Upcoming Forest Stewardship Education Program webinars

The University of Maryland Extension, Forest Stewardship Education Program, announces the following webinars being offered in February, 2011:

February 15, 2011; 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., EST

Emerging and Current Forest Threats in Maryland

This webinar will focus on emerging and current forest threats in Maryland with a special focus on Thousand Cankers Disease and Emerald Ash Borer.  For each of these threats, damage and identification will be discussed as well as what action should be taken if you suspect a forest threat in your woodland.

This webinar will be presented by the following University of Maryland Extension Educators and Specialists:

·         Nevin Dawson, Forestry Stewardship Educator
·         Stanton Gill, Regional Extension Specialist, Nursery & Greenhouse Management
·         Karen Rane, Director of Plant Clinic & Extension Specialist
There is no charge for participation, but registration is required.  Use the link below to register online.  Webinar details and access will be emailed at a later date.  A recording will be available shortly after the webinar takes place.

February 23, 2011; 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., EST and 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., EST.

Options for Converting Lawn to Natural Areas
From the Publication, The Woods in Your Backyard

Stop mowing!  Enjoy the benefits of converting lawn to a natural area.  By establishing or enlarging a natural area on your property, you can improve wildlife habitat and water quality, reduce noise and air pollution, and create a place to enjoy the outdoors.  Spring is around the corner and now is the time to begin planning a natural area on your land.

This webinar will be presented by Jonathan Kays, Natural Resource Extension Specialist and author of the publication, The Woods in Your Backyard: Learning to Create and Enhance Natural Areas Around Your Home.  For more information on this publication and educational program go to www.naturalresources.umd.edu/EducationalWBY.html 

There is no charge for participation, but registration is required.  Use the links below to register online.  Webinar details and access will be emailed at a later date.  A recording will be available shortly after the webinar takes place.
Register online:

If you have any problems registering for these webinars, contact Pam Thomas at 301-432-2767 x315 or pthomas@umd.edu.

Maryland Department of the Environment’s (MDE) Responsible Personnel Certification Program for Erosion and Sediment Control

(“Green Card” Class)

Sponsored by the Allegany Soil Conservation District

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 (8:00AM – 12:30PM)

$20.00 per person

Allegany College of Maryland Continuing Education Building Room CE-8
State law requires that any responsible personnel involved in grading or other soil disturbing activities be knowledgeable about sediment and erosion control principles and to have a certificate of attendance at the Maryland Department of the Environment’s (MDE) approved training program (“Green Card “ class).

Pre-registration is required for this course. Please complete the bottom portion of this form and return to Allegany Soil Conservation District, 12407 Naves Cross Road NE, Cumberland, MD 21502, along with your check payable to Allegany SCD. Any questions, please call Craig Hartsock at 301-777-1747 ext. 108. NOTE: Loggers can obtain the required training by attending this session.

DNR Signs Groundbreaking Memorandum Of Understanding Dedicated To Healthy, Keeping Productive Forests

Annapolis, Md. (January 24, 2011) —
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has signed a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding with six other federal and state agencies dedicated to keeping healthy and productive forests throughout the State.

“By improving how our partnerships function, and improving how we plan the delivery of our respective programs, we anticipate the forest landowner will get better service and working landscapes will benefit,” said Steve Koehn, State Forester for DNR. “Better forest management results in more benefits for all Marylanders: healthy forests boost local economies, clean our air, filter our water, regulate temperatures, provide habitat for wildlife and provide pleasant green-scapes for our everyday activities.”

The other partnering agencies include: the Maryland Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards; the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts; the Maryland Department of Agriculture; the University of Maryland Extension; and the United States Departments of Agriculture - Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Under this agreement, the agencies will work together to be more effective in providing forest owners and managers with technical and financial assistance to improve the health, diversity and production of forests on privately owned lands — 76 percent of all forests in Maryland.

follow link to full article

The full text of the memorandum is available at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/forests/pdfs/MOUwithNRCS.pdf.

Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Industry in Garrett County

Upcoming Educational Programs:University of Maryland Extension Logo

New! Brown Bag Series Hosted by UMD Extension

University of Maryland Extension in Garrett County will host a series of lunchtime educational meetings beginning in February 2011. The round table forum will encourage open discussion of issues related to Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling. The video, Shale Gas and America's Future, produced by the American Clean Skies Foundation (an industry-based foundation), will be viewed and discussed during the February sessions.

February's forums are designed for those eager to gain a basic understanding of the potential environmental and economic impacts of the Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling process.

Feel free to bring your lunch to enjoy while watching the video.

Please contact Mikal Zimmerman at 301-334-6960 by February 18th to reserve a seat at your preferred location. Dates are subject to change due to inclement weather.

