Advocating for Maryland forestry
In the 2020 Spring Newsletter, MFA Executive Director, Beth Hill, gave an update on the activities and events that Maryland Forests Association has been a part of in Annapolis during the legislative session. Read the story below or in the Spring 2020 Newsletter.
On January 16, MFA, along with the Association of Forest Industries, held our second annual Legislative Luncheon at Harry Browne’s in Annapolis. Following the meeting, we held an industry briefing with the House Environmental & Transportation Committee about the importance of sustainable forestry in Maryland. The presentation was indeed a historical event, as it was the first time the forest community has come together in such a forum.
There were three panels:
State Government: Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Environmental: Anne Swanson, Chesapeake Bay Commission; Jonathan Kays, University of Maryland Extension Forester; Donnelle Keech, The Nature Conservancy; and Gary Allen, Maryland Forestry Foundation
Industry: Bill Miles, Association of Forest Industries; Beth Hill, Maryland Forests Association; Lin Spicer, Holly Lane Farms; Tommy Johnson, Eastern Shore Forest Products; and Danny Sines and Rusty Leonard, Mountain Loggers Group
Together we successfully displayed the importance of the environmental and economic benefits that working forests have in Maryland. The feedback I received following the briefing was that the legislators were surprised to learn that the industry and environmental groups shared so much common ground. They thought that were people that wanted to save all the trees and people that wanted to cut them all down, which simply isn’t true. The truth is we all want forests to remain forests, and having active markets is essential for retaining woodland.
MFA is planning several bus tours in the coming months that will target educating economic development and local elected officials on “Why Markets Matter.” Stops will include active logging jobs and manufacturing facilities where we will highlight the value we provide to the rural economy.
I thank the Rural Maryland Council for helping to fund these projects that are increasing awareness and understanding of our industry.
Beth Hill, Executive Director MFA
Beth Hill also attended the Taste of Maryland Agriculture on February 6 at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie.
Beth Hill briefed the Eastern Shore delegation on forestry during her LEAD Maryland Class XI session in Annapolis on February 7.