Christmas Tree Facts

There are approximately 30-35 million Real Christmas Trees sold in the U.S. every year.
  • An estimated 175,000 Real Christmas Trees are sold via e-commerce or catalogue and shipped mail-order.
  • North American Real Christmas Trees are grown in all 50 states and Canada. Eighty-five percent (85%) of artificial trees sold in the U.S. are manufactured in China.
  • Real Trees are a renewable, recyclable resource. Artificial trees contain non-biodegradable plastics and possible metal toxins such as lead.
  • Consumers can locate the nearest recycling program by logging onto or calling 1-800-CLEANUP.
  • For every Real Christmas Tree harvested, up to 3 seedlings are planted in its place the following spring.
  • There are about 21,000 Christmas Tree growers in the U.S., and over 100,000 people employed full or part-time in the industry.
  • It can take as many as 15 years to grow a tree of average retail sale height (6 - 7 feet) or as little as 4 years, but the average growing time is 7 years.
  • The top Christmas Tree producing states are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington. (See a complete list of all 50 states ranked by several variables.)
  • The top selling Christmas Trees are: balsam fir, Douglas-fir, Fraser fir, noble fir, Scotch pine, Virginia pine and white pine.
reprinted from the National Christmas Tree Association website at

But aren't fake trees better for the environment?
No. Most artificial trees are manufactured in China and contain PVC (polyvinyl chloride). In fact, artificial Christmas Trees were recently added to the Center for Health, Environment & Justice's list of household products containing PVC. According to the Children's Health Environmental Coalition, the manufacture of PVC creates and disperses dioxins, which include the most toxic man-made chemical known. Released into air or water, dioxins enter the food chain, where they accumulate in fatty tissues of animals and humans, a potential risk for causing cancer, damaging immune functions and impairing children's development. This issue is especially concerning due to China's weak enforcement of environmental regulations. Delta Farm Press recently addressed China's environmental crisis in this article.

Trees for Troops

MFA Members in the News
Nearly 100 fresh-cut Christmas trees donated from several Western Maryland tree farmers and businesses in Garrett County were picked up by the FedEx Corp. earlier this month at the Mountain Top Tree Farm in Oakland.

This is the first year FedEx is providing a truck to pick up the load of donated trees, according to Randy Sisler, organizer of the local effort and manager of Mountain Top Tree Farm. Trees will also be picked up in Frederick on Dec. 10 at the Mehrl Mayne tree farm.

The tree farmers belong to the Maryland Christmas Tree Association, which has joined with a national effort to collect and donate 6- to 7-foot cut Christmas trees for free distribution to U.S. military bases for the holidays.

Maryland tree farmers contributed a variety of tree species, which were all tightly baled for easy shipment.

The National Christmas Tree Association, through its Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, collaborated with FedEx, which donated its services for the fourth annual project.

Trees for Troops is expected to deliver more than 17,000 real Christmas trees from across the country to military families across the United States, as well as to soldiers serving overseas.

"Our military and their families have been providing a real service to our country," said Wayne Thomas, president of the National Christmas Tree Association and a tree farmer in Westminster. "As tree farmers, we want military families to be able to experience a traditional Christmas with a real tree."

Maryland Christmas Tree Association farmers grow trees on approximately 5,280 acres, with some 4 million trees planted and about 370,000 harvested annually. There are nearly 100 tree farms that belong to the association. Christmas trees are 100 percent biodegradable and they can be recycled for a variety of uses after the holidays. Discarded trees are used to stop erosion, provide fish habitat and make mulch for gardens.

For more information, log on to

2008 Farm Bill Update

FYI ~ MFA has several members, including Board member and VP for Gov't Affairs Chris Holmes on the NRCS State Technical Committee. The message and links below lead to changes in the 2008 Farm Bill, several of which highlight increased attention to forests and forestry support.


Notice of 60-day Public Comment Period on Rule Published in Federal Register

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2008—U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Arlen Lancaster today announced the release of the interim final rule for State Technical Committees, which amended requirements regarding the composition and responsibilities of these advisory committees nationwide.

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) expands agricultural and forestry involvement in the committees, expands the committees’ authority to review local working groups’ efforts to address state program priorities, and requires the Secretary of Agriculture to standardize committee operations nationwide.

The State Technical Committee interim final rule is available for public comment and can be found at USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (USDA-NRCS) Web site,at the official government regulation Web site, and at the Federal Register’s Web site.

Public comments must be submitted by Jan. 26, 2009. These comments will be used to revise the interim final rule, which establishes policy for State Technical Committees. USDA will publish a final rule that will address the public comments.

Each state has an advisory State Technical Committee that is chaired by the USDA-NRCS state conservationist. State Technical Committee members include agricultural producers and other Federal, state, Tribal and non-profit organization professionals that represent various disciplines in the soil, water, wetland, plant, forestry and wildlife sciences. The committees meet regularly and advise the state conservationist and other USDA officials on technical considerations related to implementation of Farm Bill conservation programs, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, Wetlands Reserve Program, Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program, Conservation Reserve Program, Grasslands Reserve Program, and Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program.

