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.

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