News from the DNR Office of Communications

DNR Submits First Statewide Forest Resource Assessment And Strategies

Annapolis, Md. (June 28, 2010) – The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Service has completed the first-ever comprehensive suite of Statewide Forest Resource Assessments and Strategies (SA&S) as part of a national effort towards protecting and sustaining healthy forests.

“The completion of Maryland’s SA&S gives a meaningful account of and targeted plan for the state’s trees and forests over a long term period,” said Steven Koehn, Maryland State Forester and President of the National Association of State Foresters.

Marylander foresters analyzed conditions and trends in State Forests to identify and prioritize rural and urban forest and issues. The foresters were also looking for areas to focus restoration, management and protection. Maryland foresters then created a strategy, creating long-term plans for addressing needs those needs pointed out in the assessment.

The SA&S was authorized by the Forestry Title of the 2008 Farm Bill, which prompted landmark changes in the way trees and forests will be managed, conserved, used and enjoyed. Maryland determined the most critical forested areas and issues which will determine local, state and federal investments. These investments will target the highest priority conservation needs. It also addresses state and national forestry goals including slowing forest loss, mitigating the effects of climate change, protecting communities from wildfire, creating jobs and supporting markets for forest products.

Maryland developed its SA&S with three overall national priorities:

  1. Conserving working forest landscapes,
  2. Protect forests from threats, and
  3. Enhance public benefits from trees and forests.

The documents in the SA&S incorporate existing forest management plans—including state wildlife action plans and community wildfire protection plans—and identify existing partnerships and new opportunities for cooperation between government, private landowners and the conservation community. These efforts will result in healthier and more resilient forested landscapes as well as improved habitat, air and water quality. They will also help to sustain vibrant natural resource-based local economies by supporting markets for locally grown and produced forest products as well as other public benefits that come from actively and sustainably managed forests.

The release of these documents marks the beginning of an ongoing and dynamic process of resource management and planning that will be revisited annually and updated every five years. Copies of both documents and more information can be found online at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/forests/sas.asp.


   June 28, 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 is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 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