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DNR Helps Landowners Develop Forest Stewardship Plans

Forests

Annapolis, Md. (June 20, 2012) ─ The State is providing landowners with personalized Forest Stewardship Plans to help them create and manage sustainable land areas. If Marylanders work together to develop areas that expand tree canopy cover, conserve and improve wildlife habitat and reduce polluted runoff, citizens can help restore their natural world today and for generations to follow.

“Thousands of individual landowners can contribute to the future environmental quality and economic stability of Maryland by managing forestland according to a Forest Stewardship Plan,” said Mark Muir, project manager for the Maryland Forest Service. “Forestland is one of our greatest natural resources and if taken care of, can offer long term benefits for everyone.”

Approximately 90 percent of Maryland's forestland is owned by private woodland owners. Managing forest resources improves water quality, saves and increases wildlife species and habitat diversity, creates recreational opportunities, provides timber, and enhances aesthetics and air quality. Creating a plan can help property owners identify and recognize the value of their own forestland.

Citizens interested in the Forest Stewardship Plan must have five or more forested acres, not including the residence. Forest landowners in Maryland may receive a reduced tax assessment on the forested land that they own by agreeing to actively manage their land according to their Forest Stewardship Plan. To receive a reduced tax assessment, landowners must complete management activities such as:

  • Thinning operations to improve the growth of trees that are more beneficial to wildlife and future timber products
  • Creating improved wildlife habitat
  • Harvesting timber that is mature
  • Tree planting
  • Protecting stream and water quality through forest buffers
  • Creating recreational trails

Sustainable forestry is a broad term for management techniques that respect the full range of environmental, social and economic values of the forest, and seek to meet today's needs without losing any of those values. Sustainable forests maintain all components ─ such as trees, shrubs, flowers, birds, fish, wildlife, as well as ecological processes, including nutrient recycling, water and air purification, ground water recharge ─ so they can remain healthy and vibrant into the future.

Citizens can get more information and request to have a Forest Stewardship Plan prepared for their property at dnr.state.md.us/forests/programapps/stewcon.asp or by calling their local forestry office:

  • Anne Arundel County: 410-360-8421
  • Charles County: 301-934-2543
  • Calvert County: 410-535-1303
  • Prince George’s County: 410-535-1303
  • St. Mary’s County: 301-880-2749


   June 20, 2012

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov