Purpose: Encourage landowners to manage their forest land in return
for a reduced and/or frozen property tax assessment.
Scope: Any owner of five or more contiguous acres of forest
land may enter the program. House sites, crop land and other
non-forest open space is not eligible. Open land that was recently
planted to forest tree seedlings can be included in the program after
one growing season. Land used to grow Christmas trees is also
eligible if the trees will be cut at harvest.
Description: The program is a legal agreement between the
landowner and the Department of Natural Resources and is recorded in
the land records of the county in which the property is located. The
landowner agrees to manage their forest land according to a
management plan that is prepared for the property. The minimum
acreage is five acres and the minimum length of the agreement is
fifteen years. The property tax assessment on the forest land in the
agreement is generally reduced and frozen at a low agricultural rate.
If the agreement is broken through failure to follow the plan, sale
of the property to someone unwilling to assume the responsibility or
if the landowner just wants to be out of the program, back taxes will
be levied and will be computed back to the beginning of the
agreement. The agreement can be amended to increase or decrease
acreage and it can be transferred to a buyer if the buyer is willing
to assume the responsibilities of the agreement.
Accomplishments: There are approximately 1,300 agreements in
effect covering approximately 84,000 acres.
Forest Conservation Management Plan brochure
Your local Department of Natural Resources forester or Dan Rider
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland 21401