Stewardship means several things to the Maryland Forest Service: care and concern about our woodlands, recognition of our valuable forest resources, and pride in our ability to wisely manage our forests today and benefit from them tomorrow.
Woodlands are one of our greatest renewable natural resources and can offer long-term benefits for everyone if taken care of properly. Considering at least 75% of our state’s forested land is in the hands of private landowners, maintaining a positive, enduring relationship with farmers and families across Maryland is a central mission of the Forest Service.
Click to learn about forest ownership and family forests in Maryland.
Private landowners are encouraged to practice forest stewardship and leave the land and its resources in better condition for future generations. Each individual landowner can contribute to the future environmental quality and economic stability of Maryland by managing forestland according to a resource conservation plan.
Read about collaboration with landowners through our Conservation Management Program.
A well thought out resource conservation plan helps landowners identify and understand the value of their forestland and better predict the effects of any resource harvesting or disturbance of the land. You as a landowner can be certified as sustainable and recognized and rewarded for your good stewardship.
Managing forest resources properly ensures sustainability of a natural living system and a range of possible benefits beyond the simple beauty of nature, including improved water and air quality, wildlife viewing and habitat for a variety of species, hunting and trout fishing opportunities, timber harvest, as well as fruit and nut production.
To become a steward of your forest, check out University of Maryland Extension Woodland Stewardship Education and My Land Plan.
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