Historical Milestones and Legislative Authorities
Maryland State Board of Forestry: 1906-1923
Forest Conservancy Districts Program, 1969-73
Forest Service, 1973 –1982
Forest & Park Service, 1982 –1984
Forest, Park & Wildlife Service, 1984 –1991
Forestry Programs, 1991-92
Forest, Wildlife & Fisheries Service 1992-1993
Public Lands & Forestry, Forest Service, 1993-95
Resource Management Services, Forest Service, 1995
Resource Management Service, Forest, Wildlife & Heritage Service, Forest Service, 1995-2001
Forest Service 2001 - present
1906 – Creation of the Garrett State Forest and the beginning of Maryland’s Public Land System
The creation of the public system of lands with the gift by John and Robert Garrett of 1,917 acres in Garrett County to the State. These lands are now part of Potomac-Garrett State Forest. A State Forest (SF) is managed for multiple purposes, including water quality protection, wildlife enhancement, timber, scenic or natural beauty and low-intensity recreation. The Maryland Forest Service now manages most of the state’s designated forests, including Potomac-Garrett, Savage River, Pocomoke River, and Green Ridge State Forests.
1906 – Creation of the State Board of Forestry
It was also at this time that the Maryland General Assembly created the State Board of Forestry, which marked the beginning of the State owning land in order to protect it.
1906 – First Forest Wardens Commissioned
The first Maryland Forest Wardens were commissioned to enforce all forest laws, to protect the State forest reserves, and to make an annual report on forest conditions in their immediate neighborhood. Forest Warden’s duties included immediate response to any forest fire he saw or that was reported to him and employment of the means necessary to extinguish said fire. By 1935, 650 Wardens had been commissioned.
1908 – Formation of the Association of Eastern Foresters
The Association of Eastern Foresters officially formed in January, including the State Foresters and instructors of forestry schools from the states of Delaware, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and all of New England. The association’s constitution was ratified on January 12, 1911 in Washington, DC
1911 - Weeks Act
Congress passed the Weeks Act, which authorized the purchase of land east of the Mississippi River to protect navigable waterways and their watersheds. This Act led to the purchase of burned-over and denuded land and the establishment of the eastern National Forests. In addition, the Weeks Act established funding and direction for watershed programs and cooperative fire protection with the states on lands impacting navigable streams.
1912 – First Parkland
State appropriations were used to buy Patapsco Valley State Park ($50,000) and Fort Frederick ($8,500) in 1912.
1914 – Maryland’s Roadside Tree Law Passed by the General Assembly
The Roadside Tree Law called for the planting of trees along roadsides and gave the department the authority to plant, care and protect trees in the public right of way. The law provides for the protection of trees in public road rights-of-way and authorizes that Forest Wardens provide oversight and enforcement.
1914 – Creation of the State Forest Tree Nursery
Nursery operations at the State Forest Tree Nursery originated in College Park, where trees were produced for roadside planting. The first State Forest Tree Nursery was located along Paint Branch and Rt. 1 at College Park, Maryland. Sunnyside Tree Nursery opened around 1928-1929, also at College Park. The State also managed a tree Nursery at the Beltsville Experimental Tree Nursery. The Nursery later expanded operations to grow seedlings for conservation purposes including wildlife habitat, watershed and soil protection, roadside beautification, and forest products.
1914 – Passage of the Smith-Lever Act
With the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 Congress established a Federal-State Cooperative Extension program to provide education for the public in agriculture and natural resources. Today, this educational system includes professionals in each of America's “1862” land-grant universities and in sixteen “1890” land-grant universities.
1915 – First Fire Lookout Tower
The fire lookout tower was erected in Garrett County near Bittinger. By 1935, a network of thirty-two lookout towers had been established across the state to aid in the detection of forest fires. The Fire Tower located in Powellville, Maryland is the tallest free standing fire tower east of the Mississippi River as determined by the National Fire Tower Association.
1916 – First Forest Survey of Maryland Published
Traveling in a rented horse-drawn buggy, Frederick W. Besley, Maryland’s first State Forester, conducted and published the first comprehensive survey of a state’s forests in the Nation for the years 1907-1914. At that time, Maryland was less than 20% forested. Today Maryland is 41% forested.
1919 - Cooperative Assistance to Private Forest Landowners
After much national debate, it was decided that state forestry agencies, rather than the federal government, should have the legal responsibility for cooperative assistance and regulatory programs for private lands.
1919 – Creation of the First Wildlife Refuge
The establishment of the first Wildlife Refuge, a 290-acre tract at Gwynnbrook in Baltimore County occurred in 1919. Wildlife Refuges are now called Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), administered by the Wildlife and Heritage Service, focuses on wildlife management activities and low intensity wildlife-related recreation, including hunting and wildlife observation. Many WMAs were purchased with federal funds that restrict intensive development, and prohibit or limit certain types of outdoor recreational activities and uses. Over 40 WMAs are located throughout the State, from the 15 acre Cheltenham to Fishing Bay, which is over 28,500 acres.
1920 – Formation of the (National) Association of State Foresters
On November 20, 1920, forestry officials from 13 states (Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia) met in Atlantic City, NJ, to work out a program of support for a nationwide Association that could represent the interests of the States in forestry matters. Gifford Pinchot, Chief of the Pennsylvania Department of Forestry, recognized the need, and invited all State Foresters and several representatives of the US Forest Service to meet with him in the State Senate Chamber at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on December 8 and 9, 1920. It was at that meeting, the Association of State Foresters, predecessor to NASF, was formed.