UME Brown Bag Lunch Forum
McHenry at
Garrett College
February 22, 2011
12:00 - 1:00 pm

Friendsville at Friendsville Rescue Squad
February 23, 2011
12:00 - 1:00 pm

Oakland at University of Maryland Extension Office
February 24, 2011
12:00 - 1:00 pm

Ocean City opens poll on how to rebuild boardwalk

Ocean City officials are asking beach fans for their opinions on how the town should rebuild the resort's iconic boardwalk. While there are public hearings set for March 7, the town has opened an online poll to gather more input on three options.

The approaches under consideration include an all-wood surface; a wood surface with a plain concrete tram lane; and a wood surface with a concrete tram lane stamped to look like wood.

Repairs and replacements are needed because of years of weathering, and wear accelerated by the trams and other heavy vehicles. The poll is available at http://www.oceancitymd.gov, and at http://www.ococean.com.

Webinar - Your Land Your Legacy…February 16

The average age of a woodland owner is over 60 years old.  In the coming years, a large percentage of woodland owners will need to make decisions about the future of their land.  Land is often a landowner’s most valuable financial asset. However, land is not like other assets. Because land can be connected to memories, experiences, and feelings not normally associated with assets such as stocks and bonds, your land may also have significant personal value. Deciding what to do with your land brings with it the challenge of providing for the financial and personal needs of you and your family.  

The good news is that land is a flexible asset that lends itself to creative solutions for gaining financial and personal value.  The ForestConnect Webinar Series continues on February 16, 2011 with Paul Catanzaro of the University of Massachusetts who will give the presentation “Your Land, Your Legacy:  Deciding the Future of Your Land.”  This webinar will discuss the role of estate planning as it pertains to land and its conservation, provide tips on family communication towards goal setting for the land, outline the professionals that woodland owners should seek for assistance, and learn from the stories of other woodland owners.  This webinar will not provide direct legal advice to owners, but will prepare owners and their families to start the estate planning process.  Supplemental reading for this webinar can be found at http://www.masswoods.net/images/stories/pdf/ylyl_web.pdf  

MFA's 2011 Legislative Notebook preview is now online

2011 cover
MFA's 2011 Legislative Notebook has headed to the printer and will soon be delivered to each and every legislator and executive branch leader within Maryland's government.  You can view the Notebook online in a pdf format by clicking on the title link.  Download Adobe Reader to open.

Four Key Issues for 2011
Within MFA's Legislative Notebook, are white papers (policy papers) on each of the following key issues identified for this year:
  • DIVERSIFY LOCAL ECONOMIES  - Family Forest Landowners create jobs!
  • BIOENERGY - It seems as if we forgot that wood Burns!
  • FOREST/TREE BIOTHREATS- Costing Maryland millions of dollars

ongoing threats to Maryland's forest ecology and economy

John Jastrzembski, Maryland Forests Association President, examines a bow of a hemlock tree infested by the hemlock woolly adelgid.  This Asian insect has spread throughout approximately 20 states and is now killing hemlock trees and forests in Maryland.  There are many insects and diseases that are wrecking havoc on Maryland's forest ecology and economy.

