Marylanders, please speak for the trees. Contact your Reps today.
The three bills before the House and Senate present a comprehensive package that would make tremendous strides in protecting Maryland’s forests. This legislation includes:
- Defining Forests: The state’s current goal of “no net loss of forest” is flawed, as it identifies individual trees, such as street trees, as “forest.” This legislation would identify “forest land” as the goal of “no net loss of forest,” since forest land reflects a full ecological system that supports healthy soils and habitat. Forest land has a greater impact on the overall health of our lands and waters.
- Reforming the Forest Conservation Act’s (FCA) Fee-In-Lieu Program: The FCA allows local governments to collect a fee in lieu of the developer’s reforestation responsibilities. But often times trees are never replanted and collected fees disappear. This legislation would require local governments to replant the same amount of forest that the developer was required to replant and increase transparency around fee-in-lieu programs.
- Creating a Forest Conservation Task Force: Maryland needs an in-depth Task Force on forest loss to quantify and address future deforestation and make recommendations to prevent forest loss without overly disrupting growth and development. This legislation would create this task force with a diverse group of stakeholders that would create recommendations for improving forest outcomes, including offsetting or avoiding loss and improving maintenance for healthy forests.
Use the form linked below to tell your state legislators how valuable forests are to our environment, economy, and way of life. Tell them we need to protect forests and ask them to support these bills. Click here to complete form.
Your voice will have the greatest impact if you write to your leaders in your own words. Describe the value of forests to you and your community.