News from the DNR Office of Communications

Sustainable Forestry Council To Hold First Meeting

Annapolis, MD (June 2, 2010) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced the first meeting of the newly established Sustainable Forestry Council. The group will meet from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Thursday, June 3, in the lobby conference room of the Tawes Building in Annapolis.

“Chesapeake forests as a whole represent on of the most expansive hardwood forests in the world and contain a tremendous diversity of plants, wildlife, and habitats,” said Steve Koehn, Director of the Maryland DNR Forest Service. “These same forests provide residents with invaluable services, like clean air and water, wood for builders and craftsmen, and places for recreation and spiritual renewal.”

The Sustainable Forestry Council was established in the Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009 (SB 549) in the 2009 General Assembly. The purpose of the Council is to advise the Department on all matters related to:

• Sustainable forestry management in the State;
• The expenditure of funds from the Woodland Incentives Fund under Section 5-307 of this title;
• Existing regulatory and statutory policies that are perceived as economic barriers to a viable forest products industry;
• New markets to enhance forest health, including renewable energy development through biomass energy, to offset fossil, fuel consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
• Creative strategies to help privately owned forest lands better compete with real estate market values that are driving forest conservation and fragmentation.
• The means to promote forest-based economies and processing capability that contribute to economic and employment growth.
• Assigning a nutrient efficiency benefit to forest stewardship plans and other forest conservation management plans that can be measurably tracked and reported by the number of forested acres covered by the plans.”

“At first glance, forests are thriving in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. However, we are slowly losing and fragmenting these forests, eating away their ability to protect the Bay and provide people with the goods and services they desire,” said Koehn. “Within these seemingly healthy forests, many forces are threatening functions that are critical to the environment, economy, public health, and quality of life of the region.”


   June 2, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 467,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov