Healthy Forest Healthy Water Project

For over a year now the Forestry Board Foundation has been working with the Forest Service, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust Fund to move forward the proposed project Achieving Nutrient and Sediment Benefits through Forest Management or as it now is identified the "Healthy Forests Healthy Waters "Project. To date 13 sites have been approved in seven Counties.

The Counties are

Allegany = 2

Baltimore = 1

Carroll = 2

Frederick = 1

Garrett = 3

Kent = 1

Queen Anne’s = 3

Under the terms of the Grant Eric Sprague, the project's Field Director and I as PI would like to meet with you in the next several months at one of your regularly scheduled Board meetings.

Some of you may already have received details about this project. Local Board engagement is important as you can read below. It is the details of this engagement, monitoring and follow up we would like to discuss with your Board. This is a unique and innovative opportunity to demonstrate the value of local Forestry Boards to encourage local landowner stewardship and the benefits of Forests to local watersheds and the Chesapeake Bay. We look forward to working with and meeting with you.

Please reply to my email address

Here is some additional information:

1. Healthy Forests Healthy Waters Project Background

The implementation of forest management plans is an important strategy for achieving water quality and other environmental, economic and social goals. Forest management plans provide guidance to landowners on how they can meet their management objectives while sustaining their forest and the benefits it provides. The Maryland Forest Service works with 400 rural landowners each year to implement management plans. Yet current estimates suggest that only 10% of family forest owners have a written management plan.

This project will:

    • Deliver quantifiable nutrient and sediment reductions on private lands through forestry bmp’s in addition to their important ecosystem services like air pollutant removal and provision of wildlife habitat

    • Document how focused funding for forest management plan implementation can help meet water quality goals

    • Demonstrate how new tools can facilitate implementation of nutrient and sediment practices

    • Promote forest management plan and other forest conservation program implementation

2. Objectives and Responsibilities

1) Landowner engagement/ BMP implementation

The Maryland Forest Service in collaboration with Maryland’s Forest District Conservancy District Boards (Forestry Boards) will engage private landowners that have proposed, but not yet implemented nutrient and sediment projects in their forest management plans. State forest service staff has compiled a list of potential projects representing counties. Projects can include the following:

    • Riparian buffer planting

    • Tree planting

    • Road stabilization/erosion control/ sediment reductions

Landowners have already been contacted to gauge their continued interest in plan implementation, so the levels of practice implementation may vary. Landowners will be encouraged to use the Bay Bank Marketplace to market their willingness to implement best management practices on their property. This pilot test of the tool will demonstrate the usefulness of the Marketplace to landowners for additional funding future opportunities like forest mitigation banking.

2) Practice implementation

The Maryland Forestry Board Foundation will contract with natural resource consultants and work with county Forestry Boards where projects are approved to implement practices with selected landowners. All consultants will be required to meet standards for project implementation set by the Maryland Forest Service and will be encouraged to post their credentials and services on the Bay Bank’s Service Provider Matching Tool. This tool helps landowners find professionals that can help them design, implement and market conservation projects. In addition this information and additional reference information and links will be made available on the Maryland Forestry Board Foundation website.

Forestry Board members in each of the selected counties will be provided materials and be encouraged to serve as volunteer project managers for projects in their county. As project managers they will support landowners throughout the project implementation and maintenance phases. This includes documenting practice (BMP) implementation progress and advocating for landowner concerns. In addition, Maryland Forestry Board members will provide information to landowners on other conservation programs that are available to help them sustain their property’s ecosystem services. These programs include permanent easements/mitigation bank opportunities and current use tax programs.

The Foundation will also contract with a project manager to assist the county Forestry Boards and manage contracts with natural resource consultants.

3. Monitoring Strategy

To provide assurances that the installed practices will function as proposed, regional State Foresters will verify all projects. If the installed practices do not meet state standards, the Forest Service will require that the consultants adjust the practices.

Forestry Board members will be asked to visit the sites and monitor each project. Photo documentation will be required as part of the monitoring report.

4. Maintenance Plan

Selected landowners have agreed to maintain the installed practice for its recognized “life-span” of 10 years. Local Forestry Boards will encourage an extension of the practices and renewal of Forest Stewardship and Forest Conservation plans. Every project will be required to maintain their practice according to a state approved forest management plan.

For further information contact

Gary G. Allen President

Maryland Forestry Boards Foundation

192 Duke of Gloucester Street

Annapolis, MD 21401

Office 410 267 8595 Cell 301 717 1579

Maryland’s Forest Conservancy District Boards

Subtitle 5 of the Natural Resources Article speaks to the creation of and duties attendant to Maryland’s Forest Conservancy District Boards – one for each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City. Section 5-606 of the Natural Resources Article requires the Boards to:

  • Promote private forestry by assisting landowners in forest management, planting trees, conservation and development of tree crops, and protection of forests from fires, insects, and diseases;

  • Make available to landowners the services of a forester and advise them with regard to their forest and tree crop problems;

  • Assist the county assessors in their appraisal of forest lands for tax purposes;

  • Disseminate forest conservation information and collect data concerning forest conservation problems of the State;

  • Secure the cooperation and assistance of the United States and any of its agencies and State agencies in conservation of forest resources of the State;

  • Assist private owners of forest land by advice as to the construction of flood control measures, seeding and planting of waste slopes, abandoned or eroded lands, and development of wildlife by planting food or cover producing trees, bushes and shrubs;

  • Receive and pass on proposed work plans for cutting forest lands;

  • Maintain an office, keep a record of its transactions, and promptly file copies of its decisions and order with the Department;

  • Employ personnel, in addition to the district foresters, as the Department approves.