The committees also advise the NRCS state conservationists on other technical matters, technical guides, criteria for evaluating projects, cost-share and incentives payment levels, and measures related to achieving a program balance regardless of agricultural sector or farm or ranch size. They can also advise the state conservationists on strategies to reach underserved customers.

The committees also accept recommendations from their subcommittees, including local working groups, as they establish natural resource priorities for the state.

Mailed comments on the interim final rule can be submitted to: Director, Conservation Technical Assistance Programs Division, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Room 6015-S, Washington, D.C. 20250-2890.

Comments can be faxed to (202) 720-2998 and e-mailed to People with disabilities who are interested in submitting comments can contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720-2600. Comments also can be submitted through the Web site’s public comment feature.

For additional information about State Technical Committees, please visit

The Interim Final Rule can be found at:

NRCS has developed a one page fact sheet that can be viewed at:

General information on the State Technical Committees can be found at:

Foresters hope to stop timber loss in Md.

By Greg Latshaw
Staff Writer -

SALISBURY -- Seeking to end the slow attrition of Maryland's woodlands, state foresters are calling on lawmakers to adopt a no net loss policy by 2010.

A task force of landowners, local government officials and the building community, which includes Wicomico County Councilman Bill McCain, is studying the issue and met Friday in Annapolis.

The goal is to halt a march by the suburbs of Washington, Baltimore and in other parts of the state that is claiming about 8,600 acres of forest each year, said Steven Koehn, director of the Maryland Forest Service. He said it would be the first policy of its kind in the country and is needed because 41 percent of Maryland's land is forested.

But a no net loss law, which lead proponent Sen. Paul Pinsky, D-Prince George's County, said he wants passed in the January legislative session, must not disturb the rights of the building industry, Koehn said. A law would also need land to plant new trees, when acres are displaced by new housing developments -- a concern to some in the farming industry.

Another question: What number of forested acres should be used as a baseline for the no net loss policy?

"All the issues, we can overcome," Pinsky said. Action should be taken immediately because "once you lose forests, you generally never recover it," he said.

Trees are an environmental juggernaut when it comes to cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, studies show. Their roots absorb polluted water otherwise headed for the bay and stabilize stream banks. Their leaves act as air filters for harmful gases, and trees are natural habitats for wildlife.

In December 2007, the Chesapeake Executive Council, which includes the governors of the six watershed states, agreed to permanently protect 695,000 acres of forest by 2020. Maryland committed to setting aside 96,000 acres by 2012 and 250,000 acres by 2020 -- which is about half of the forest land protected now.

Katie Maloney, executive vice president of the Maryland State Builders Association in Annapolis, said a no net loss policy shouldn't add costs to builders. Her organization would oppose a policy that decreased how many houses could be built in a project, she said.

The Maryland Farm Bureau would favor any policy that protects forest, but a concern is if government incentives would push more trees onto farm land now in production, said Val Connelly, director of government relations.

She used the example of a landowner who leases land to farmers. If a government program would pay the landowner more to plant trees there, that could potentially wipe out farmland.

"Our business is to make sure that people can grow crops in the future in Maryland," she said.

McCain, an outdoorsman who owns a real estate appraisal firm and 400 acres of land on three Lower Shore farms, is the only Eastern Shore representative on the task force.

"The Eastern Shore's concerns and issues are vastly different from those of Montgomery and Prince George's counties," McCain said. "Ours are protecting the forest timber industry and agriculture."

The Eastern Shore's timber industry is unlikely to be affected, McCain said, because their land is classified as forest acres.

Updates from Around the State

The Maryland No-Net-Loss of ForestsTask Force has met several times and has started to draft findings. Another meeting is scheduled for Dec.9th.

A new program that will support urban tree canopy planting has been developed. Governor O’Malley announced the Smart, Green, and Growing Initiative in mid-November, starting with the Marylanders Grow Trees program and website .

The Governor also will be announcing the new GreenPrint program on December 3rd that will identify priorities for land conservation, with its own website. The priorities for the Program Open Space targeting include four layers, one of which is the forests important for water quality developed for the Chesapeake Bay Forest Conservation Directive.

Two other new websites that may be good resources for forest conservation and urban tree canopy efforts are below:

  • The Conservation Fund has developed a website to exchange information on Green Infrastructure planning and projects around the country.
  • The Center for Watershed Protection has developed a website as a central point for resources for forest-friendly development and using trees and forests to improve watershed functions like managing stormwater.

General Forestry Course

Get Ready for the Spring Semester of
the General Forestry Course

This course is designed for individuals wishing to increase their understanding of forests and forest management. Specifically, the course targets Maryland forest landowners and other citizens with an interest in the principles and practices of forestry.

