Change is affecting every aspect of forests. Many forest landowners in Maryland are struggling to plan for the future of their family lands in the face of reduced timber values and increased regulation. But with change comes opportunity.

New markets for sustainable forest products and environmental services offer new opportunities for landowners, as citizens statewide begin to recognize the public values of private forests. It will take smart and inclusive planning, strategic public and private investment, and leadership at all levels to prepare Maryland's landowners, communities, forestry professionals, and forest industry to succeed and thrive in this new world, and your input is important!

Regional Listening Sessions will play a direct role in setting public policy that will affect your future. What kinds of technical support, educational opportunities, and cost share programs do you need to help you manage your forest land and market forest products in a changing world?

Local and state leaders are faced with tough choices over how to spend scarce resources, and need to hear from you. The listening sessions are tailored to give you the opportunity to express your concerns and needs. All listening session will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the locations BELOW.

For further information, contact:
Ms. Nancy Nunn
Coordinator, Development
Harry R. Hughes Center for AgroiEcology, Inc.
Phone: 410-827-8056, ext. 128,
or visit the Center's website:


June 8, Monday
Harford Community College
(Room E132)
401 Thomas Run Rd
Bel Air, MD 21015

June 10, Wednesday
Ramada Inn and Conference Center
300 S Salisbury Blvd
Salisbury, MD 21801

June 15, Monday
College of Southern Maryland
(Building BI, Rm113)
8730 Mitchell Road
LaPlata, MD 20646

June 16, Tuesday
Urbana Regional Library (Urbana Community Room)
9020 Amelung St
Frederick, MD 21704

June 17, Wednesday
Frostburg State University
Compton Rm. 226

101Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532

Pre-registration is NOT required.

Some of the key issues to be discussed include, but are not limited to:
  • Retention and Management of Privately Owned Forests
  • Economic Viability of Maryland's Forest Products Industry
  • Retention and Management of Publicly Owned Forests
  • The diversity of Maryland's forests and the need to maintain that diversity
  • Expansion of Value-Added and Alternative Eco-Enterprise Opportunities.
This is an open session ~ come and express your concerns.

Event Sponsors
The Forestry Summit and listening sessions are sponsored by representatives from: The Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, University of Maryland Cooperative Extension, The Biophilia Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Maryland Forests Association, Chesapeake Bay Program, Department of Natural Resources Forest Service, The Conservation Fund, The Pinchot Institute, and forest industry.

More on Sustainable Forestry Act

The bill was signed by the Governor on Thursday, May 7th in Annapolis.

The Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009 ~ Senate Bill 549 (passed) seeks to encourage sustainable management of the State’s forest resources. Among other things, the bill:
  • requires local agricultural preservation advisory boards and forest conservation district boards to meet annually with each other;
  • modifies right-to-farm provisions to include silvicultural (forestry) operations;
  • renames the Forest Advisory Commission as the Sustainable Forestry Council and specifies its purpose;
  • modifies the allowable uses of the Forest or Park Reserve Fund to include offsetting the costs to DNR for developing and implementing a forest health emergency contingency program;
  • expands the Woodland Incentives Fund’s revenue sources and uses;
  • authorizes local forestry boards to impose fees to offset specified costs;
  • modifies the issues that may be addressed within the land use element of a local jurisdiction’s comprehensive plan to include forestry, and modifies the State Economic Growth, Resource Protection, and Planning Policy to include the promotion of sustainable forestry management;
  • encourages the provision of incentives to promote in-state production of renewable energy, with consideration being given to biomass-fueled facilities; and
  • requires DNR to develop specified strategies, plans, recommendations, programs, and reports.