1924 - Clark-McNary Act Passed by Congress
The Clark-McNary Act expanded the authorities under the Weeks Act by authorizing a federal grant program with the states for cooperative fire protection on all forestland across the country. The Act established funding for states to implement reforestation and cooperative assistance programs for private landowners. The Clark-McNary Act also provided a strong incentive to States to establish and support State forestry agencies.
1925 – First “Noted Tree List” Compiled (predecessor to today’s Big Tree Champion List)
Frederick W. Besley, Maryland’s first State Forester, compiled the first “noted tree” list by conducting the first Big Tree Contest in 1925 where over 450 trees were nominated. Besley developed the methodology for what eventually became the Big Tree Champion program which was adopted nationally by the American Forestry Association in 1940. To evaluate the relative size of a tree, the girth in inches and the height and crown spread in feet are added together to arrive at a number of points for each tree. This number is then used for comparison of tree sizes in each species. This system of measuring gives the trunk, the most important part of the tree, much better weight by giving the girth in inches. The formula is: Total Points = Circumference (inches) + Height (feet) + 25% of the average Crown Spread (feet).
1926 – State Forester Besley Elected as National Association of State Foresters President
Frederick W. Besley, Maryland’s first State Forester, was elected President of NASF at its annual meeting that was held that year in Maryland.
1933 –1942 The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
On May 11, 1933, the first CCC Camp (SP2-2, #356) opened at Avalon, located at present day Patapsco Valley State Park. In that same year, 14 CCC Camps opened, most of them located on state forests and parks which had grown to a little more than 50,000 acres. During the time of the Great Depression, the CCC Camps in Maryland gainfully employed thousands of youth and young men on meaningful conservation related activities erecting fire towers, constructing roads, fighting forest fires, and planting trees. There were nine Corps across the country; Maryland was part of the Third Corps which included Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. By the time they closed in 1942, 64 CCC Camps had operated throughout Maryland.
1941 –Maryland’s State Tree and Tree Species
The Wye Oak (named after the nearby hamlet of Wye Mills in Talbot County) was officially designated Maryland's state tree in 1941 and white oak (Quercus alba) was established as the state tree species the same year. State Forester Frederick W. Besley first measured the Wye Oak in 1909 and it was included in the “Big Tree Hall of Fame" in American Forests magazine in 1919. The Wye Oak stood as the national champion White oak until June 5, 2002.
1941 – American Tree Farm Program
The Tree Farm System was created by wood using industries in the US that committed themselves to growing repeated crops of trees. The system is financially supported by contributions to the American Forest Foundation from forest industry, grants member contributions and publications sales. Today over 65,000 private landowners have enrolled 25 million acres of forests into the program nationally.
1941 – Forest Fire Protection Laws Enacted
Laws were enacted for “Safety in the Use of Fire in the Open Air” to ensure open air burning was conducted in a safe manner without endangering neighboring property. These laws were the predecessor of the current Forest Fire Protection regulations in effect today.
1941 -1945 World War II: Association of State Foresters on Hiatus
The Association of State Foresters did not hold any annual meetings during World War II. Perry Merrill, President and State Forester from Vermont, relied heavily on Maryland State Forester Joseph Kaylor to make the association’s presence known in Washington DC during the war years.
1941 -1945 World War II: The Timber Production War Project
The Timber Production War Project brought state and federal forestry agencies into close contact with forest products operators and various forms of wood manufacturers. These business entities became the clients of the local TPWP forester who determined the eligibility of the contactors for military deferment based on the relative importance of the client’s war related production. TPWP foresters worked to increase production through better harvesting practices and improved utilization.
1941 – 1945 World War II: The Use of German POWs
Due to a shortage of labor during WWII, the U.S. Army placed prisoners of war into the Green Ridge CCC Camp and hired them to the forest products industry to do timber harvesting and to pick apples in orchards in and around Hancock. Despite much of the forest being immature, from 1942 to 1945, state forest land yielded millions board feet of timber for the war effort. After 1945, timber production slowed as prisoners were released and the urgency for war materials declined.
1943 - Forest Conservancy District Boards Authorized
The Boards started as District Forestry Boards to assist the then Department of Forests and Parks by promoting forest management on privately owned woodlands. Their original goal was to help assure a continuous supply of wood fiber products through scientific forest management. Today, Forest Conservancy District Boards work to improve the environment in urban and suburban areas and educate people about the benefits of forests. The Boards primarily serve as advisory, educational and facilitating bodies. In the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area, they approve all timber harvest plans. The Boards also review proposed laws and represent the interests of forestry with local, State and federal legislatures. Forest Conservancy District Boards function in all twenty-three Maryland counties and Baltimore City. Board members are appointed by the State Forester to three-year terms on recommendation of the local forester in consultation with Board members.
1943 – Conservation Policy of the State Adopted
“It is the policy of the state to encourage economic management and scientific development of its forests and woodlands to maintain, conserve, and improve the soil resources of the state so that an adequate source of forest products is preserved for the people. Floods and soil erosion must be prevented and the natural beauty of the State preserved. Wildlife must be protected, while the development of the recreational interest is encouraged and the fertility and productivity of the soil is maintained. Where these public interests cannot be served and adequately protected under private ownership, it is the policy of the State to acquire control of, and title to these lands as rapidly as the financial resources of the State permit.”
1943 – Forest Product Operators Licensing Enacted
Forest Products licensing was originally enacted to reverse harmful logging practices, which were in wide use during the war years, and required the use of scientific forest management techniques in their place. The legislation also required timber harvesters and manufacturers to be identified via an annual license with the State forestry program, so that the legislation could be enforced.
1945 - Certified Tree Expert law is enacted
The law prohibited any person from holding himself out to the public as a Certified Tree Expert without being licensed. Law renamed the Licensed Tree Law in 1961.
1948 - Tree Farm Program Initiated in Maryland
The first Tree Farm was designated on the West Coast in the State of Washington just before the beginning of World War II, in 1941. Within a few years, Tree Farms spread to virtually all forested states in the United States, including Maryland in 1948. Landowners become Certified Tree Farms after being visited by a professional forester who verifies they are managing their land in accordance with an approved forest management plan.
1949 – State Forest Tree Nursery Relocates
The Nursery was moved to Harmans, Anne Arundel County, and started the Tree Improvement Program by propagating superior Eastern White Pine. In the 1960’s efforts were expanded to include Loblolly Pine, which remains the current focus. Superior quality Loblolly seed is harvested annually from Eastern Shore seed orchards. This nursery was the first to sit on land owned by the State of Maryland.
1950 – Cooperative Forest Management Act Signed into Law
The Cooperative Forest Management Act gave authority to the U.S. Forest Service to work with private landowners through state agencies and formed the basis of State administration of federal forestry programs for private lands and forest-based industries for decades to come.
1950 – State Forester Kaylor Elected as National Association of State Foresters President
Joseph F. Kaylor, Maryland’s second State Forester, was elected President of NASF at its annual meeting that was held that year in Utah and Nevada.
1954 – Mid-Atlantic Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact
The Mid-Atlantic Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact (MAIFFPC) was authorized by Public Law 790 of the 84th Congress and was subsequently authorized by the state legislative bodies of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio. The purpose of the MAIFFPC is to promote effective prevention and control of wildfires in the Mid-Atlantic region by developing and integrating forest fire plans, developing and maintaining effective wildfire suppression programs in each of the member states, providing mutual aid for fire suppression and training efforts, acting as a liaison between various fire control agencies and by facilitating the mobilization of fire fighting resources during periods of national emergencies.
1955 – First Comprehensive Statewide Forest Inventory Published
Known at the time as the Timber Resource of Maryland, field work was done from 1950-52, and published in 1955, by USDA Forest Service.
1955 – Maryland Christmas Tree Association (MCTA) Founded
The MCTA is an association of growers and retailers who have a common interest in promoting the Real Christmas Tree Industry.
1956 – Soil Bank Act Enacted
With memories of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s still fresh and recognizing that eroding cropland had to be protected, Congress authorized the USDA to enter into long-term conservation contracts with producers and landowners. From 1956 – 1961 the Soil Bank Program annually planted 2.2 acres of tree seedlings nationally.
1956 – Memorandum of Understanding between the General Services Administration and US Department of Agriculture
This MOU agreed that GSA would stock and distribute fire control equipment and supplies to the USDA and they in turn would make available to the states. The MOU also provided the basis for providing excess property available to states as authorized in the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949. This program is now know as the Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP) program and provides equipment such as trucks and generators to states and local fire departments for use in wildfire suppression.
1957 - Establishment of the Forest and Park Reserve Fund
The current legislation specifies how the fund can be used and what portion of it must be paid annually to the local counties from revenue generating activities conducted on State forests and parks. If a State forest or park comprises less than 10% of the total land area of the county, a sum is to be paid equal to 15% of the net revenue derived from the State forest or park located in that county. If the State forest or park comprises 10% or more of the total land area of the county, a sum will be paid equal to 25% of the net revenue derived from the State forest or park located in that county. Only Garrett and Allegany Counties currently exceed the 10% threshold.
1957 – Forest Conservation & Management Program
The Maryland General Assembly passed a law requiring DNR to formulate a program of forest conservation and management. They realized the burden of property taxes often made owning forestland difficult. The program has slowed the conversion of forest land especially in areas where development pressures are high for tracts five acres and greater in size by freezing and or lowering property assessments.
1960 - Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act Passed
The Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act established by Congress set purposes for the National Forest System, including outdoor recreation, range, timber, watershed and fish and wildlife, setting the benchmark for state and private forest management objectives.
1962 - McIntire-Stennis Act
Authorizes the Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture to cooperate with States for the purpose of encouraging and assisting them in carrying out programs of forestry research. The provisions of this Act are essential to assist in providing the research background that serves as the basis of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, the Renewable Resources Extension Act of 1978, and the Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act of 1977.
1969 – Forest Technician Associates Degree Program Established at Allegany Community College
Forestry education arrived in Maryland with the establishment of a two-year associates program at Allegany Community College in Cumberland, later to become Allegany College of Maryland. The first class of 21 students was admitted to Allegany Community College's Forest Technician and Pre-professional forestry program under the direction of Dr. Glenn O Workman.
1969 – Gypsy Moth First Detected in Maryland
Male gypsy moths were collected in traps in Cecil County. Within five years, egg masses and caterpillars were found in several counties in the northeastern portion of the State, and a small control program was conducted.
1969 – Creation of Program Open Space (POS)
“The General Assembly declares that there is a need for a program to make funds available to State agencies and any subdivision to: (1) expedite acquisition of outdoor recreation and open space areas before escalating cost of land prevents its purchase for public use and before potential areas are devoted to some other use; and, (2) accelerate development and capital renewal of needed recreation facilities. Originally funded by the Outdoor Recreation Land Loan and now funded through the levy of a real estate transfer tax, POS has been responsible for the purchase of more than 200,000 acres since 1969.
1971 – Creation of Rural Conservation and Development Councils
Administered by the US Department of Agriculture, Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Councils play an important role in the conservation, development, and utilization of natural resources. Councils provide a focal point of local leadership and bring together private citizens and local, state and federal agencies to provide a system of rural development encouraging the wise use of natural resources to improve the quality of life within the communities they represent. Maryland's first RC&D Council was formed in 1971 in Southern Maryland. Their early forestry work focused on the survey and classification of the forest resources available in their region, and from this early work numerous projects developed enhancing more effective utilization and management of the local forests. The Eastern Shore RC&D Council formed in 1981 and they immediately launched a campaign promoting the use of timber in bridge construction. Today, most rural bridges in the region are constructed of wood and much of this wood is locally produced. The Western Maryland RC&D formed in 1993 and with their help a locally owned forest-based business launched a unique product utilizing red cedar that proved very popular from coast to coast.
1971 - Maryland Wildlands Act Passed
The Maryland Wildlands Act established the State Wildlands Preservation System and serves as Maryland's counterpart to the federal Wilderness Preservation System. Wildland status may be provided by legislative action by the Maryland General Assembly for lands and water managed by the Department of Natural Resources to provide threatened and endangered species protection, watershed and water quality protection, wilderness research, preservation of unique ecological communities and primitive recreation.
1972 – Creation of the Board of Licensing for Professional Foresters
The requirement that foresters be licensed in Maryland was effective July 1, 1972. The purposes of the Board of Licensing (previously Registration) for Professional Foresters are to benefit and protect the public and to promote the public welfare by regulating persons who practice forestry in the State. The practice of forestry means to apply, for compensation, scientific techniques to the protection, management, and use of trees.
1972 – Creation of the Department of Natural Resources
“It is the intention of the General Assembly, in providing for a Department of Natural Resources, to establish a State Department which, in addition to its other functions, shall: …unify, coordinate, and promulgate policies, plans, programs and practices which insure the preservation, development, wise use, and enjoyment of all the natural resources for the greatest benefits to the State and its citizens.” The Department is responsible for the coordination and direction of comprehensive planning in the area of natural resources.
1972 – The Rural Development Act
The Act authorized federal funding to organize, train, and equip local fire forces to prevent, control and suppress fires in rural areas. In 1975 the first appropriation of $3.5 million was provided for financial, technical, and other assistance to the State Foresters to carry out the Rural Community Fire Protection (RCFP) program. The Act was amended by the 1990 Farm Bill and is now administered as the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) program.
1973 – First Wildland in Maryland
The first official wildland in Maryland, the Big Savage Wildland in Savage River State Forest, was officially designated by an act of the General Assembly in 1973. As of this date, 29 separate Wildlands have been designated on over 43,770 acres in State Parks, State Forests and Wildlife Management Areas throughout Maryland.
1974 – Maryland’s Coordinated Approach to Gypsy Moth Suppression
Memorandum of Understanding between Maryland Department of Agriculture, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and USDA is developed outlining responsibilities for each agency in controlling gypsy moth in Maryland. Maryland Department of Agriculture, gypsy moth control program treats 11 sites and 574 acres. Four counties in the State are under federal gypsy moth quarantine.
1975 – Formation of the Maryland Cooperative Forest Pest Action Program
The Maryland Cooperative Forest Pest Action Program is developed under agreement between Maryland Department of Agriculture, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and USDA Forest Service. The program is to conduct forest pest surveys, evaluate pest conditions and develop management advice, and is part of MDA’s Pest Management Section.
1975 - Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act
Any federally listed Threatened or Endangered species shall be so designated in Maryland. The department shall also determine whether any species of wildlife or plant normally occurring with in the State is threatened or endangered. The State shall establish programs, including acquisition of land or aquatic habitat or interests in the land or aquatic habitats, necessary for the conservation of nongame, threatened, or endangered species of wildlife or plants.
1976 – Maryland Forests Association Founded
The Maryland Forests Association is a non-profit 501(c)(3) citizens' organization whose mission is to promote the maintenance of a healthy and productive forests land base so as to enhance the economic, environmental, and social well-being of all who live in Maryland. MFA membership includes more than 500 forest landowners, foresters and other natural resource professionals, hunt clubs and recreational groups, logging and trucking companies, the forest products industries, related businesses and individuals who believe in the wise-use of our forest resources.
1976 – Project Learning Tree Established
Project Learning Tree is an award winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators working with students in pre-K through grade 12. PLT began when natural resource managers and educators from the American Forest Institute (now the American Forest Foundation) and Western Regional Environmental Education Council (now the Council of Environmental Education) formed a partnership to develop an unbiased, educationally sound program for elementary and secondary students and their teachers. The partners designed PLT to be shared through trained facilitators (educators, resource managers, or other interested people) who, in turn, train others in how to most effectively and efficiently use the curriculum and materials.
1978 – The Maryland Pine Tree Reforestation Law
As a result of the pine resource on the Eastern shore being harvested at a greater rate than being replanted or reproduced, the General Assembly passed the Pine Tree Reforestation Law on tracts of land 5 acres and larger that constitute 25% or more of Loblolly, Shortleaf and Pond Pine. The law requires that seed trees be reserved or a reforestation Plan is approved to assure the reproduction and maintenance of young vigorous pine trees.
1978 – The Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act
Congress provided the US Forest Service with broad and comprehensive authority to support the efforts of state forestry agencies to help the nation’s 10 million private landowners manage and protect their forests. The Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act has subsequently been updated and strengthened through the 1990, 1996, and 2002 Farm Bills. These cooperative programs support the educational, technical, and financial assistance to landowners to ensure that the public goals of sustainable forestry are realized. They include, among others, the Forest Resource Assistance Program, the Urban and Community Forestry Program, and the State Fire Assistance Program. These programs have established an excellent track record of protecting water quality, restoring fire-adapted forests, and managing wildlife habitat.
1978 – Forestry Incentive Program Authorized
The Forestry Incentives Program (FIP) was authorized to share up to 65 percent of the costs of tree planting, timber stand improvements, and related practices on non-industrial private forest lands. FIP's forest maintenance and reforestation provide numerous natural resource benefits, including reduced wind and soil erosion and enhanced water quality and wildlife habitat as well as helping to assure a reliable future supply of timber.
1978 - Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA) Approved
The Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA) provides a Congressional mandate strengthening the capability of the Department of Agriculture's Cooperative Extension Service, land grant universities, and cooperating counties to work with renewable resources, forest and rangeland owners and managers to sustainably produce wood products, forages and livestock, fish and wildlife populations, and outdoor recreation opportunities on private forest and range lands.
1979 – 1984 Reorganizations of Maryland Forest Pest Agencies within the Department of Agriculture
In 1979 MDA establishes Office of Plant Industries and Pest Management. The forest pest management program is part of the Plant Protection Section, and the Gypsy Moth Control Section is established. In 1982 the Cooperative Forest Pest Action Program becomes part of the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Gypsy Moth Control Section. In 1984 the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Gypsy Moth Control Section becomes the Forest Pest Management Section. Its role is to conduct surveys and give pest management advice to the forestry community on all forest insects and pathogens.
1981 – Project Learning Tree Comes to Maryland
Kathy McLaughlin, President of the National PLT, first introduced the Project Learning Tree curriculum in Maryland at the first PLT educator’s workshop.
1981 – 1982 First Large Scale Gypsy Moth Suppression Efforts Undertaken in Maryland
The first wide scale defoliation by gypsy moth occurs in Maryland in 1981 when 8,826 acres were defoliated in Cecil, Harford and Baltimore Counties leading to the first suppression efforts in 1982. The first large scale gypsy moth suppression program is conducted in Maryland. A total of 48,364 acres are treated in seven counties.
1982 – State Forests Transferred from the Forest Service to the Park Service
The state forest part of the Eastern Region’s organization and Western Region’s organization was moved intact to the Park Service’s organization. Personnel and budgets were transferred to the Park Service as they were. Revenue was transferred with the state forests.
1982 – Forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) first adopted in Maryland
The passage of the Clean Water Act by Congress in 1972 formalized the national effort to protect water resources during land disturbing activities, including logging. Forest harvesting operations initially enjoyed a conditional exemption from these new regulations. Foresters agreed to voluntarily adopt a set of operational criteria for protecting water resources known as Forestry Best Management Practices, or BMPs. In 1982, the Maryland Forest Service agreed to construct a statewide standard of Best Management Practices for implementation within existing Sediment and Erosion Control regulations. Today, sediment and erosion control on logging operations is mandated by State law and policed by the Maryland Department of the Environment. Loggers are required to complete a rigorous training program in sediment and erosion control, harvesting plans are submitted to Soil Conservation Districts for review and approval, and all harvests associated with streams or wetlands require design by a licensed Forester.
1983- Special Rivers Watershed-based Grant
The first watershed-specific forestry project began in the Susquehanna basin, with the Special Rivers proposal supported by EPA Chesapeake Bay Implementation grant funding. Project activities include riparian forest buffer restoration, forest stewardship planning, and education and outreach on the watershed benefits of forests. New focus watershed areas were added later in the Monocacy, Anacostia, and Town Creek areas.
1984 – Passage of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Law
Established a 1,000 foot critical area zone adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay and its major tributaries. Local jurisdictions were required to create plans to protect these “critical areas”. This law and its regulations recognized forests as a major protective land use and required local jurisdictions to create plans to protect forests within the critical area.
1984 - Urban and Community Forestry Law Enacted
The law provides for the existence of the Urban & Community Forestry program, and establishes its purpose as provision of financial assistance to counties and municipalities and technical assistance to counties, municipalities, and individuals.
1986 – Woodland Incentive Program
The General Assembly passed legislation providing for cost share assistance to landowners owning tracts from 10 to 500 acres in size for tree planting, site preparation, and timber stand improvement practices. A Woodland Incentive Fund was established and financed via woodland transfer tax and revenues generated from landowners services.
1987 - The Reforestation Law is passed by the General Assembly
The law requires the State of Maryland to account for forest clearing and retention during construction, and requires mitigation of clearing in certain situations. The law was amended in 1991 with the passage of the State Forest Conservation Act and now applies only to State Highway construction.
1988 - Forest Advisory Commission Created
Formerly the Forest and Park Advisory Commission, the Forest Advisory Commission was created to advise the Director / State Forester on forestry issues and to assist with forest policy formulation. The Governor with the advice of the Secretary of Natural Resources appoints the Commission’s nine members.