The University of Maryland Cooperative Extension is announcing the opening for the spring 2009 semester of the General Forestry Course. The course begins February 1 and runs until May 20, 2009. Registration opens January 2. There are no formal classes and you work from the comfort of your home using your own woodlot, a friend's or a public forest.

The course is available as both a paper version and a web-based version. You will learn how to protect your trees from insects and diseases; step-by-step procedures walk you through a forest inventory and stand analysis; details of the forestry business are presented, and much more. Ultimately, the course exercises help you develop the framework for a forest management plan. The course has changed enrollees perspective towards forests and forest management, encouraged family discussions, and even save some folks thousands of dollars. The cost is $300.00. Included are supplemental readings (A Sand County Almanac, The Woodland Steward, American Forests: A History of Resiliency and Recovery, and a small pamphlet entitled What Tree Is That?). A certificate of completion is awarded when all assignments are completed.

Both the online version and the paper version of the course will be offered in the Spring 2009 Semester (February 1 to May 20, 2009).

There are two methods of learning available: the web-based or online version, and the original paper version. This web site discusses the online version of the course. To learn about the paper version, click General Forestry Course--Paper Version.

Note: Registration for The General Forestry Course opens January 2 for the spring semester and August 1 for the fall semester. Enrollment is based on a first-come, first-served basis. If the class is full and you are unable to enroll, you will be placed on a waiting list.

Sample Course Pages

Click on the images below for a sample of what the General Forestry Course has to offer.

Sample Lesson Sample Lesson

For more information, contact Nancy Stewart or 410/827-8056, ext. 112

MFA 2008 Conference Wrap-up

Dear MFA Members and Friends

For those of you who joined us in Annapolis this past weekend, you already know what a wonderful event our 2008 Annual Conference was! That success is due to the support of our friends and members ~ whether it be financially or in terms of time and talents. Please help us thank all those listed below for their support.

canoe at Rocky Gap
For those who were unable to join us, and for those that did,
we hope you will plan now to attend next year's conference which will be
October 30 & 31 at the Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort

Watch the MFA website and Crosscut for details as they become available.
mfa logo Send us your ideas for themes, topics and speakers for the 2009 Conference. Planning begins shortly! Contact the MFA office at or 301-895-5369

Thank You to All Who Made Our Conference a Success!

Annual Conference Planning Committee:
Philip Gottwals (Chair), Jeff Fisher, Steve Jarvis, Karin Miller

Session Moderator ~ Bob Eaton

Videographer ~ Pete Miller
AV Assistants ~ Steve Jarvis and Steve Resh
Photographers ~ Joan Bearden and Donnell Keech

Silent Auction Coordinator ~ Becky Wagner

Hospitality Hosts ~ Dick and Bobbie Stanfield

MFA Welcome Desk ~ Bobbie Stanfield, Lynn Holmes

Mr. Bruce Vincent
Mr.Steve Koehn
Mr.Michael Goergen
Mr.Bill Rodenberg
Mr.Kirk Martin
Mr.John Karakash
Mr.Patrick Doyle
Mr.Bruce Waver



ACDS, LLC~Columbia, MD
Besley & Rodgers, Inc.~ Falls Church VA
Bitmunious Insurance ~ Lutherville, MD
Edrich Lumber Co.
Dick and Bobbie Stanfield~ Windsor Mill MD
Forest Resources Association~ Rockville MD
MAR-LEN Environmental ~ Westminster MD
NewPage Corp Luke Mill~ Westernport MD
Paul M. Jones Lumber Co., Inc.~ Snow Hill MD
Sustainable Resource Mgt. Inc ~ Davidsonville MD
The Forestland Group, LLC~ Wellsboro PA
The Mill~ Bel Air MD
University of Md Cooperative Extension~ College Park MD
USI Insurance Services~Falls Church VA


Bowen and Kron Enterprises, Inc.~Baltimore MD
C.W. Matthews & Sons~Seaford DE
Egolf Forest Harvesting, Inc.~Delmar DE
Ota Stevenson, Inc.~ Salisbury MD
Pete Richardson Auction Sales ~ Willards MD
Sisler Lumber Co.~ Mt Lake Park MD
Timber Harvest, Inc. ~ Cordova MD
MD Tree Farm System ~ Chesapeake Beach MD
Smith-Foster Furnance Corp. ~ Queenstown MD
Laws Corporation ~ Snow Hill MD


Borden Mining Company~ Jamestown NC
Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc.~ Randallstown MD
Southern MD RC&D~Waldorf MD
Western Pocahontas Properties~ Huntington WV
Dave and Gail Weissert~ Denton, MD
Rising Sun Log Corp~ Rising Sun, MD
Vision Forestry LLC~ Salisbury, MD


Delaware Forestry Association
Delaware Tree Farm Committee
Mar-Len Environmental ~ Westminster MD
Chris and Lynn Holmes ~Arnold, MD
Mimi Wright~ Church Creek, MD
Rising Sun Log Corporation~ Rising Sun, Md
Dave and Gail Weissert~ Denton, MD


Ace and Ann Parker
Angela Hedderick
Bituminous Insurance
David Matthews
Forest Friendly Logging
Forest Land Group
Glatfelter Pulp Wood Company
Jim Thomas
Mar-Len Environmental
Parker Forestry Services
Pete and Karin Miller
Red Rock Enterprises
Richard and Jakie Lewis
Smith-Foster Timber Group
Steve Jarvis
Sustainable Resource Management
Vision Forestry

Commercial Exhibitors

Bituminous Insurance Companies
P O Box 509
Lutherville, MD 21904

McLean Insurance Agency
461798 Westland Dr. Suite 300
Potomac Falls, VA 20165

Yates Insurance
3294 Solomons Island Road
Edgewater, MD 21037

I&E Exhibits
(information and educational)

Allegany College of Maryland - Forestry Dept.
12401 Willowbrook Road, SE
Cumberland, MD 21502-2596

Forestry for the Bay
410 Severn Ave., Suite 209
Annapolis, MD 21403

Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc.
P O Box 169
Queenstown, MD 21658
410-827-8056, ext 126

1410 Forest Dr., Suite 28
Annapolis, MD 21403

Maryland Association of Forest Conservancy Districk Boards
DNR Forest Service
Tawes State Office Building, E-1
Annapolis, MD 21401

MD Chapter - The American Chestnut Foundation
21900 Davis Mill Rd
Germantown, MD 20876

MD Tree Farm System
contact DNR - Forest Service
580 Taylor Avenue, E-1
Annapolis, MD 21401

MD/DE Master Logger Program
PO Box 169
124 Wye Narrows Rd.
Queenstown, MD 21658
410-827-8056 ext. 125

MD/DE Society of American Foresters
3 Pershing Street, Room 101
Cumberland, MD 21502

The Nature Conservancy
321 Magruder Street
Cumberland, MD 21502

University of Maryland Cooperative Extension
1212 Symons Hall
College Park, MD 20748

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
339 Busch's Frontage Road, #301
Annapolis, MD 21409

2008 Election Summary

The results of Tuesday’s election remind us that when the people of our great nation demand change - they mean it. The long campaign for the presidency ended last night when President-elect Barack Obama won 349 electoral votes over Senator John McCain’s 162 votes. This historic Presidential race has been at the forefront of our nation’s political stage for such a long time that it overshadowed other contested battles taking place all across the country for House and Senate seats.


Senate Democrats picked up five seats bringing their majority to 56 (including two independents). Races still have not been called in Alaska, Minnesota and Oregon. Republicans retained open seats in Idaho and Nebraska, but lost open seats in Colorado, New Mexico and Virginia. No Democrat seats turned over.


Democrats widened their majority to 254-174, a net gain of 19 seats with seven races still undecided. There are at least 52 new members of Congress with the current breakdown being 29 Democrats and 20 Republicans.

A detailed list of all the changes in the House and Senate is attached.

What We Need To Do

It is extremely important that the industry reach out to the new Members of Congress soon. A majority of the newly-elected members will arrive in Washington with limited knowledge of our industry, and it is our responsibility to educate them on the environmental benefits of the forest products industry and the legislative issues that impact our everyday business. We have a great opportunity to get in at the beginning and build strong relationships with these 52 new Members.

Sixty-five percent of everyone who cast a vote last night said they were concerned about the economy and jobs. We need to get in at the beginning and tell our story to President-elect Obama, his Administration and the 111th Congress. It remains our duty to advocate on the important issues facing our industry, the employees and their jobs. Let’s all do our part.

Please visit to retain one pagers and informational material on important legislative issues to help guide your discussions with the incoming Congressional members,

If you have any questions regarding the election results, please contact Anita Peduzzi at or (202) 463-2755

re LEED Hurts Maryland Citizens

Dear MFA members and Friends

Please see statement below from Al Goetzl regarding the op-ed on LEED that came out of the MFA office. What was submitted by MFA, based on information provided by Mr. Goetzl, unfortunately contained some outdated numbers that were quickly brought to my attention by CTN readers and MFA members. The statement below explains the error and gives the corrected figures. The FSC acres existing in Allegany and Garrett Counties are managed by Red Rock Enterprises of Friendsville, MD in Garrett Co (a MFA member).

MFA regrets the mistake that occurs, but as Mr. Goetzl states below: "However, the fact of the matter remains that the area certified by SFI and ATFS in the state is over four times the area certified by FSC, reinforcing the point that Maryland forest landowners are disadvantaged by a LEED-only policy."