Maryland Forests Association Initiative Promotes Forestry-based Jobs

The Maryland Forests Association (MFA), Maryland’s premier forest advocacy membership group is encouraging state run agencies, other forest advocacy groups, trade associations and the forest products industry to work together to promote economically viable and sustainable forest management. 
 Managing our trees and forests create jobs and helps makes our state sustainable.  This initiative is designed to increase the forest economic impact in Maryland.   “We have a green and renewable resource if it is nurtured and cared for scientifically”, stated John Jastrzembski, President of the MFA and Professor of Forestry at Allegany College of Maryland.  “Sustainable forests are healthy, vibrant, improve quality of life, and create jobs.  All Marylanders benefit from healthy, well managed forests.  This is evident with the recently enacted 2009 Maryland Sustainable Forestry Act, the most comprehensive state forestry legislation in the nation”, exclaimed Jastrzembski.
William R. Miles, speaking on behalf of the Association of Forest Industries, stated “The nationally-acclaimed Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009 sets forth statutory strategies intended to promote the retention of privately-owned forest land because of their measurable environmental and economic contributions to the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort and rural resource-based communities.  In short, this historic Act – a model for national emulation -- makes clear that forestry is the preferred land use within the State of Maryland and that every reasonable policy-related effort should be advanced to promote forest land retention.”
“The New Page Luke mill is Maryland’s largest forest products company and has a long history of conservation of natural resources, having been established in Allegany County in 1888,” stated Pat Moore, Luke Mill Manager.  “Our operation currently employs approximately 950 individuals, produces 1,500 tons per .org day of coated paper, and uses approximately 4,000 tons of wood per day as a raw material.  Responsible forest management is critical to ensuring an adequate supply of wood fiber for our papermaking operation, and we applaud Maryland for the great work that they are doing in this area.”
Glatfelter is another large employer in the state and primarily situated on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  Tom Wieland, Regional Forest Manager of Glatfelter noted that the recession may be technically over but signs that our forest products suppliers and family forest landowners are struggling. 
“Our Forests are strategically important.”, commented State Forester Steve Koehn, who spearheads forestry issues for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and is the past president of the National Association of State Foresters.  “Our state forests, family owned forests, and industrial partners provide a myriad of  benefits for Marylanders. Our forests are important for improving air and water quality, storing carbon, improving quality of life, enhancing wildlife habitat and providing sustainable jobs”    
“We want people to understand that forest management includes using forests in a sustainable fashion”, said Chris Holmgren, a forest products operator located in Montgomery County.  “I love working in the woods and utilizing trees that in many cases are destined for a landfill.  I create furniture and other products from these waste materials.   It drives me crazy that people think I am destroying forest.  I am a conservationist. I represent a portion of Maryland’s green industry. I am a small business owner.  I am proud to promote sustainable forest management in Maryland.
Maintaining Maryland's forests is crucial in protecting wildlife habitat and imperative in improving the quality of our streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. “Supporting a vibrant and sustainable forest based economy is an important way to ensure that our forests remain forests by affording landowners a sustainable revenue opportunity as an alternative to development. Growing green forest based jobs can be good for both Maryland's natural resources and it's local economies,” exclaimed Craig Highfield, coordinator of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay's Forestry for the Bay program. 
“The Maryland Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards, with “Forestry Boards” in every county encourages local jurisdictions to manage their forested resources wisely. We are losing approximately 7000 acres of forest annually in Maryland.  This simply is not sustainable and we are working at the county level to help conserve Maryland’s forests and educate the public about how individuals can help and the many benefits of preserving trees,” added Jim Bardsley, Association President, biologist, and Anne Arundel County resident.  
"Our forests are critical to Maryland’s future and the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, not just ecologically but economically too”, said Gary G. Allen, Chairman of the new Sustainable Forestry Council created by the 2009 Act and appointed by the Governor O’Malley to define and lead the effort to sustain Maryland’s forest lands into the 21st Century. “Sustainable management of our forest resources will produce sustainable jobs,” Allen emphasized.
In Maryland, the forest products industry and associated green industries including arborculture, urban design, and nursery management produce 37,000 jobs.  Managed forest can create more jobs.  “Nurturing our forests and trees nurtures jobs”, said Steve Castrogiovanni, President of the Maryland Arborist Association, “a green Maryland benefits everyone.”
“Maryland’s forest industry contributes $7 billion in economic output with 37,000 jobs. There are 130,000 family owned forests in Maryland,” states Karin Miller, Executive Director of the Maryland Forests Association. “MFA works to insure that vibrant forests are maintained throughout the State, providing diverse economic and environmental benefits to all Marylanders.” 

For further information visit MFA's Website at http://mdforests.org or contact MFA at 301-895-5369 or via email at director@mdforests.org. 


WASHINGTON - Maryland State Forester Steven W. Koehn was elected last month to the independent Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.® (SFI®) Board of Directors.

Koehn is past president of the National Association of State Foresters, which passed a policy statement in 2008 stating that all forest certification programs make positive contributions to forest sustainability. "I welcome the opportunity to work with SFI to raise awareness of the important role certification plays to encourage sustainable management of America's forests," he said today.

Koehn has been director and state forester with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Forest Service, for almost 10 years. He played a vital leadership role in the passage of the Maryland Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009, which recognizes that an important way to improve the health of Maryland's vast Chesapeake Bay ecosystem is through healthy forests.

Koehn said he is particularly interested in working with the U.S. Green Building Council to open up its LEED certified wood credit to all certification programs. "Limiting the forest certification credit, as the LEED rating tool currently does, denies credit to the vast majority of domestic well-managed forests and certified forests," he said. "This is not good for our forests or our communities."

The 18-member multi-disciplinary SFI board of directors, which is totally responsible for independent, non-profit SFI Inc., represents environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Current board members include representatives of environmental, professional and academic groups, independent loggers, family forest landowners, public officials, labor and the forest products sector.

"The SFI program values the important contribution made by public land managers like Steve Koehn," said SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow. "Steve is a highly motivated and innovative leader whose work in Maryland has received national recognition. The SFI board will benefit from his enthusiasm, experience and commitment to responsible forest management, certification and green building."