas for action: Sustaining/Restoring Forests on the Landscape, Ensuring Forest Health, Ensuring Clean and Abundant Water, Creating Jobs and Sustainable Communities, and increasing Resilience to Climate Change. Sustaining Forests is consistently identified as the highest priority, since all the forest benefits depend on forests remaining on the landscape. Priority areas focus on supporting forest benefits such as clean water, clean air, and community forests.
Best Management Practices
Maryland’s best management practices (BMPs) program is regulatory. Maryland Department of the Environment is the lead agency with regulatory authority for sediment and erosion control practices, including forest harvests, delegated to local jurisdictions and Soil Conservation Districts; MD DNR Forest Service provides technical assistance, training support, and monitoring coordination.
Click here to view the most recent BMPs recommendations on the state forestry agency website.