1988 – First Statewide Comprehensive Forest Resource Plan
The objectives of the Plan were to continually create or adjust policies that address forest resource problems and opportunities brought about by changes in the social, economic, and physical environment. The Plan contained action items that provided operational guidance for forestry programs for the period 1988 to 1990.
1989 – Creation of Maryland’s Green Shores Program
The General Assembly provided authority and funding to provide financial incentives for planting forest riparian buffers on private land, a key factor in supporting Chesapeake Bay restoration.
1989 – State Forester Roberts Elected as National Association of State Foresters President
James B. Roberts, Maryland’s seventh State Forester, was elected President of NASF at its annual meeting that was held that year in Texas.
1990 - Federal Farm Bill Authorizes the Forest Stewardship, Stewardship Incentive, Forest Legacy and Urban & Community Programs
The Federal Farm Bill is passed authorizes the creation of the Forest Stewardship Program (FSP), the Stewardship Incentive Program (SIP), the Forestry Legacy Program (FLP), and the Urban & Community Forestry Program (UCF). FSP and SIP were enacted to provide comprehensive forest management to private forest land owners by providing professional technical assistance (FSP) and cost sharing (SIP) for implementation of forestry practices. FLP seeks to promote the long tern integrity of environmentally important forests that are threatened by current and future conversion to non-forest uses by providing funding to purchase conservation easements at fair market value from interested landowners. Maryland’s UCF was originally one of only five such pilot projects funded nationwide providing technical assistance and expertise for the care and management of trees and forests in developed environments.
1990 - Maryland Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee Established
Under the federal Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 as amended by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 1990 and 2002, each state was required to establish a forest stewardship coordinating committee. The Maryland Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee works with the Director / State Forester to implement the federally funded forestry programs that assist landowners in managing private forest lands through: financial assistance and cost-share programs; resource management expertise and technical assistance; and the development and implementation of educational programs. The Coordinating Committee monitors the progress of the various program and reports to the Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
1990 – Governor’s Conference on Trees and Forests
A Governor’s appointed taskforce made 22 recommendations to address the rapid loss of forest resources and the economic viability of the forest products industry. One of the recommendations was the creation of a statewide law that would protect forests during and after the land development process.
1990 – Chesapeake Bay Program Forestry Work Group Established
A formal work group of the Nutrient Subcommittee of the Chesapeake Bay Program is established to ensure the inclusion of forest management and program development expertise in this watershed restoration partnership. The Work Group provides direct input on prevention of nutrient pollution from timber management and for the use of forest as solutions to Bay water quality problems. Establishment also initiates a coordinated multi-state approach to integrating forests and forestry practices into the Bay restoration effort. The USDA Forest Service provides support and staffing.
1991 – Passage of the State-wide Forest Conservation Act
The Forest Conservation Act is the only state-wide law that regulates the protection of trees and forests during and after the land development process in the nation. It requires local jurisdictions to create local Forest Conservation Plans and ordinances to protect trees during development. The amount of forest retained depends on land zoning and the type of development planned.
1992 – Maryland Community Forestry Council Formally Organized
Facilitated by the requirements of funding associated with the 1990 Farm Bill, the Maryland Community Forest Council, Inc. (MCFC) passed its Constitution. MCFC was a volunteer citizen-advisory group intended to provide advice to the State Forester on matters relating to Urban & Community Forestry.
1993 - Project Manager Organization Initiated
Through the years, each County in Maryland was provided service through a Project Forester responsible for overseeing the delivery of all forestry programs within their assigned County. Recognizing that more efficiency could be gained by moving the workforce from single-County into multi-County Projects, the Forest Service implemented a Project Manager organizational structure, aligning the workforce into 12 multi-County Project areas across the state.
1993 – Maryland Master Logger Program Inaugurated
The Maryland Master Logger Program is a voluntary program designed to help loggers meet the ever increasing demands on the logging profession. Master Logger started as a pilot program with Eastern Shore RC&D Council in 1993. In 1995, the Maryland Forest Association became chief supporter of the program and thus the "official" Master Logger Program was born, replete with standards of ethics, membership credentials, and performance criteria. The program consists of three parts; a 16-hour core component, current CPR & First Aid certification and an annual 4-hour continuing education requirement. The Master Logger Program was developed by the Maryland Eastern Shore RC&D Council in cooperation with the Maryland Forests Association, Maryland Forest Service, American Pulpwood Association (now the Forest Resources Association, Inc.) and Maryland Cooperative Extension Service.
1994 – Revitalizing Baltimore Project Initiated
This project began with funding from the USDA Forest Service and was managed by the Parks & People Foundation in cooperation with the Maryland State Forester, as well as Baltimore City and County government agencies. RB is a national model for community forestry and watershed organizing that equips people to care for natural resources and to employ these resources to revitalize their neighborhoods. The partnering organizations are working together to improve the quality of life in urban neighborhoods by restoring natural resources in the Baltimore region using a human ecosystem frameworks based on watershed geography.
1995 – Formation of the Association of Forest Industries
Several prominent leaders of forest-based businesses, comprised primarily of small family owned enterprises, organized into a state trade association to better represent their unique set of issues to elected officials and other policy-makers. Since AFI’s inception, this organization has proven instrumental in advancing positive outcomes for forest industry as well as the larger forestry community.
