American Elm: Vern Wilkins, Indiana University, Bugwood.org 5472981
PUBLICATIONS & USEFUL LINKS
The following sources describe the state of Maryland's forests, including health, statistics, and trends. They can be used as a tool to increase public awareness of environmental concerns, good sustainable forestry practices, and the many benefits of tree cover in rural, urban and suburban Chesapeake Bay areas and across the state. They can also serve to answer questions about how you can better manage your forestland.
Faces of Forestry- There's More to Our Forests Than Trees
A key part of our job is to help build a better understanding among Marylanders of the importance of our forests and the work of scores of professionals, all dedicated to assuring we can continue to enjoy the wood, clean water, wildlife, and recreational opportunities from our forests. Many believe that merely planting trees is the sole way to maintain our forests. While it has its benefits, this alone is not the total answer. We already have millions of acres of trees, and it is far more important to ensure that the 187,000+ private forest landowners in Maryland can care for and manage their lands to meet their objectives, which is crucial to retaining forests in the state. Perhaps the most important element is it assures continued markets for the wood these landowners produce so that they have a financial reason to keep their woods rather than sell them off for the higher-yielding profits of development. This message needs to be heard. To help put a “Face” or rather “Faces” on forestry, we have spent the past year traveling across the state, creating profiles of people that contribute to sustainable forestry. The folks featured in our public perception campaign, “Faces of Forestry,” each have a unique story and connection to the land. In this publication, you will find some of our profile people and information on the state of our forests and forest products industry. As the reader, we hope you, too, will conclude that Maryland’s forests are indeed great for the environment and great for the economy. We are proud to represent forest product businesses, forest landowners, loggers, and anyone with an interest in Maryland’s forests through the Maryland Forests Association!
Great for the Environment and the Economy
From the hardwoods of the mountains to the pines of the Eastern Shore, Maryland's forests are as diverse as the uses we have for them, such as timber production, clean water, wildlife, recreation, and scenic beauty. This publication is the result of a collaboration made in partnership by MFA, MD/DE Society of American Foresters, Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, Maryland Forest Service, University of Maryland Extension, MD/DE Master Logger Program, and the Rural Maryland Council. The booklet serves to give readers a brief look at Maryland's forests and answers these frequently asked questions:
Will we have forests forever?
Will logging deplete our forests?
What is a forester?
Who owns our forests?
So what's the worry?
Can trees help clean the Chesapeake Bay?
Can forests help mitigate climate change issues?
Can wood be harvested renewably?
What is forest management?
Do you have to plant trees?
We hope that readers gain a better idea of how we can sustain our forests for multiple uses for years to come. Click here to access the online version.
A SUSTAINABILITY RISK ASSESSMENT OF MARYLAND FORESTS
Beth Hill of the Maryland Forests Association served on the Advisory Committee for this study, along with Craig Highfield, from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Dan Rider with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The study was commissioned by the Western Maryland RC&D. The findings were prepared by New March Strategies and published in December 2022. Sustainability is a driving force in the global marketplace and the management of Maryland's forests on the ground. Yet, there is often a disconnect between these two supply chain ends. Companies of all sizes struggle to understand how the products they source perform relative to increasingly important and complex environmental, social, and governance (ESG) frameworks. These ESG systems seek evidence and analysis that can provide information and assurance that the forest products they source do not pose significant sustainability risks. The assessment asks a core question: What is the likelihood that wood originating in Maryland's forests and entering the supply chain is associated with a sustainability risk? With a strong set of conservation laws and regulations, a robust conservation community, and a highly engaged public, Maryland is a strong performer on forest sustainability. Wood that originates in Maryland's forests consistently meets the demands of international markets for sustainably produced products that protect and sustain forests and communities.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources - Forest Action Plan
The Maryland Forest Action Plan was produced as part of the national strategy to “redesign” how federal and state cooperative assistance programs address America’s forest lands. Conceived in 2007, this approach within the USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry (S&PF) improves the ability to identify the greatest threats to forest sustainability, target program delivery, and accomplish meaningful on-the-ground changes in high-priority areas. The 2008, 2014, and 2018 Farm Bills required states to develop the plans, pushing strategic action in spending public resources.
The Farm Bill identified three national priorities from the Redesign Process and amended Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act.:
Conserve and manage working forest landscapes for multiple values and uses
Protect forests from threats
Enhance public benefits from trees and forests
The 2020 Maryland Forest Action Plan is made up of two parts:
It also includes, by referencing the planning document for the Forest Legacy Program, a national land conservation program for working forests; the Assessment of Need is a state-specific plan that guides applications for the federal Forest Legacy Program, a third section of the Forest Action Plan.
Biomass Energy Utilization Whitepaper
The Maryland Forests Association, through its representation on the Sustainable Forestry Council, assisted the Maryland Forestry Foundation, the Maryland Clean Energy Center, and other partners in the creation of a whitepaper and series of webinars to address environmental concerns and potential impacts associated with the development of woody biomass energy in Maryland. The paper relies upon research findings and comparisons of alternative energy systems. Concerns that are addressed include the effects on forest harvest rates and health, carbon emissions, and policy considerations.
Healthy forests are the result of deliberate maintenance and management that relies on markets. Wood businesses give landowners confidence in forestland investments with long time horizons. Lose the industry, fragment the forest. MFA held stakeholder meetings across the state as part of our “Why Markets Matter” project following a sharp decline of the forest products industry. We received feedback from all regions pointing to the need for biomass markets to incentivize landowners, divert urban waste, and utilize low-value wood to provide for better forest management. Read our final report here.
Woody biomass is a renewable alternative to the use of fossil fuels in local combined heat and energy projects. It can help Maryland meet its RPS and Greenhouse Gas Reduction goals while providing local economic benefits, jobs, and wages.
The Future of Sustainable Farming and Forestry in Maryland
Report Commissioned by The Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology and prepared by American Farmland Trust, the Maryland Department of Planning and Land Stewardship Solutions. Authors: Gregory Bowen, Land Stewardship Solutions; Joseph Tassone, Maryland Department of Planning; James Baird, American Farmland Trust.
Excerpt from the report: Different regulations concerned with the environment are impacting the Forestry industry (Chapter 2). For forestry, it appears that the biggest regulatory impacts come not from nutrient concerns but from sediment and erosion control and logging permits and the rules governing certification of timber for green building. Sediment and erosion control and logging permits can be relatively costly, detailed, and complex for owners and loggers of the many small (< 10 acres) woodlots comprising most of Maryland’s remaining private forestland and may require as much as 4-6 weeks to complete.
U.S. Forest Service
This bulletin provides facts and statistics on Maryland's 2.5 million acres of forests (covering 40 percent of the state), including forest features, resources, and health.