Header Art - Maryland's Conservation History

DNR Dedicates Fred W. Besley Demonstration Forest

Besley was Maryland’s first State Forester

Linkwood, Md. (April 23, 2012) –  To honor Maryland’s first State forester, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officially dedicated the Fred W. Besley Demonstration Forest in Dorchester County on April 20. The ceremony, held in Linkwood, recognized Besley for his influence on the future of forestry conservation.

“As Maryland’s first State Forester, Fred Besley built a legacy of conservation and sustainable forestry management, which the Maryland Forest Service still follows to this day,” said State Forester and Director Steven Koehn.

Earlier this year, the Maryland Board of Public Works officially renamed 1,040 acres of Chesapeake Forest Land in Dorchester County to the Fred W. Besley Demonstration Forest to honor the father of Maryland forestry. The newly dedicated area consists of five parcels of land originally owned and worked by Besley. In 2010, the State purchased the area from Besley & Rodgers, Inc., through Program Open Space. These tracts now serve as living examples of Maryland’s first conservation efforts lead by Besley himself.

Besley became Maryland’s first State Forester in 1906, after being hand-picked for the position by Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. Maryland was only the third state to create such as position, and its forestry program soon became a national model. Read more...

Dedication of the Fred W. Besley Demonstration Forest
Dorchester County, Maryland
April 20, 2102

Welcome
Steven W. Koehn
Director/State Forester, Maryland Forest Service
Click here to read remarks.

Remarks - Kirk P. Rodgers
Chair of the Besley- Rodgers Corporation
& grandson of Fred W. Besley
Click here to read remarks.

Remarks - Francis "Champ" Zumbrun
Retired as Maryland State Forester & Manager of Green Ridge State Forest
Serves on the Committee for Maryland Conservation History
Click here to read remarks.

Tribute to Fred Wilson Besley
Geoffrey L. Buckley, Associate Professor
Department of Geography, Ohio University
Click here to read remarks.

 

Fred W. Besley Demonstration Forest
Roadside Exhibits
2225 Andrews Road
Dorchester County, Maryland

Click here for Print Version

Click here for Print Version

Fred W. Besley Demonstration Forest Maps

Click here for Print Version

Click here for Print Version

 

Wye Oak photographs, believed to be taken by Fred W. Besley in 1940 when he was State Forester, presented to the Committee for Maryland Conservation History at the dedication of the Fred W. Besley Demonstration Forest by Fred W. Besley’s granddaughter, Peggy Weller. Photographs are from the collection of Helen Besley Overington, daughter of Fred W. Besley.

Largest White Oak in the USA.
400 years in 1940
Height: 95 feet
Base circumference: 53 feet
Base diameter: 18 feet
Spread: 165 feet