1996- Riparian Forest Buffer Initiative/ Stream ReLeaf
The Chesapeake Bay Program Executive Council adopted the Riparian Forest Buffer Initiative in October 1996, recognizing the need for natural streamside buffers throughout the watershed as an essential part of restoring the Bay mainstem. The centerpiece of the goal was restoring 2,010 miles of new forest buffers by 2010, more than triple the rate of buffer planting at the time. The new program was dubbed Stream ReLeaf, with the permission of American Forests' Global ReLeaf program. The 2,010-mile goal was met in 2002, eight years early, largely due to the compelling landowner incentives in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, a USDA Farm Bill program begun in 1997. The goal was expanded to 10,000 miles Baywide in 2003, and included forest canopy goals for urban areas, maintenance recommendations, and reemphasis on conserving existing forest buffers.
1996 – State Forest Tree Nursery Relocates, Again
Due to the construction of Route 100 in Anne Arundel County, the H. C. Buckingham State Forest Tree Nursery in Harmans was relocated to its present location just outside Preston in Caroline County on the Eastern Shore and renamed the John S. Ayton State Forest Tree Nursery in honor of the former nursery manager’s 38 years of exemplary state service. The 300- acre site produces between 5-7 million seedlings annually.
1997 – Baltimore Ecosystem Study Initiated
BES is a long-term ecological research (LTER) project undertaken by the National Science Foundation (NSF). BES is one of only two urban LTERs that have ever been funded. The project is directed by the Institute of Ecosystem Studies and has many partners, including MD DNR Forest Service.
1997 – First Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) in the Nation Created in Maryland.
Maryland officials worked with US Department of Agriculture officials to create the first Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) in the nation to provide significant incentives for restoring riparian buffers on sensitive agricultural land in Maryland. The program was created to help the State meet its goal of planting 600 miles of forest riparian buffer by 2010. The program was so effective that a seemingly unreachable goal was attained more than eight years ahead of schedule. The program was responsible for the restoration of more than 70,000 acres of riparian buffers through the planting of grasses and trees on sensitive agricultural lands.
1998 – Dry Hydrant Bond Bill Passed
The bill provided $100,000 grant to the Delmarva Advisory Council for the installation of over 300 new dry fire hydrants in the nine Eastern Shore Counties to enhance rural water delivery for fir protection.
2000 - Potomac Watershed Partnership
The Potomac Watershed Partnership began in 2000, aligning forest stewardship, urban, fire, and health programs to support targeted watershed restoration for the first time in Maryland. USDA Forest Service provided major grant funding and leadership, coordinating major partners including VA Dept. of Forestry, Ducks Unlimited, Potomac Conservancy, and PA Dept. of Environmental Protection. One of the significant new efforts to emerge from the partnership was the Growing Native volunteer seed collection, providing locally collected seed to state nurseries to meet the great need for hardwood seedling supply for restoring forest buffers.
2000 –58,000 acre Chesapeake Forest Acquired
A unique land acquisition of 58,000 acres previously owned and managed for forest products by the Chesapeake Corporation was acquired half through purchase and half through gift. At that time, a partnership between the State of Maryland, The Conservation Fund, and Hancock Timber Resources Group moved to purchase the forests. As the project unfolded, the State of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources purchased half of the land directly on August 13th, 1999, while The Conservation Fund, on behalf of the Richard King Mellon Foundation, acquired the other 29,000 acres with the intention of transferring land to the State of Maryland which did occur on December 21st. 2000. The gift from The Conservation Fund required the land be continuously managed to demonstrate an economically sustainable forest management system that could achieve several objectives important both to local communities and the broader conservation goals of the State. A Sustainable Forest Management Plan for the entire 58,000 acre forest has been developed and dual certified under the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
2000 – Maryland Forestry Taskforce Published a Report: “Guiding Maryland’s Forest Community into the 21st Century”
The 35 recommendations presented within the Report, predicated upon testimony received by numerous stakeholder groups and expert witnesses over a three year period, focus on two themes: encouraging the retention and management of privately owned forest lands, and promoting the economic viability of Maryland’s forest products industry.
2000 – University of Maryland Initiates Degree Program in Urban Forestry
The University’s degree program is housed in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Natural Resource Sciences and Landscape Architecture and offers an undergraduate degree (B.S.) in Natural Resource Science and Urban Forestry.
2001- Forest Watershed Management Program
Forest Watershed Management was established as a program under Forest Stewardship, reflecting Maryland's increasing involvement in using forests and forestry to aid in watershed restoration and protects water quality.
2001 – Creation of the Partnership for Sustainable Forestry
The Partnership for Sustainable Forestry represents an alliance of forestry related organizations of both urban and rural interests. The Partnership's primary objective is to promote the wise management of the State's rural and urban forest resources through advocacy, education, awareness and collaboration. Charter members include the following organizations:
Association of Forest Industries, Inc.
2002 – Forest Land Enhancement Program Enacted
The passage of the 2002 of the Farm Bill created the Forest Land Enhancement Program (FLEP). This legislation uses a three pronged approach comprised of technical, educational and financial assistance to encourage private forest land owners to manage their land via scientifically sound techniques for future generations.
2002 – Maryland Losses its State Tree: the Wye Oak
On June 6, 2002 the mighty Wye Oak succumbed to time and the elements as its massive trunk collapsed during a severe thunderstorm, ending the life of Maryland’s oldest citizen. At its end, the tree measured 31 feet 8 inches in circumference, was 96 feet tall and had an average crown spread of 119 feet. The main bole of the tree weighed over 61,000 pounds.
