Speaking for the Trees at #MACoCon

At MACo’s Summer Conference, an expert panel delved into the recent update to Maryland’s forest conservation policies and what it means for counties. 

Forest conservation is one of the best tools to help fight climate change, yet this policy also sets up barriers to future economic growth. Leaders at the county level will need to contend with these two realities, pushing for great conservation while also allowing for development. This will not be an easy challenge, which is why MACo brought in leading voices in this debate to help unpack the latest Forest Conservation Act update.

Maryland Senator Sarah Elfreth led the conversation and moderated an informative presentation and Q&A at the “Seeing the Forest AND the Trees: Conversations About Forest Con” MACo Summer Conference session.

Seeing the Forest AND the Trees: Conversations About Forest Con 

Description: During the 2023 legislative session, the General Assembly passed the first major change to the Forest Conservation Act since its enactment in 1991. Since then, Maryland has undergone a generational change, seeing compounded growth in its central core and major development in some of its more rural regions. As a result, the 2023 update to the FCA will significantly impact where and how Maryland will grow next, with most of its implementation felt at the county level. Join leaders from government and academia to discuss the impetus for this latest update and what implementation will look like at the local level.  


  • Jenn Aiosa, Director of Government Affairs, Baltimore County
  • Matt Stegman, Maryland Staff Attorney, Chesapeake Bay Foundation 
  • Joshua Kurtz, Secretary, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
  • Christina Sorrento, Division Chief of Intake & Regulatory Coordination, Montgomery County Planning  

Moderator: The Honorable Sarah Elfreth, Maryland Senate

More about MACo’s Summer Conference: