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.

Executive Summary on Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009

Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009
Below is an Executive Summary of the SFA of 2009. The SFA bill draft and the SFA white paper are available on the MFA website by following the links above. Comments regarding the SFA of 2009 should be directed to MFA president John Foster at


Study after study has documented the importance of sustainable forestry to the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort and the economic underpinning of rural Maryland. But, few understand the attendant environmental and economic benefits of this resource-based industry. The Partnership for Sustainable Forestry promotes an understanding of these benefits, all of which are measurable and critical to Maryland's compliance with the 2010 goals of the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement. The envisioned Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009 is intended to help prevent further forest land conversion, estimated at 100 acres per day within the Bay watershed, by promoting forest land retention through incentives and favorable public policies in ways deemed consistent with the 2010 Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund and the 2007 Forest Conservation Initiative. The 2008 Interim will set the stage for the public debate during the 2009 Session.

Academic Study-related Findings and Recommendations: The Report summarizes various studies which quantify the benefits of sustainable forestry ranging from The State of the Chesapeake Forests and the Governor's Commission on Protecting the Chesapeake Bay through Sustainable Forestry to the Governor's Climate Change Commission.

Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009: Specific provisions of the proposed Act are briefly noted below.
  • Preamble: Explains the intent and purpose of the Act in plain English.
  • Declaration of Policy: Makes clear legislative understanding of the environmental and economic importance of sustainable forestry within the State of Maryland.
  • Local Planning and Zoning: Encourages, not mandates, local governments to promote forestry through local planning and zoning practices that are not more restrictive than existing State policies.
  • Promotes Landowner Outreach Efforts: Only 1 in 4 forest landowners in Maryland have adopted a Forest Stewardship Plan. The proposal would help underwrite such outreach efforts by Maryland's forest conservancy district boards in ways comparable to Maryland's agricultural boards under MALPF.
  • Removes Funding Cap on the Woodland Incentives Fund: The current $200,000 cap on monies credited to the Woodland Incentives Fund, realized from the conversion of woodland to development via the agricultural transfer tax, would be repealed, meaning WIF would receive 100% of these proceeds.
  • Funding for Forestry Activities under WIF Expanded: WIF is Maryland's only forestry-related funding program; there are no other subsidies for forestry. The bill delineates new efforts to promote forestry.
  • Program Open Space and Rural Legacy Programs: Defines and allows "working landscapes" to be eligible for easement acquisition comparable to MALPF.
  • Renames MALPF: Changes the title of MALPF to the "Maryland Agricultural and Forestry Land Preservation Foundation" consistent with the intent of current law (Section 2-501, Agriculture Article).
  • Financial Incentives: (1) up to a $500 income tax credit for the development of Forest Stewardship Plans; (2) exemptions from the sales tax for the purchase of forestry equipment; (3) provides an exemption from the property tax for certain forestry products and commodities; (4) exempts forestry equipment used for manufacturing from property tax; (4) provides a 15-year State property tax exemption for forest lands protected under an easement, but subject to an approved Forest Stewardship Plan; and (5) increases the agricultural transfer tax to 7.5% on the conversion of 5 plus acres of woodland to development, meaning more funding for WIF.
  • Nuisance Suit Protection against Forestry Operations: strengthens the protection of forestry operations from nuisance suits under existing law.
  • Expression of Legislative Intent: Several uncodified sections are set forth to promote forestry from a renewable energy perspective to a modernization of the sediment and erosion control law.

MD DNR Job openings for Foresters

Forester I (2 positions)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Maryland Phone: (410) 260-8070
Website: click to view

Forester I positions: The Maryland Department of Natural Resources - Forest Service is currently accepting applications for two fulltime Forester I positions.

The first position located in Worcester County is assigned to working on State Forest lands. A primary job function requires skills in GIS mapping and database management, utilizing ArcGIS software.

The second position located in Charles County will primarily focus on private land forest management work.

The closing date for applications is September 19th, for additional information and to print out applications please go to the Maryland DNR jobs website at:

State applications are also available by calling (410) 260-8070 or