2002 – The Re-creation of the Forest Resource Planning and Analysis Section within the Maryland Forest Service
Individuals working on forest resource planning, state forest management and specialized GIS applications were brought together into one program to assist with completion and implementation of the Maryland Strategic Lands Assessment and to provide comprehensive planning and guidance for State Forest and other DNR managed lands.
2003 – Healthy Forest Restoration Act Signed into Law
Congress streamlined the US Forest Service approval process for forest restoration projects that focus on removing excess hazardous fuels, and to facilitate other restoration projects on state and private lands. The Act helps to put scientific forest management back in the hands of the professionals who know the resource best and formally extends their role to watershed management in rural and urban areas through “watershed forestry”.
2003 – Emerald Ash Borer Found and Eradicated
Maryland Forest Service and Maryland Department of Agriculture, Forest Pest Management Section, cooperated on what to date has been the only known eradication of the exotic invasive insect pest Emerald Ash Borer.
2003 – Urban Tree Canopy Formally Recognized in Chesapeake Bay Restoration Strategy
In December 2003, the Chesapeake Executive Council signed Riparian Forest Buffer Directive No. 03-01. This expanded riparian buffer directive "...recognizes that urban tree canopy cover offers stormwater control and water quality benefits for municipalities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and can extend many riparian forest buffer functions to urban settings", and directed partners to work with five communities in each state to quantify and create a plan for increase of urban tree canopy.
2003 – Recreation of MCFC as the Maryland Urban and Community Forest Committee, a Standing Committee of the Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards
MCFC was dissolved and reconstituted as a subunit of Forest Conservancy District Boards, the citizen advisory board to the State Forester established by Maryland law in 1943.
2004 – University of MD Graduates First Urban Forester
First recipient of a degree in Natural Resource Science - Urban Forestry graduates from the University of Maryland program.
2004 - Forest Certification Achieved on Chesapeake Forest and Launched for Other State Forests
After an in-depth field review of on-going forestry operations on the Chesapeake Forest in 2003, an independent third-party Audit team representing the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) issued Forest Certification approval for 29,000 acres of the Chesapeake Forest. Shortly thereafter, in an official ceremony recognizing this achievement, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. issued Executive Order 01.01.2004.21 committing the Department of Natural Resources to seek dual third-party SFI-FSC forest certification for all of its working state forest lands.
2004 – EXECUTIVE ORDER 01.01.2004.21: Enhanced Forestry Management on the Department of Natural Resources-Owned Forest Lands
The Department of Natural Resources shall: Undertake efforts to develop, upgrade and/or modify forest stewardship plans on all DNR-owned lands consistent with and responsive to scientifically based land use conservation goals attendant to watershed, wildlife, fish, biodiversity, recreation, wood fiber, and wilderness enhancement; and confer with the Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Board in order to determine the parameters of securing forest certification of the State's efforts in managing Maryland's State Forests in an environmentally responsible manner.
2004 – EXECUTIVE ORDER 01.01.2004.53: Governor's Commission for Protecting the Chesapeake Bay through Sustainable Forestry
The Governor’s Commission for Protecting the Chesapeake Bay through Sustainable Forestry was charged with the following duties: meet and confer with individuals, groups and organizations to gather insight, knowledge and strategies for development of a 2lst Century public/private partnership oriented land conservation vision for Maryland; undertake research and analyses; provide guidance and recommendations to Maryland's Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee in the preparation of an updated Forest Legacy Assessment of Need Plan that identifies environmentally important forestlands threatened by present or future conversion to non-forest uses; assess State and local land preservation and recreation plans to determine their effectiveness in protecting forestlands consistent with the intent of the Forest Legacy Assessment of Need Plan; identify federal partners and, programs that could help advance Maryland's future land conservation efforts, with special emphasis on the federal Forest Legacy Program and associated federal funding; and, pursue other ideas, with due regard to the dictates of fiscal practicality, that could enhance Maryland's compliance with the forest landscape policy goals of the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement.
2005 - Maryland’s Emergency Response Plan for Invasive Forest Pests Adopted
Both the departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources identified invasive insects and disease-causing organisms as major threats to our State’s forest resources. In response to that threat, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources as well as the University of Maryland to adopt Maryland’s Emergency Response Plan for Invasive Forest Pests. The Plan identifies agency roles and responsibilities for early detection, rapid response, control, and management of invasive forest pests.
2005 – Management of the State Forests Transfers Back to the Maryland Forest Service
Recognizing that Forest Certification will best be achieved through an organizational structure that aligns the State Forests with the Forest Service, the four major State Forests are transferred to the Maryland Forest Service. The Maryland Forest Service is currently moving towards third party FSC and SFI certification and management under a Forest Sustainability and Management Plans for each of the five major State Forests (including Chesapeake Forest) on 200,000 acres of State land.
2005 - The Licensed Tree Expert Law
The law is amended to include persons performing tree removal in addition to those performing tree care.
2005 – Annapolis and Baltimore Become the First Communities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to Commit to Adoption of an Urban Tree Canopy Goal
The City of Annapolis and the City of Baltimore formally committed to adoption of an Urban Tree Canopy goal in response to Riparian Forest Buffer Directive No. 03-01.
2005 – The Chesapeake Bay Trust Creates Its First Urban Forestry Grant Program
The Bay Trust created a $300,000 grant program to support implementation of the Urban Tree Canopy goal specified in Riparian Forest Buffer Directive No. 03-01.
Forest Service Home
Maryland Park Service Home