Karin Miller, MFA Executive Director

Karin Miller is right to be critical of the LEED® rating system for green buildings. When it comes to wood products, a major flaw in LEED is that credits are not given to materials that sequester carbon (rather than emit carbon) or use significantly much less fossil fuels in their manufacture. LEED also recognizes only the one forest certification system – Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) – even though the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) and American Tree Farm System® are more prevalent in Maryland. The data cited by Karin in her piece came from a compilation of certified forests that I provided and which should be updated. The FSC website lists just two forest management certificates in Maryland as of September, 2008, totaling just shy of 50,000 acres. One of the two certified forests is, in fact, in western Maryland. However, the fact of the matter remains that the area certified by SFI and ATFS in the state is over four times the area certified by FSC, reinforcing the point that Maryland forest landowners are disadvantaged by a LEED-only policy.

Alberto Goetzl
Seneca Creek Associates, LLC
17203 Lightfoot Lane
Poolesville, Maryland 20837
Voice: 202-463-2713
Fax: 202-463-4703

LEED hurts Maryland citizens

To the Editor:

Cumberland Times-News

October 29, 2008 11:09 pm

Much attention has been paid to Allegany County’s first “green” building, a state Human Resources and Development Commission (HRDC) building to be located in Cumberland.
Unfortunately, pending state government rules could discourage the building from using any wood from Maryland tree farms.

The reason is that Maryland follows the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system for green building, a system that does not recognize the environmental value of wood harvested from most of the working forests in Maryland.

The result is that Maryland’s forest products industry and its 10,000 employees will likely see little or no benefit from this taxpayer-funded project, and, if some officials in Annapolis have their way, Maryland’s working forests and forest products industry could find it difficult to benefit from state construction projects.

The reason is the on-going national debate about green building policy. To help architects and builders make good decisions about energy efficiency and environmentally responsible materials, several green building rating systems have been developed.

Materials that provide good insulation give a building a higher score, as well as high-tech heating and cooling systems or more airtight, heat-resistant windows.

Wood building materials that come from sustainably-managed forests also provide higher ratings. The problem is that LEED, the green building system currently used by Maryland state government, only provides credit for wood products from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a system that is common overseas but not widely used in Maryland, and not as widely used in the United States as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) or American Tree Farm System (ATFS).

Maryland has 58,049 acres of SFI forests and 157,174 acres of ATFS forests, nearly a quarter of which are located in Allegany and Garrett counties. Allegany County also has over 170 ATFS-certified forests, more than any other county in the state.

In contrast, there is little FSC forest land in Maryland — less than 35,000 acres and none of it in Western Maryland. **(a call received by the MFA office after this editorial ran stated that there are approximately 8,000 acres in Allegany and another 8,000 in Garrett County that are FSC certified. We regret the oversite, however, this is still a small amount in comparison to what is certified under the other systems) Despite FSC’s claims of superiority, research has shown that all three systems provide essentially the same environmental benefits.

Because the state’s LEED system does not allow the use of wood from the SFI or ATFS forests owned by Maryland’s tree farmers, it is more likely that the wood in state buildings could wind up coming from other states, or even overseas, than from Maryland itself.

In early November, a state advisory board will issue recommendations on whether or not state government should use only the LEED system and its virtual ban on most Maryland wood products, or if other green building rating systems — such as Green Globes which recognizes wood from Maryland’s SFI and ATFS forests — should be used as well. Many industry and policy experts expect the recommendations to go against the Maryland forest landowners and forest products industry and in favor of LEED.

If so, this would be both an environmental and economic mistake. If the market for Maryland wood products dries up, many tree farmers will have no choice but to sell their land for residential or commercial development.

Unlike tree farms, once a forest is cleared for subdivisions or strip malls it no longer helps combat global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide nor does it provide habitat for wildlife.
Additionally, with the economy causing new housing starts to decline by more than two-thirds, state construction projects will be an important source of business opportunity for the Maryland forest products industry. Therefore, eliminating bureaucratic barriers like the state’s exclusive use of LEED can mean the difference between having a job and the unemployment line for some.
Maryland should not adopt a LEED-only green building policy. Instead, it should recognize all established green building programs, including Green Globes, which recognizes wood from Maryland’s SFI and ATFS forests, so that architects and designers can pick the system best suited for each project.

Also, the state should not grant a monopoly to LEED when it actually hurts Maryland citizens — the state’s tree farmers and 10,000 forest product industry workers.

By adopting green building policies that help keep Maryland’s forests intact and forest product workers on the job, state government is not only looking out for Maryland interests, it is nurturing support for the very environmental awareness which is at the heart of the green building movement.

Karin E. Miller, Executive Director
Maryland Forests Association Inc.

National Forest Products Week, week of October 19th

October 16th President Bush proclaimed the week of October 19th National Forest Products Week. During his statement, he declared his commitment to the protection of forests from harm. He also pledged to insure the responsible use of the nation's resources for future generations.

National Forest Products Week, 2008
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

During National Forest Products Week, we highlight our country's commitment to protect and wisely use America's forests for our Nation's prosperity and well-being.

Across our country, citizens rely on forest products to meet their daily needs. Our forests enable us to produce goods such as paper and furniture, provide raw materials such as lumber for homes and buildings, and offer job opportunities that bring economic security for many Americans.

My Administration is steadfast in its commitment to protect our forests from both manmade and natural harm. It is vital that we continue to make progress in conserving our natural resources and using them responsibly. Since 2002, we have worked to restore our forests and protected them against catastrophic fires as part of the Healthy Forests Initiative. Americans take great pride in our country's natural splendor, and by working together to be good stewards of the environment, we can leave our children and grandchildren a healthy and flourishing land.

Recognizing the importance of our forests in ensuring our Nation's well-being, the Congress, by Public Law 86-753 (36 U.S.C. 123), as amended, has designated the week beginning on the third Sunday in October of each year as "National Forest Products Week" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 19 through October 25, 2008, as National Forest Products Week. I call upon all Americans to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.


MFA 2008 Conference Registration deadline extended to Oct. 24

The Renewable Energy and the Role of Forests and Forestry conference will be held at the Loews Annapolis Hotel, beginning the evening of October 31st with a social and banquet with featured keynote speaker award-winning forest activist, Bruce Vincent of Libby, Montana.

Saturday's sessions begin with updates on State and National forestry issues will be given by MD State Forester Steven W. Koehn and Michael T. Goergen, Jr. Executive VP and CEO of the Society of American Foresters (SAF). Additional sessions on November 1st include The Role of Forests in Biomass Energy Production and Renewable Energy Projects for Landowners.

The conference is open to all and includes time to visit exhibits, for Q&A with the speakers, and networking with other attendees. The meeting has earned CFEs for Licensed Professional Forester and Master Loggers. Pre-registration is required.
Registration deadline has been extended until October 24th

Full agenda, registration brochure, plus speaker and hotel details are on the MFA website at . For more information about the conference contact: MFA Executive Director Karin Miller, or call the MFA office at 301-895-5369.

Grow the Vote

Maryland Forests Association has teamed up with the American Forest & Paper Association to provide our members information on issues before the U.S. Congress that affect this industry. Every day decisions are made that impact jobs and economic growth in forest products communities across the nation, and this site makes it easy to get involved and stay connected. Grow the Vote also allows you to Take Action on these hot issues and send letters to your Members of Congress with only a few clicks of your mouse! Check out their 2008 Election Information section.

Room block deadline approaches for MFA annual conference

Annapolis Awaits!Annapolis

Our conference site, the beautiful Loews Hotel Annapolis is located on West Street in the Historic District. In walking distance to quaint shops, the waterfront, the Naval Academy and much more.

Room Block deadline is October 3rd. To receive the best rate possible please contact Loews directly by October 3rd to reserve your room for our October 31-November 1st event.

Traditional Single or Double ~ $135 plus tax
Loews Annapolis Hotel
126 West Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Phone: (410) 263-7777

Dear MFA Members and Friends

September is speeding along, and so is the countdown to MFA's 2008 Conference on Renewable Energy and the Role of Forests and Forestry.

  • Have you made your hotel reservations and sent in your conference registration? If so, forward this email to a friend with an invite to attend the conference along with you.
  • If not, please don't procrastinate any longer. Deadlines are approaching quickly and we don't want you to miss out on what will be a great educational and networking opportunity.
  • The conference is open to all and includes time to visit exhibits, for Q&A with the speakers, and networking with other attendees. The meeting has earned CFEs for Licensed Professional Forester and Master Loggers.

Pre-registration is required. Full agenda, registration brochure, plus speaker and hotel details are on the MFA website at

Registration deadline is October 17th

If you have any questions or concerns about the event, or special needs that need to be addressed please contact me at the MFA office at 301-895-5369 or

Annapolis is beautiful in the fall. I hope to see you there!

Karin Miller, Executive Director
Maryland Forests Association

PSF to host listening sessions on SFA 2009

October the 23-24 at Partnership for Sustainable Forestry PSF) office in Annapolis office
contact Gary Allen to rsvp and for directions

PSF like your input on the elements on the proposed Sustainable Forests Act for 2009.
SFA Whitepaper, and SFA 2009 bill draft

MFA in conjunction with the Partnership for Sustainable Forestry (PSF) has been working on this legislation as a result of the outcomes of numerous forest commissions and reports. This is our opportunity to significantly impact the future of all Maryland's working landscapes. We need quality constructive input from all areas of interest in the long-term maintenance of our forests.

These listening sessions are your opportunity to ask questions and receive further infornaton on this legislative initiative. Please send your comments to Gary Allen, coordinator for the PSF and copy MFA too.

Thank you for helping to keeping our forests in forest.

Are you registered to vote this November??

Voting is a right and the ultimate expression of our freedom.

But you can’t vote if you’re not registered. Are you and your family members registered to vote?

