Ecological Assessment
Socioeconomic Assessment
Vulnerability Assessment
Programmatic Assessment
Criteria and Indicators for Sustainability
Data & Indicators

Criterion 7: Legal, institutional, and economic framework for forest conservation and sustainable management

A forest is a forest not only by virtue of its trees, but also by virtue of the views and values society holds. Ultimately, it is these factors that support the conservation and sustainable management of Marylandís forests.

farm field with red barn
    in background

Conditions and processes beyond forest boundaries have a key role to play in the conservation and sustainable management of Marylandís forests. The market for forest products is now clearly global. Investment, taxation, and trade policies for forest products and forest land ownership, determined at the national level, can both support and constrain conservation and sustainability initiatives. The overall policy framework that exists within the State can facilitate efforts to conserve, maintain, or enhance any of the forest related attributes described in the preceding criteria. Legislative processes at multiple levels of government establish the regulations, policy decisions, and means of enforcement that determine much about how forests are managed and conserved. Programs, both public and private, developed to encourage public involvement and stewardship activities promote awareness and public investment in sustainable forest management.

Evaluation of these policy and institutional frameworks that impact forest management and conservation is a necessary component for the assessment of forest sustainability. Greater support and recognition can be given to those processes and policies that have a positive impact on sustainable forest management. Areas in which policy and institutional frameworks are weak or absent can be identified and strengthened.

Indicator 1: Ownership of Forested Lands
Indicator 2: Easements on Forest Land
Indicator 3: Zoning for Forest Lands (not available)
Indicator 4: Current Degree of Protection
Indicator 5: Green Infrastructure
Indicator 6: Designated Wildlands
Indicator 7: Unified Watershed Assessment Priorities
Indicator 8: Forest and Rural Legacy Areas
Indicator 9: Tributary Strategies Basins
Indicator 10: Priority Funding Area
Indicator 11: Forest Conservation and Management Agreements
(not available)
Indicator 12: Projected Watershed Character Year 2020

Criterion 6