Caring for Our Forests
Forest landowners in Maryland can receive information and recommendations to better care for their forest land by contacting the MD DNR Forest Service Project in their County. Foresters meet with landowners, gather information from landowners about their forest, and develop forest stewardship plans. They assist landowners in carrying out forest stewardship recommendations. In 1990, more than 8,000 acres were planted with trees. Since 1990, nearly 100,000 acres have been placed under forest stewardship management.
The Stewardship Program recognizes landowners for their forest stewardship and provides financial assistance for forest practices. Land managers provide many opportunities for landowners to learn about their forests. There are many consulting foresters who provide similar assistance working across Maryland. Educational and other outreach programs are presented to many Marylanders. Talks and programs, teacher workshops and bus tours, Project Learning Tree workshops, and career day appearances are some examples of the MD DNR Forest Service's involvement in schools across the State. The Forestry Conservation and Natural Resources Workshop at Camp Hickory is a week long program for high school students that includes intensive hands-on training in forestry. Community talks, exhibits at fairs including the Maryland State Fair, landowner seminars, and programs with Boy and Girl Scouts provide people with opportunities to learn about our forest resources.
Urban and rural communities receive assistance and recognition for their commitment to their forest and tree resources from the MD DNR Forest Service. Community groups or associations, town managers and other officials, or interested citizens can obtain technical information about planting trees, insect and disease problems, maintaining inventories, and developing sustainable affordable tree-care plans for their communities. They can receive instructions about selecting appropriate species and planting sites. Assistance is given to teachers to reforest lands surrounding schools, create outdoor laboratories, and build nature trails to encourage students to learn about the environment.
In 1914, the Roadside Tree Law was passed to protect trees in rights-of-way. This Law requires the MD DNR Forest Service to supervise tree maintenance work performed in rights-of-way to maintain electricity, telephone, and other utilities. Licenses are issued and training is provided to tree experts who maintain trees in rights-of-way. Also, permits are issued to citizens who want to care for trees in rights-of-way adjacent to their homes.
Fire departments across the State receive expert training and assistance in preventing, suppressing, and investigating wildland fires from the MD DNR Forest Service. Specialized equipment, including bulldozers and chainsaws, and personnel to operate the equipment are ready to respond to large or difficult wildland fires. Smokey Bear appearances, school programs, and open houses at fire departments are some of the activities promoting the prevention of wildland fires.
The health of our forests depends on what we do now and in the future. Learning about forest health and forest communities will help make us better stewards of the land. If you are considering some type of management activity on your forest land, contact the MD DNR Forest Service for information and assistance.
Forest Conservancy District Boards
In 1906, the Maryland State Board of Forestry was established, and in 1943 the Forest Conservancy District Law was passed to establish a Board in each County. A Board was established in Baltimore City in 1987. Each Board is made up of citizens of the County who work to perpetuate Maryland's forest resource.
Board members are volunteers who provide grassroots leadership for the improvement of the environment. They are community representatives responsible for promoting forest management and education, as well as advising Maryland's Department of Natural Resources Forest Service. Further, they are a sounding board and a liaison between private individuals, forest-related industry, and government agencies.
The Forest Conservancy District Boards, or Forestry Boards, focus their work on educating people about benefits that forests and trees provide and educating school students interested in pursuing careers in natural resources. Also, they are involved with the Chesapeake Bay School Reforestation Project, legislative networking, and reviewing plans to cut trees from forests. You can go to Board members to gather information, or express your concerns, ideas, or complaints, just as they go to representatives of Congress and other legislators. Contact the Forestry Board in your County by calling the Forest Service Project Office.