In Maryland, you must be registered to vote by 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 to be able to vote in the 2008 Presidential Election. Registering is easy and takes only a few moments. You can get all the information and download a registration form and absentee ballot applications by visiting our website at

Make sure your voice counts on Election Day!

Make a Difference – Vote!

Make a Difference – Vote!

Our system of government has served as a model for democracies around the world. Even so, only about half of those eligible in the United States regularly use their most powerful tool: the right to vote. Translation? Only about half of us decide who will represent all of us.

· EVERY VOTE REALLY DOES MATTER Many fail to understand how critical each vote can be. Consider this: in the 2000 elections, fewer than 10,000 votes determined control of the entire U.S. government. That's only about 2 votes per elected state or federal official!

· MAKE A DIFFERENCE Because the cornerstone of our system is a government of the people, increased voter participation can and will improve how that system performs for each of us.

· STAND UP FOR OUR INDUSTRY Our industry has much at stake in this election. On Nov. 4, 2008, voters will elect thousands of state and local leaders, 11 Governors, 435 Members of Congress, 35 Senators and a new President. Each and every one of these elected officials has the ability to positively or negatively shape legislation affecting each of us, our company, and our communities.

· BECOME INFORMED We encourage you to visit for general information that will help you prepare for the upcoming elections. This website is designed to encourage individuals, regardless of political affiliations, to exercise their civic duties to learn about political issues and to vote their conscience on Election Day. This website does not endorse any specific political candidates, parties or causes.

Maryland Agricultural Commission Public Meeting and Tour Slated for Oct. 9 in Kent, Queen Anne’s Counties


ANNAPOLIS, MD (Sept. 17, 2008) – The Maryland Agricultural Commission will hold a public meeting in conjunction with its annual fall agricultural tour of Kent and Queen Anne’s counties on Thursday, October 9.

The public meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Kent County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, 400 High Street in Chestertown. (Parking will be available in rear of building on Calvert Street off Mill Street.) Anyone interested in farming and rural topics is encouraged to attend the meeting and have an opportunity to discuss issues and policy affecting agriculture and rural communities, exchange ideas, get better acquainted with the role of the Maryland Agricultural Commission, and meet the Commission members.

The Maryland Agricultural Commission is presently made up of 30 members who represent commodities and organizations across the state and serve as an advisory body to Maryland’s Secretary of Agriculture. As a group, the members address legislative and policy issues that affect Maryland agribusiness.

For further information, please call Florence Jordan or Buddy Bowling at the Maryland Department of Agriculture, 410-841-5882.

Renewable Resources and the Role of Forests and Forestry, Oct 31-Nov 1 at the Loews Hotel in historic Annapolis.

The new economics of world energy supply are driving rapid growth and innovation in biomass related fuels. Those who work at the ground level in implementing society's framework for protecting the environment are positioned at the leading edge of the changes and challenges of this discussion. MFA has invited leaders in the bio and alternative energy fields to speak on this fast changing field and to address the practical ways one can become involved charting the future of this industry in the State.

Join us, October 31 and November 1 in Annapolis!
October 17th registration deadline is quickly approaching
Save $20 by registering by September 20th!

MFA has a terrific line up of speakers to cover topics that are of center-stage importance to Maryland's forest community, including The Role of Forests in Biomass Energy Production and Renewable Energy Projects for Landowners as well as updates on State and National issues. The agenda has plenty of time built into it for Q&A with the speakers and discussion and networking with other attendees. Loews is a great facility and ample networking breaks in the conference will give you a chance to visit exhibits. Come early and enjoy touring around the historic district of Annapolis..
keynote speaker Bruce Vincent

America is ready for a new vision of conservation and environmental stewardship that is based upon hope instead of fear. In order to share this vision we must first reintroduce the American consumer to the processes and the people of production and then lead - not just fight - the discussion over our environment. Those who work at the ground level in implementing society's framework for protecting the environment are positioned at the leading edge of the changes and challenges of this discussion. That edge provides exciting opportunities and hope..

Bruce Vincent is a third generation logger from Libby, Montana Bruce helped form and is currently serving as President of Communities For A Great Northwest, Executive Director of Provider Pals and is co-owner of Environomics, Inc. Speaking throughout the United States and the world, Bruce has testified on resource issues before Congress and has appeared on several news programs such as "60 Minutes". Bruce has been named Timberman of the Year in Montana, National Forest Activist of the Year, received the Agri-Women's 2007 Veritas Award, and in 2004 received the inaugural Presidential Preserve America Award from President Bush. Bruce has been married to his wife Patti Jo for over 30 years and has four children, two sons-in-law, and one granddaughter. His current activities represent a family commitment to responsible environmentalism.

State of the State
Review of the past year and plans for the Future

Steve Koehn is the Director/State Forester at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service and he is responsible for the statewide delivery of all technical and financial forestry assistance programs on both public and private lands. Steve holds a B.S. in Forest Science from Penn State University. Steve is the former Chair of the MD/DE division of the Society of American Foresters, member of the National Association of State Foresters, Association of Consulting Foresters, of the Maryland Forests Association.

