Volume 26, Number 1  ●  February 15, 2018


Maryland Considering Significant Forest Conservation Act Changes

  This early successional forest would be considered a priority retention area under the new definition because it is part of a contiguous forest greater than 20 acres in size

This early successional forest would be considered a priority retention area under the new definition because it is part of a contiguous forest greater than 20 acres in size

Public and private development projects in Maryland will be facing much tougher forest conservation measures if the state legislature adopts changes to the Forest Conservation Act under Senate Bill (SB) 610. This bill is currently in committee and is scheduled for a hearing the week of February 19. If SB 610 is enacted, Maryland will see a significant increase in the amount of existing forest in the state that is classified as “priority retention area”, an increased justification requirement for clearing those areas, and a notable jump in the amount of reforestation to mitigate for doing so. This could significantly slow or inhibit development throughout the state.

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