News from Annapolis

Four bills with direct impacts on forests and forestry made it through the Senate and House and are on their way to the Governor for his signature. Bill signing is set for May 7th in Annapolis.
  • Sustainable Forestry Act (SB 549) - Passed w/amendments
  • Natural Resources - No Net Loss of Forest Policy - Forest Conservation Act (SB 666) - Passed w/amendments
  • Natural Resources - Roadside Trees - Protection and Enforcement (HB 800/SB 581) -passed w/ amendments
  • Allegany County and Garrett County - Exceptional Hauling Permits for Forestry Products - Sunset Repeal (SB 449) - Passed

Also, while the State Capital Projects - High Performance Buildings - Green Globe Rating (SB 243) - did not pass, the issue of MD's Green Building Council's pervasive LEED-only bias is strongly on the radar of the legislature and is being dealt with through other channels. MFA is continuing to work with the Green Building Initiative and American Forests and Paper Association on this issue to get wood from Maryland's Tree Farms the recognition and fair access to markets that they deserve.

MFA's Bills to Watch Final Status Report

Maryland DNR Forest Service Announces Online Public Meeting Public can comment on State Forest annual work plans

A thriving forest in western Maryland. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Service is conducting an online public meeting for 30 days to solicit comments on the proposed 2010 fiscal year work plans for four State Forests: Green Ridge, Pocomoke, Potomac-Garrett, and Savage River State Forests. recently developed by Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service. PPublic input will help us to ensure that our State Forest’s resources are prudently managed for the benefit of all our citizens and the resource itself. The proposed work plans will be available for public viewing and comments beginning April 24, 2009, and running through May 24, 2009.

These annual work plans identify the work that is to be accomplished on the forest in the next fiscal year within the scope of the forest's long-range management plan. The work that will be accomplished includes silvicultural operations, maintenance and construction projects and other work to be performed on the forest.

This public forum is the third step in a three-step review process to establish the work plan. The first is an internal review by a team of resource professionals from the fields of wildlife, fisheries, heritage, forestry, recreation, water resources, and resource planning. The second step is a review by an appointed advisory committee. After the period of comment, the forest manager will make final adjustments to the plan.

Participants can offer comments online through an email link for each specific State Forest Annual Work Plan. Each proposal is accompanied with a description, field data summary, objective, and a map of the vicinity. We ask that all comments to please be specific for each annual work plan. Comments, which are too general or vague, may make it difficult to utilize your concerns and expertise in making modifications to the work plan proposals.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at

View the work plans for the following forests:

Green Ridge
Potomac Garrett
Savage River

Email comments should be sent to:

The American Forest Foundation is now accepting comments on the REVISED Standards of Sustainability for Forest Certification on Private Lands

Washington, D.C. - AFF is now accepting comments on its revised Standards of Sustainability for Forest Certification on Private Lands (2009-2013) beginning today, Friday, May 1st through Monday, June 29, 2009 at 5:00pm (EDT).

The AFF Standards are the basis for its forest certification program, the American Tree Farm System (ATFS. The revised Standards were developed by the Independent Standards Review Panel.

All stakeholders are welcome and encouraged to comment on the revised Standards. For more information on the American Forest Foundation's standards setting procedures, please visit

During the review process, it is extremely important that the Panel hear from all stakeholders - family forest landowners, Tree Farmers, volunteers, natural resource and forestry professionals, conservation organizations, PLT coordinators, educators and volunteers, and other partners.

The 60-day public comment period begins Friday, May 1, 2009 through Monday, June 29, 2009 at 5:00pm (EDT).

To submit comments on the revised AFF Standards, please visit or for more information.

The American Forest Foundation (AFF) is a nonprofit 501(C)(3) conservation and education organization that strives to ensure the sustainability of America's family forests for present and future generations. Our vision is to create a future where North American forests are sustained by the public which understands and values the social, economic, and environmental benefits they provide to our communities, our nation, and our world.

Founded in 1941, ATFS is the oldest and largest forest conservation, certification, and advocacy program in the United States. ATFS promotes the sustainable management of forests through education and outreach to private forest landowners. ATFS has enrolled 24 million certified acres of privately owned forestland and 910,000 family forest owners who are committed to excellence in forest stewardship. Landowners manage their forestlands for wood, water, wildlife, and recreation with assistance from 4,680 volunteer foresters.