Comments sought on proposed Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009

Comments Sought: download SFA Whitepaper, and SFA 2009 bill draft

Comment deadline is July 15th
MFA would like your input on the elements in the proposed Sustainable Forests Act for 2009. 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. Please send your comments to
Gary Allen, coordinator for the PSF and copy MFA too. You can also post your comments via this blog.

Thank you for your input to keeping our forests in forest.

The Abundant Forests Alliance

The Abundant Forests Alliance (AFA) educates consumers and customers about the abundance of our U.S. forests, industry efforts to ensure their sustainability, and why everyone can continue to feel good about using wood and paper products. Learn more by visiting their site for industry members at

It’s your single source for the latest information about the many good things our forest industry is doing to ensure that our forests will remain abundant for generations to come. The site contains downloadable materials and proprietary information you can use to communicate with your customers and reassure them that U.S. forests are growing and that wood and paper products from managed forests are an environmentally responsible choice

Leading companies of America's wood and paper products industry have joined to form the Abundant Forests Alliance. They want consumers and our customers to understand how sustainable forestry practices, new technologies, increased recycling and other advances are making it possible for our nation to have both the wood and paper products it needs, as well as a healthy and thriving forest resource. By working together to “Renew. Reuse. Respect.SM” this remarkable resource and all it provides, there can be abundant forests for generations to come.

Latest issue of Agro-Ecology newsletter online

The Spring 2008 issue of the Center for Agro-Ecology newsletter is now available online at

Included is a story on Three Studies Explore Options for Maryland Forests. The studies focus on several topics important to Maryland’s forests. The first taps into a concern that makes news almost daily—climate change—and the role that forests might play in slowing the trend. The second study looks at markets for wood products that are poised for success in Maryland. The third measures non-market values of state forests and the ways in which management decisions can affect them. Full copies of the reports are available from the Center at

'Cutting down a tree is not a bad thing'

Environmentalists argue for pro-active trimming measures in the Pinelands
(Published: Monday, June 16, 2008)

PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP - The paper used to print this newspaper every day is trucked in from mills in Canada and Tennessee.

It used to come from mills in New Jersey, but where there once were dozens of mills throughout the state, there are now very few. Today there are forests in place of those factories, and the state Pinelands Commission protects more than 1 million acres of forested land in seven counties.

This disturbs people such as Robert R. Williams, the vice president of forestry operations for Land Dimensions Engineering of Glassboro, Gloucester County. Humanity has not curbed its use of wood products, he says while walking through the woods in Brendan T. Byrne State Forest in Burlington County. The wood just comes from somewhere else.

Demand for wood around the world is soaring, and while New Jersey has preserved hundreds of acres, areas the size of Panama are deforested each year around the world.

This is an old argument for Williams, who has been hard at work for years lobbying legislators and regulators to change their approach to managing the state's forests. But as the country begins to reconcile its environmental needs with its economic needs, he hopes his words will stop falling on deaf ears.

"Disturbance is what drives the system," he said, standing on top of a tree felled by a tornado a few years ago to illustrate his point. "It's positive for the ecosystem."

Williams' company advocates for using more aggressive techniques, such as controlled burnings and tree thinning, to improve ecological stability.

He claims the hands-off approach that intuitively seems best for the environment is not the most responsible at all. He says it is a complex issue, but recent and ongoing research demonstrates ecosystems can be improved by cutting trees and creating more diverse habitats in our forests.

The added benefit, he said, is that the cut trees can be used to supply a niche industry, one that doesn't include the added carbon imprint from shipping those wood products in from around the world.

"I think the problem is people don't understand that cutting down a tree is not necessarily a bad thing," said Beth Ciuzio, stewardship project director for the New Jersey Audubon Society.

Ciuzio says the Audubon Society is one of several groups that are growing more conscious of the positive effects of managing forests rather then letting them sit untouched. She points out that several species, such as the red-headed woodpecker and northeastern pine snake, benefit from habitats with fewer trees and more disturbed area.

