Sustainable Forestry Council Final Report

Over the past several years, multiple reports, directives and laws have made plain that working lands like forests and farms are critical to Maryland's economy, community and environment. These have included the Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009, Chesapeake Forest Conservation Directive 06-1 and The State of Chesapeake Forests report. The Sustainable Forestry Council utilized the findings of these previous efforts and new information to advise the Department of Natural Resources on timely forest conservation issues and appropriate actions to help Maryland implement a no net loss of forest policy. The recommended actions build on existing programs and regulations including the recent development of Watershed Implementation Plans to meet the Total Maximum Daily Load requirements for the Chesapeake Bay, the Forest Conservation Act, and local planning and zoning requirements. Click here to read the Council’s report.


The Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009 (SB549) was landmark legislation that expressed the importance of Maryland’s forest to the environmental and economic well-being of the State. One section of the Act replaced the Forest Advisory Commission with the Sustainable Forestry Council. The purpose of this Governor appointed Council is to advise the Department on all matters related to:

  1. sustainable forestry management in the State,
  2. the expenditure of funds from the Woodland Incentive Fund,
  3. existing regulatory and statutory policies that are perceived as economic barriers to a viable forest products industry,
  4. new markets to enhance forest health, including renewable energy development through biomass energy, to offset fossil fuel consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
  5. creative strategies to help privately owned forest lands better compete with real estate market values that are driving forest conversion and fragmentation,
  6. the means to promote forest-based economies and processing capability that contribute to economic and employment growth and
  7. assigning a nutrient benefit to forest stewardship plans and other forest conservation management plans that can be measurably tracked and reported by the number of forested acres covered by the plans. 

The Council will be staffed by the Department of Natural Resources – Forest Service.


Meeting Dates

Minutes and Agendas



Sustainable Forestry Council Members - 2020

Alberto Goetzl, Chair
Dream Catcher Farm, LLC
Adamstown, MD 21710

Gary Allen
Center for Chesapeake Communities
Annapolis, MD 21401

Kim Finch, Vice-Chair
MNCPPC, Prince George’s County Planning Department
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

Bryan Seipp
Center for Watershed Protection
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Elizabeth Hill
Dorchester Forestry Board
Linkwood, MD 21835

Donnelle Keech
The Nature Conservancy
Cumberland, MD 21502

Bill Rees
Catonsville Tree Canopy Committee, Utility Arborist Association
Catonsville, MD 21228 ​​​