State of the Nation
Presentation on the Farm Bill and its impact on forest landowners

Michael T. Goergen Jr., is the Executive VP and CEO of the Society of American Foresters. Before serving in this leadership role, Michael was senior director of policy and programs (2001-02), director of forest policy (1999-2001), associate director of government affairs (1998-99), and Congressional liaison (1996-97). He joined SAF in 1996 after earning a master's in forestry, policy, and administration from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry-Syracuse. He holds a BS in environmental studies, policy, and management from SUNY CESF.

The Role of Forests in Biomass Energy Production
  • Woody Waste as Fuel for Renewable Energy~ Bill Rodenberg, CEM Energy Management Strategies, Inc
  • Cellulosic Ethanol - Fact or Fiction ~ Kirk Martin, Ascendant Partners
  • Wood Energy at Community Scale - The Leadership Roles for Foresters, Landowners and Logging Professionals ~ John T. Karakash, Resource Professionals Group.
Renewable Energy Projects for Landowners
  • Wind Power Basics for Forest Landowners ~ Patrick Doyle -Director of Development, Northeast Horizon Wind Energy
  • Financing Small Wind Projects ~ Bruce Weaver -Business & Community Specialist, USDA Rural Development

Full agenda, speaker and hotel details are on the MFA website at If you need further information, please contact me at the MFA office. Payment can be made by check, VISA or MasterCard. Final deadline for registration is October 17th. I

We hope to see you at the conference. You'll be glad you came!

SEPTEMBER 12 - Maryland Tree Farm Field Day

Maryland Tree Farm will be holding a Eastern Shore Tree Farm Field Day on September 12th(Rain or Shine). The featured Tree Farm will be that of Senator Lowell Stoltzfus who represents Somerset, Wicomico & Worcester Counties in Maryland's General Assembly.

The Stoltzfus Tree Farm
4680 Back Shelltown Road, Marion, MD 21838

All are invited
Cost: $10.00 per person

Program: 10:00 am
Laurence Wiseman, President & CEO of American Forest Foundation
“What’s New for Tree Farmers”
Neil Sampson, President of The Sampson Group, Inc. and President & of Vision Forestry
“Carbon Market and Opportunity for Tree Farmers”
Doug Wigfield, Wildlife Biologist
“Eagles and Turkeys, are they compatible?”
John Griffin, Secretary, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Roger Richardson, Secretary, Maryland Department of Agriculture

Tree Farm Lunch: 12:00 pm
Fried Chicken, Sodas, Coleslaw, Potato Salad
(Door Prizes - including a Stihl Chain Saw)

Tour: 1:00 pm
Tree Farm tour with the Stoltzfus Family
Questions? Contact: Lowell Stoltzfus at 410-742-3999
or Email:

To register, send payment ($10 per person payable to MD Tree Farm System) to Billie Laws
~ PO Box 11 ~ Snow Hill, MD 21863-0011.

Forestry Equipment and Working Capital Loan Fund

by Steve McHenry, Executive Director, MARBIDCO

I want to make members of Maryland's forestry community aware of a new
MARBIDCO program designed especially to help Maryland's forest products-related enterprises to access capital for business modernization on an affordable basis. The Forestry Equipment and Working Capital Loan Fund was recently approved by the MARBIDCO Board of Directors to help meet the unique financing needs of Maryland's smaller forestry-related businesses. MARBIDCO funded 16 rural business loan requests last year (our first year of operation), but most of these businesses were agricultural operations of one type or another. Because of special challenges facing forestry businesses in Maryland today, MARBIDCO plans to utilize more liberal underwriting guidelines than normal when making loans under this program. The maximum loan amount is $150,000. A program description and loan application form is attached for your review. Please pass this information on to any interested parties.

In addition, I also wanted to let you know that the MARBIDCO Board has approved the establishment of a Sustainable Forestry Emergency Loan Fund program, as a revolving loan fund, to provide low-interest loans to qualified forest landowners to assist with short-term family financial needs (i.e., serious medical emergencies and death/estate tax situations). A major aim of this program is to prevent woodland fragmentation and the conversion of forestland into development. These loans would be secured by the private forestland itself, operating under an approved forest management plan, and the forestland at issue would not be able to be sold for development during the period that the loan agreement is in effect. This program is not yet capitalized, but we are working hard on trying to find some seed funding for this program. Also of interest, a "rapid-response" Forestland Easement Option Purchase Program is also under active development that would be loosely modeled on the Next Generation Farmland Acquisition Program (a program that was partially funded by the Maryland General Assembly this year). Please stay tuned over the coming months for developments pertaining to these forestland conservation programs. With some good luck, and your active support, we hope to make these programs operational in 2009.

And for more information about any of MARBIDCO's loan, grant, or land preservation facilitation programs, please visit us on the web at Thanks.