How does the law work?
When highway construction using State funds causes the cutting or clearing of forests lands, the Maryland Reforestation Law requires that these trees be replaced. While construction activities by private citizens don't fall under this law, the impact of the Maryland Reforestation Law on the statewide greenscape cover is huge.
Replacement of forest cleared for highway construction must be accomplished on an acre-for-acre, one to one ratio on public lands and within a two years or three growing seasons of the completion of the project. Attempting to locate reforestation sites within the same county or watershed as the impacted area is given the first priority. If this is not possible the constructing agent (usually SHA) can purchase credits in a forest mitigation bank. If this is not possible, then the constructing agent can deposit into the Reforestation Fund, ten cents per square foot or $4,356 per acre for the total cleared area. This fund is used by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to plant replacement trees. Since being enacted in 1989, 2173 acres of forested
land have been cleared by highway construction and 2487 acres have been
replanted for a net gain of 314 acres (figures through 2005). As you can
see the Maryland Reforestation Law plays a big role in mitigating the
loss of forest cover due to highway construction. This is a win/win
situation: we improve our transportation system and maintain our
When does it apply?
All highway construction projects utilizing $1 or more of State funding must do mitigation related forest impact. The purpose of the Marylnad Reforestation Law is to minimize forest disturbance during highway construction activities.
What is required?
Along with a set of the project's construction plans, a Reforestation site review form available in Adobe Acrobat format is required.
Where should these plans be sent?
Maryland Department of Natural ResourcesForest Service
580 Taylor Avenue, E-1
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
(410) 260-8511 Fax: (410) 260-8595
580 Taylor Ave, Annapolis MD 21401