Forest Conservation Act

Who can do this type of work?

Forest Stand Delineations (FSD) and Forest Conservation Plans (FCP) required by the Forest Conservation Act must be prepared by a licensed forester, licensed landscape architect, or other qualified professionals.

Qualified Professionals

Individuals who are not licensed foresters or licensed landscape architects may become "Qualified Professionals" capable of conducting forest delineations or writing conservation plans by meeting certain educational and work-experience criteria and completing a DNR approved forest conservation course. Final approval of Qualified Professional status is determined by the state FCA coordinator upon receipt of your Qualified Professional application and notification of your successful course completion.

How to Become a Qualified Professional

As defined by COMAR 08.19.06B (1)-(4)

An individual may be approved by the Department of Natural Resources for Qualified Professional status if they:

    1. Possess a 4-year degree in Natural Resource Sciences, Natural Resource Management, landscape or environmental planning;
    2. OR
    3. Have accumulated 4 years of professional experience in natural resource sciences, natural resource management, landscape or environmental planning or the equivalent (as determined by the state);
    4. OR
    5. Possess a graduate degree in natural resource science, natural resource management, landscape or environmental planning and 1 year professional experience in these or related fields.
    6. AND
  1. Have satisfactorily completed a DNR approved forest conservation course.

Department of Natural Resources Approved Qualified Professional Course

This course is designed to prepare the professional to conduct forest stand delineations (FSD) and write forest conservation plans (FCP) as required by the Forest Conservation Act. An application is available for becoming a qualified professional in Adobe Acrobat format.

After completion of the course, obtain and complete the application above to become a Qualified Professional. Mail the completed application to the address on the form.

Course Information

Currently Anne Arundel Community College and Carroll Community College are offering the course as a noncredited course. Check the noncredited course schedule on each college's web site for registration information.

The course includes 40 hours of class time and field work.  

Topics covered include:

  • Overview of forest ecology and succession. Brief review of plant physiology
  • Tree identification
  • Site review topics:
    • Timeline
    • Applications, worksheets and permits
    • Locating conservation areas
    • Mapping tools
    • Conducting an FSD
  • Site planning topics:
    • Limits of disturbance
    • Grading and sediment control
    • Short and long term protection
    • Writing a FCP
  • History and impact of the FCA

After completion of the course, obtain and complete an application to become a Qualified Professional and mail it to the address on the application form. This application for Qualified Professional status is available in Adobe Acrobat format.


Anne Gilbert
Forest Service
580 Taylor Ave., E-1
Annapolis MD 21401

Phone: 410-260-8510