Have Questions About Forests or Trees? Get Answers at MDP’s New Forest Planning Resource Webpage

A Maryland Planning Blog article (2019-04-10) highlighted the Maryland Department of Planning’s (MDP’s) new Forest Planning Resource webpage, which provides useful tools and information about designating protected forest lands, establishing urban tree canopies, and protecting trees during the development process.

The webpage was developed by MDP, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the Sustainable Forestry Council based on requirements in the Forest Preservation Act of 2013 (HB 706). That legislation required the State provide information to local governments on policies and standards for protecting forest lands and creating urban tree canopies.

From the blog article:


The references highlighted on the Forest Resource Planning website are divided into three main categories or planning steps, advising users on how to: designate areas to protect; purchase or limit development rights in designated areas; and preserve trees during the development process. On the website, you can find relevant materials and links related to each of these three steps, as described below:

  1. Designate Areas to Protect – how to identify the most important forested areas to protect: Included in this step are Maryland’s GreenPrint Map which displays targeted ecological areas, including watersheds of high ecological value; DNR’s Strategic Forest Lands Assessment, which identifies forest lands with ecological, social and economic benefits; and i-Tree Tools, which assess and manage forests.
  2. Purchase or Limit Development Rights in Designated Areas – identify approaches for encouraging or requiring limited development in the forest protection areas: Tax incentives, zoning, transferable development rights and purchase of development rights are addressed in this section. It also includes case studies, such as those seen in the Chesapeake Bay Trust Conservation Land-Use Policy Toolkit, many of which demonstrate the excellent work of jurisdictions within the Bay watershed.
  3. Preserve Trees During the Development Process – how to provide physical protection during construction activities: This section describes conservation subdivision approaches, riparian forest setbacks, technical guidance for successful onsite tree protection measures, and online resources including the Maryland Forest Conservation Act, a Guide to Preserving Trees in Development Projects (PA University), Reduced Parking Footprint Criteria (LEED) and ANSI A300 standards for tree care practices.

To learn more about the Forest Planning Resource webpage, please contact Debbie Herr Cornwell at Deborah.herrcornwell@maryland.gov.

Useful Links

MDP Forest Planning Resource Webpage

HB 706 – Forest Preservation Act of 2013