Williams' ideas are steadily receiving better reception in the state as well. A proposed project would see the state thin the pinelands in the 100,000 acres around the Warren Grove gunnery range - the epicenter of a major fire last year that affected both Ocean and Burlington counties - and create buffers along several dirt roads that run through the forest. But the Pinelands Commission says it is careful do anything too radical from its current positions.

Pinelands spokesman Paul Leakan says any forest management activities must be carried out in a way that is not detrimental to the environment and protects the region's resources.

Nevertheless, there is a growing recognition that something must be done. With paper and lumber prices increasing with demand, endangered species struggling and forest fires an annual event, the need to take active steps in managing forests is becoming more evident.

"People believe nature will heal itself," said Jim Barresi, state forester with the Department of Environmental Protection's Forest Service. "That's part of the problem."

Applications now being accepted for Woodlands Stewards Training (formerly MD Coverts Program)

The Maryland Woodland Stewards Project is an educational program of the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension and the National Wild Turkey Federation. It teaches sound forest and wildlife management practices to a select group of people each year. In return, participants, known as Maryland Woodland Stewards, apply these principles to their own property and actively encourage others to practice good forest stewardship.

Now Accepting Applications!

Maryland Woodland Stewards training is scheduled for October 9 - 12, 2008. If you are interested, please review the documents below and complete the application. You will be notified by the end of July.

Location: Camp Pecometh in Centreville, MD
Contact: Nevin Dawson 410-827-8056 ext.125

Program to Teach Professionals How to Create and Manage Backyard Woodlots

The University of Maryland Cooperative Extension in cooperation with Penn State Cooperative Extension and the Penn State School of Forestry will conduct a program designed to educate green industry professionals about managing backyard forests. “Landscapes and Backyard Woodlots: Business Opportunities for the Green Industry” will take place Thursday, November 11 in Gettysburg, PA at the Adams County Cooperative Extension office.

“Backyard woodlots offer landscapers, arborists and others with significant opportunities to expand the traditional business model,” says Jonathan Kays, natural resources specialist with the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension. “And this program will provide them with the tools and knowledge they need to serve the expanding market in managing and creating backyard woodlots.” Topics will include:

  • principles of forest & wildlife management
  • establishment and maintenance of small tree plantations
  • creating natural areas through natural succession
  • invasive species control
  • recreational trails,
  • wildlife habitat improvement,
  • forest health improvements
  • merchandizing trees, and
  • much more.

PDA and MDA pesticide credits, as well as ISA credits will be awarded to licensed applicators.

Cost of the program is $75 for those who register by November 4, and $95 thereafter. The registration fee covers lunch, program materials, The Woods in Your Backyard workbook and CD (NRAES -184), and break snacks. Pre-registration is required.

For additional information and registration forms, please contact Steve Bogash at 717-263-9226 or Click on the title link to access the brochure.

Oil boom makes chicken manure a favored fertilizer

The Associated Press
May 29, 2008 5:42 AM BERNVILLE, Pa. The oil price boom is turning chicken manure into a form of liquid gold for an Upper Bern Township farmer.

State limits plan to curb pollution on chicken farms

By Tom Pelton
Sun reporter
May 24 2008
Responding to complaints from farmers, the O'Malley administration has scaled back its proposal to allow the state's environmental agency to start policing pollution from the Eastern Shore's huge poultry industry.

Thank a tree

Got Shade? ~ Thank a tree.

Got Clean Air And Birds Singing In Your Neighborhood?

Thank a tree.


Shade from trees reduces the need for air-conditioning in the summer. Well-placed trees can reduce summer air-conditioning costs by 15% to 30%.


Trees in urban and suburban communities are important for a variety of reasons:

· Trees improve the look and feel of neighborhoods.

· Trees can increase property values by 15% or more.

· Trees help manage storm water runoff and reduce erosion.

· Trees absorb carbon dioxide and other air pollutants.

· Trees provide a home for birds and other wildlife.

· Trees produce oxygen !

If you have been thinking about adding a tree to your yard,

this may be a good time to do it!

For further information please contact:

Baltimore County Dept. of Environmental Protection and Resource Management (DEPRM)
Diana Cohen , Coordinator, Growing Home Campaign

Phone: (410) 887-4488 Ext. 287